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Georgie Kelly at the double as Bohs cruise on another famous European night

Keith Long’s side set up third qualifying round clash with PAOK after making light work of F91 Dudelange with 4-0 aggregate win.

Georgie Kelly celebrates his second and Bohs third goal.
Georgie Kelly celebrates his second and Bohs third goal.
Image: Tommy Dickson/INPHO

Bohemians 3

F91 Dudelange 0

(Bohemians win 4-0 on aggregate)

THERE WAS A sense of déjà vu because of the score line.

And yet this all feels very new and exciting for a Bohemians team that continue to impress on the European stage.

Another 3-0 win at Aviva Stadium set pulses racing as Keith Long’s side progressed to the third qualifying round for a tantalising tie against PAOK of Greece.

They have already got their fans salivating with their performances on this European run. Rob Cornwall and a brace from Georgie Kelly put F91 Dudelange to the sword, a repeat score from the victory over Stjarnan here in the previous round.

Kelly’s tally now stands at four in the Europa Conference and there will be an even greater sense of satisfaction that Bohs went one better than that 4-1 aggregate win earlier in the month by not conceding over two legs.

Kelly’s first goal of the night came with 22 minutes to go and meant the remainder of the contest could be savoured.

Liam Burt’s sensational run and pass to deliver the striker’s second goal six minutes later ensured it was a procession, and there was even the novelty while added time was still being played of the Bohs PA announcer being able to confirm they will be back here on Tuesday to face PAOK, with tickets going on sale to club members at 10am tomorrow morning.

They will certainly be able to increase the 8,000 tickets which sold out in 90 minutes for this clash if Covid-19 restrictions allow.

Bohs are on a memorable European journey and this was another impressive pit-stop.

Cornwall’s opener came in the 34th minute, at a time when they had gone through somewhat of a lull. Indeed, it was the visitors who looked more threatening in the minutes beforehand, a well worked corner routine producing a shot from the edge of the box that needed firm hands from James Talbot.

Dudelange also worked the best opening from free play when Kevin Van Den Kerkhof combined with Charles Morren for a neat give-and-go on the right flank.

Burt was caught out as Van Den Kerkhof skipped in behind to deliver a dangerous ball across the face of goal which was begging to be tapped in.

Instead, centre forward Dejvid Sinani was on his heels and didn’t anticipate the opportunity. It quickly looked even more costly, as before they had a chance to build momentum Bohs were ahead.

Long’s side had looked assured for the opening quarter but their control slowly drifted. That changed when Cornwall peeled off to the back post and met Anto Breslin’s inswinging free-kick with a deft header in the bottom left corner.

It was a perfect pick-me-up.

The lead from the first leg in Luxembourg was doubled and Dudelange looked in trouble. Heads were bowed as they restarted the game and, just a couple of minutes later manager Medhi El Alaoui reacted with a change of personnel, and formation.

Ricardo Delgado, one of the three centre backs in the 3-4-3, was hooked for Filip Bojic, who came on as a left midfielder with a switch to a back four and a fluid 4-1-3-2.

As they trudged off in dribs and drabs for half-time, Dudelange players looked like a group know knew the jig was up.

While Bojic did provide a more aerial threat and won some flick-ons out on the left, Dudelange looked clueless as to how they could open Bohs up.

Long and his assistant, Trevor Croly, pride themselves on their organisation and that told in the second 45 minutes.

Despite the fact Keith Buckley picked up a yellow card early in the second period, the Bohs skipper epitomised the determined spirit to snuff the tie out. Not that they needed to hold on for dear life.

The hard work was done in Luxembourg with Ross Tierney’s winner and again here with Cornwall’s first-half header, and the gloss was added to the performance with Kelly’s two strikes.

His first, a header at the back post from Ciaran Kelly’s knock back, was easy because of poor marking from another set-piece. The second, a tidy side foot finish with 16 minutes to go, owed so much to the stunning run and composure of Burt, who picked the ball up in his own half, drove forward beyond two Dudelange trackers and slid through a pass on a plate.

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There is the love and the romance and the history of what Bohs are now achieving on the pitch, but off it, as is always the way when League of Ireland clubs progress in Europe, there has to be a cold look at what it means in financial terms.

The inaugural Europa Conference League may a step down from the Europa League, but the rewards are still lucrative and their coffers will be boosted further to the tune of €800,000 with this victory.

Greater rewards, and challenges now await. But nights like this, and what could yet come, are priceless.

Bohemians: James Talbot; Andy Lyons, Rob Cornwall, Ciaran Kelly, Anto Breslin; Ali Coote, Keith Buckley (c) (Conor Levington 75), Dawson Devoy, Liam Burt (Keith Ward 84); Ross Tierney; Georgie Kelly (James Finnerty 88).

Subs: Enda Minogue, Stephen McGuinness, Rory Feely, Stephen Mallon, Tyreke Wilson, Jamie Mullins, Aaron Doran, Sean Grehan, Robert Mahon.

Booked: Buckley 48, G Kelly 69

F91 Dudelange: Jonathan Joubert; Ricardo Delgado, Kobe Cools, Jules Diouf; Kevin Van Den Kerkhof, Charles Morren (Abdoul Aziz Kabore 79), Nélito Dos Santos Da Cruz, Mehdi Kirch (c); Adel Bettaieb (Francisco Ninte Junior 79), Dejvid Sinani (Edvin Muratovic 64), Samir Hadji (Mohcine Hassan Nader 64).

Subs: Enzo Esposito, Eliot Gashi, Filip Bojic, Edis Agovic, Mohcine Hassan Nader, Magnus Hardahl Hansen, Ian Fialho Santos, Chris Stumpf, Ryane Medjkoune,

Booked: Van Den Kerkhof 26, Diouf 42, Nélito 51

Referee: Gergo Bogar (Hun).

About the author:

David Sneyd  / reports from the Aviva Stadium

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