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Dublin: 11 °C Friday 15 February, 2019


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Good evening, folks, and welcome along to Turner’s Cross for another huge night for the SSE Airtricity League.

Cork City, who trail 1-0 from the first leg, will aim to overturn that deficit against KRC Genk to book their place in tomorrow’s draw for the Europa League play-offs, where a place in the group stages of the competition will be just one step away.

Kick-off here at a sold-out Cross is at 7.45pm and we’ll keep you up to date on all the major incidents throughout the evening.

Cork City are unchanged from the first leg, while Genk have made one change which sees DR Congo international Neeskens Kebano replace Greek international Nikos Karelis up front.

Here’s how the teams will line up…

Cork City: Mark McNulty; Michael McSweeney, Alan Bennett, Kenny Browne, Kevin O’Connor; Greg Bolger (c); Stephen Dooley, Garry Buckley, Gearoid Morrissey, Steven Beattie; Sean Maguire.

KRC Genk: Marco Bizot; Sandy Walsh, Sebastien Dewaest, Dries Wouters, Jere Uronen; Thomas Buffel, Wilfred Ndidi, Alejandro Pozuelo, Leon Bailey; Ally Samatta, Neeskens Kebano.

Referee: Kristo Tohver (Estonia).

Can these lads emulate Dundalk by making it another memorable night for Irish club football?

Cork City players check out the pitch Source: Cathal Noonan/INPHO

Genk began their league campaign on Sunday night with a 2-1 home win against KV Oostende, but their away record in the last 12 months is far from impressive.

In 23 games, they’ve won just four, lost 13 and drawn six.

Cork City, who beat Linfield and BK Hacken to make it to this stage, have never won three European ties in the same season.

In the 2004 Intertoto Cup, they were eliminated by Nantes after dumping Malmo and NEC Nijmegen out of the competition.

A year later in the Uefa Cup, victories against Ekranas and Djurgardens were followed by a defeat to Slavia Prague.

They’ll be hoping to make that extra step tonight at the expense of the side who finished fourth in Belgium last season.

Here’s Genk manager Peter Maes and defender Sandy Walsh speaking at yesterday’s press conference about how they learned last week that Cork City don’t play a typically Irish style of football.

Source: KRCGenkofficial/YouTube

Five minutes to kick-off here on Leeside and, as you’d expect, the atmosphere is electric.

Genk to kick us off.


Lively start by City, putting the visitors on the back foot.


City on top so far, with Genk being forced to clear a free from Bolger and then a Dooley corner, either side of an O’Connor cross.


Bolger free from deep goes towards the back post but it’s too high and goes wide.


Pozuelo’s cross from the right following a cleared corner finds Bailey but his effort is blocked.


Buffel plays in Pozuelo but the danger is cleared by O’Connor and Morrissey.


Bolger’s free from halfway finds Maguire in a great position in behind the defence but he’s ruled offside.


Major blow for City. Despite a good start for the home side, Genk captain Thomas Buffel fires them into the lead. City now need to score three to progress.

Beattie goes down in the box but the referee rightly deems that there was no foul.


Bailey gets through on goal for a glorious chance for Genk but he steers his shot wide.


Genk enjoying a really good spell now, with Bailey looking very dangerous down the left.


Bolger’s cross from the left had the keeper back-pedalling and he has to concede a corner, but City are unable to make anything of it.


City’s best chance of the game so far as O’Connor’s cross finds the head of Beattie but his effort is easy for Genk keeper Bizot.


City doing their utmost to get back into it but Genk, and some questionable refereeing decisions, are making it difficult.


Another O’Connor cross from the left but again no City player can get their head on it.


O’Connor’s corner from the right is punched away by Bizot.


Major let-off for City. Goalkeeper McNulty’s delivery was intercepted by Buffel, who crossed for Bailey, but his tame effort was saved.


Another Bolger free is cleared by Genk but City get a corner from it.


Great chance for City. After Bennett’s header from the corner was blocked, the ball found its way back to O’Connor, who did excellently to pull a low cross back but Browne sent his attempt over the crossbar.


Browne gets in a vital block to deny Samatta from the edge of the box.


Kebano with a chance for Genk but he fires his shot across the face of goal from the right.


Bailey wins a free on the left after being fouled by McSweeney. Pozuelo’s delivery evades everyone in the box and just goes outside the far post, to McNulty’s relief.


Buckley gets in a cross from out on the left but it goes out of play.


Genk now lead 3-0 on aggregate as defender Dewaest heads home Pozuelo’s corner from the left.


Morrissey’s shot from just outside the box was heading for the target but it came off his own man, Maguire, and went wide.


The Cork City supporters in the Shed are doing their best to get behind their players as they head for the changing rooms, but with four goals required from John Caulfield’s side in the second half, this one looks done and dusted.


The second half is underway and City have made two changes, with Mark O’Sullivan and Danny Morrissey replacing Gearoid Morrissey and Michael McSweeney.


O’Sullivan’s left-footed effort for City goes across the face of goal and wide.


Encouraging opening to this second half for City. Genk know they probably have the job done so they’re sitting deeper, allowing the hosts to press forward.


Another change for Cork City: Karl Sheppard for Sean Maguire.


Just before that, O’Connor crossed for O’Sullivan but he was unable to direct his header on target.


Alan Bennett heads home for City from a brilliantly-delivered free from the right by O’Connor.


City have their tails up now in front of an attendance of 6,745 here at Turner’s Cross.


Bailey in danger of being sent off after tangling with Beattie so Genk have understandably replaced him with Trossard.


McNulty saves from close range after a mazy run by Trossard.


Browne lucky to escape with a yellow there after a heavy challenge on Kebano.


Pozuelo’s free from wide on the left almost goes all the way in but McNulty gets a hand on it.


Pozuelo cuts back for Trossard but again McNulty saves.


O’Sullivan’s header from another O’Connor cross produces a brilliant save by Bizot.


Bolger takes a short free but Beattie’s shot is blocked, before Buckley sends his cross much too deep.


Beattie’s long ball reaches O’Sullivan but his looping header goes just over.


Penalty for Genk as Beattie brings Kebano down.


Kebano hits the crossbar and that’s the last kick of the game.

About the author:

Paul Dollery