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Dublin: 4°C Sunday 16 May 2021

Permutations: What needs to happen for Dundalk to make the knockout stages

A second place finish in Group D of the Europa League is still possible, but they need a big favour from Zenit in Holland.

Dean Shiels dejected at the final whistle last night.
Dean Shiels dejected at the final whistle last night.
Image: James Crombie/INPHO

DUNDALK SUFFERED A disappointing 1-0 defeat to AZ Alkmaar last night in the Europa League’s penultimate round of group games.

To compound matters, the AZ win means Stephen Kenny’s side have also lost control of their own destiny in Group D.

The League of Ireland club’s path to the round of 32 looks much more difficult now, and they’ll be relying on Zenit St Petersburg doing them a favour in the final round of group fixtures.

Here’s how things currently stand in Group D:


Zenit have already wrapped up top spot in the group, meaning it’s a three-way shootout between AZ, Dundalk and Maccabi Tel Aviv for second place. Here are the final games (the first team named is at home):

  • AZ Alkmaar v Zenit St Petersburg, 6pm, December 8
  • Maccabi Tel Aviv v Dundalk, 6pm, December 8

In order for Dundak to progress, Zenit must get a win or draw on their trip to Alkmaar.

If Zenit win in Holland, a score draw against Maccabi Tel Aviv against would send Dundalk through. That scenario would leave three teams in a tie for second, where the Irish champions would advance on goal difference.

Should Zenit draw with AZ, Dundalk would need a win to go through. Much will depend on the strength of the team Zenit put out against AZ.

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Kevin O'Brien

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