Eythor Arnason/INPHO
Euro Vision

Dundalk can look forward to €1 million windfall after memorable Champions League night

Stephen Kenny’s side came from behind to conjure a 2-2 away draw against Icelandic side FH and progress to third qualifying round.

FH 2 (3)

Dundalk 2 (3)*

*Dundalk win on away goals

TWO GOALS FROM David McMillan saw Dundalk conjure a European result that will live long in the memory.

The League of Ireland side came from behind against Icelandic side FH to secure a 2-2 draw on the night and advance on away goals to a third qualifying round clash with BATE Borisov.

The win also ensures over €1 million in prize money.

With the tie delicately poised at 1-1 after the first leg at Oriel Park, Stephen Kenny’s side were dominated for the majority of the opening period.

They were very nearly behind as early as the 6th minute when Sam Hewson crossed to the far post but Emil Palsson just couldn’t stretch far enough to tuck it away.

Despite Patrick Barrett going close from a corner, Dundalk were behind on 19 minutes.

It was a superbly-worked goal too as Hewson kept his cool to expertly side-foot to the net after a glorious passing move from the home side.

But the Lilywhites responded well and really should’ve been level before the break.

Daryl Horgan’s rampaging run took him clear of two challenges but as he raced through on goal, he narrowed the angle for himself and his near-post strike was blocked by Gunnar Nielsen.

Ronan Finn with Bjarni Þór Viðarsson Eythor Arnason / INPHO Eythor Arnason / INPHO / INPHO

Ten minutes later, Patrick McEleney did the hard part and made space in the right channel of the area but the final pass was lacking and he couldn’t find McMillan at the far post.

Kenny would’ve been pleased with how his team finished the first half but still changed things at the break by introducing Robbie Benson into midfield.

It certainly dovetailed with an upsurge in energy from Dundalk and they were awarded a penalty just four minutes after the restart when Barrett was adjudged to have been fouled in the area.

But, Ronan Finn saw his effort saved by Nielsen, who threw himself to his right.

Still, they didn’t dwell on the setback and finally got their equaliser within three minutes as McMillan took a loose ball in his stride outside the area and sent a low strike to the net via the inside of the near post.

Dundalk fans at the game Eythor Arnason / INPHO Eythor Arnason / INPHO / INPHO

Ten minutes later, he had a second.

Horgan, ever-willing and always dangerous, caused mayhem on the left before getting his head up, keeping his cool and superbly teeing up McMillan to calmly tuck the ball to the net from close-range.

It was a crucial moment as it meant FH needed to score twice to win the tie and even though substitute Finnbogason made it interesting on 78 minutes, Dundalk survived the inevitable late siege and saw the game out.

It’s now a showdown with a familiar opponent in Belarus next week.

Last year, BATE eliminated Dundalk at the same stage so there will be plenty of motivation for Kenny’s side to right the wrongs they experienced twelve months ago.

But for now, it’s about savouring another special night for Irish football.

FH: Nielsen, Olafsson, Hewson (Bjornsson, 77′), Lennon, Palsson (P.Vidarsson, 66′), Valdimarsson, D. Vidarsson (c), B. Vidarsson (Finnbogason, 66′), Doumbia, Bodvarsson, Hendrickx

Dundalk: Rogers, Gannon, Boyle, O’Donnell (c), Horgan, Mountney (Benson, 46′), McMillan (Kilduff, 82′), Finn, P. McEleney (Shields, 79′), Massey, Barrett

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