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Sublime Duffy wonder goal inspires Europa League qualifier win as Dundalk see off Tallinn

Michael Duffy and Pat Hoban were on the scoresheet as Dundalk booked their place in the second round of the Europa League qualifiers.

Brian Gartland and team-mates celebrate at full-time.
Brian Gartland and team-mates celebrate at full-time.
Image: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

Dundalk 2

Levadia Tallinn 1

(Dundalk win 3-1 on aggregate)

Caoimhín Reilly reports from Oriel Park

DUNDALK WILL MEET AEK Larnaca in the second round of the Europa League qualifiers after comfortably overcoming Levadia Tallinn of Estonia in tonight’s second leg at Oriel Park.

Overwhelming favourites to progress, having won last week’s opener, the Lilywhites were comfortable victors on their home patch to create some history – only once before had Stephen Kenny’s men won both legs of a European tie.

The goals they scored were something else. Pat Hoban nodded his 22nd effort of an incredible individual campaign to break the deadlock on 31 minutes before Michael Duffy rocketed home a goal of the tournament contender, which had more than a hint of the Marco van Basten about it.

Duffy wasn’t even born when the legendary Dutchman scored his iconic goal in the 1988 European Championship final, but he went some way to replicating it here, and possibly bettered it.

Left-footed, and from an ultra-acute angle, Dundalk’s No. 7 rifled, first-time to the roof of the net to seal the tie just two minutes after Hoban’s strike.

An ultra-physical visiting outfit had a foothold in the affair beforehand and though having a goal chalked off for offside before reducing the deficit through leading scorer Roman Debelko, Duffy’s supreme effort put the tie to bed as Dundalk led 2-1 at the break.

Debelko blazed a shot wide of the mark as the second half began with Levadia looking lively. Yet, thereafter, the Lilywhites managed the match to its conclusion, leaving the pitch to a rapturous reception.

Dundalk: Gary Rogers; Seán Gannon, Brian Gartland, Seán Hoare, Dane Massey; Chris Shields, Robbie Benson; Dylan Connolly (Krisztián Adorján 62), Jamie McGrath, Michael Duffy (Karolis Chvedukas 83); Patrick Hoban (Georgie Kelly 90)

Levadia Tallinn: Sergei Lepmets; Markus Jorgenson (Rasmus Peetson 87), Igor Dudarev, Maksim, Maksim Podholjuzin, Dmitri Kruglov; Marcellin Gando (Mark Oliver Roosnupp 64), Yuriy Tkachuk, Muamer Svraka, Jevgeni Harin (Kirill Nesterov 80); Roman Debelko, Nikita Andreev

Referee: Adrien Jaccottet (Switzerland)

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About the author:

Caoimhín Reilly

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