David McMillan celebrates after scoring for Dundalk in last week's first leg against FH Hafnarfjordur at Oriel Park. Ryan Byrne/INPHO

Dundalk confident of Champions League progression and €1.2m windfall

The League of Ireland side face Icelandic champions FH Hafnarfjordur in this evening’s second leg.

THEIR OPPONENTS ARE in the driving seat but Dundalk striker David McMillan believes they’re capable of tipping the balance in their favour tonight in Iceland.

Stephen Kenny’s side will take on Icelandic champions FH Hafnarfjordur at the Kaplakriki Stadium (Eir Sport 1, 8.15pm kick-off) in the second leg of their Champions League second qualifying round tie.

The sides are level at 1-1 from last week’s first leg at Oriel Park, but that precious away goal means that Hafnarfjordur have got the upper hand going into tonight’s game.

Dundalk need to score in order to keep alive their hopes of progressing to a meeting with BATE Borisov (Belarus) in the next stage of the competition, which would seal €1.2million in prize money for the SSE Airtricity Premier Division champions.

That would represent a substantial cash injection for the Lilywhites, who’ll bring in just €110,000 if they manage to win their third successive league title this season.

“Obviously we have to get a goal out there with the score being 1-1, but I think we have got the firepower to do that,” Dundalk striker David McMillan told the club’s official website.

McMillan opened the scoring in the first leg, taking his goals tally to an incredible seven in just three games, having netted hat-tricks against both Longford Town and Derry City in their previous two outings.

“We have scored in nearly every away game this year, won most of them and our away form has been excellent. I think we have enough quality to score and the tie is still winnable, but we have to go out there and do a job and hopefully we come home with the right result.”

Dundalk teamshot The Dundalk team pictured before the first leg against FH Hafnarfjordur. Ryan Byrne / INPHO Ryan Byrne / INPHO / INPHO

McMillan put his side ahead in the 66th minute in Louth seven days ago, but former Dundalk player Steven Lennon scored a crucial equaliser for Hafnarfjordur 10 minutes later.

Dundalk manager Stephen Kenny has a full squad to choose from for tonight’s game, with the exception of defender Brian Gartland, who’ll be out of action for six-to-eight weeks after breaking his wrist in last week’s first leg.

“I think they have technically good players but it will be interesting to see how they approach the second game,” added McMillan, a 27-year-old Dubliner who joined Dundalk from Sligo Rovers ahead of the 2014 season.

“Will they come out and play against us, or will they sit in and try and keep it scoreless? That’d put them through, but either way we’re confident we have enough to win the tie and hopefully see us through.”

Should Dundalk progress, they’ll face BATE Borisov — the side who eliminated them from the Champions League qualifiers last season. The first leg is scheduled to take place in Belarus on 26-27 July, with the second leg set for 2-3 August.

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