Champions League heartbreak for Dundalk as Kenny's men suffer extra-time defeat

The Lilywhites pushed Rosenborg all the way but their European campaign is over for another season.

Brian Gartland dejected after Rosenborg's winning goal.
Brian Gartland dejected after Rosenborg's winning goal.
Image: Ciaran Culligan/INPHO

Rosenborg 2

Dundalk 1

Rosenborg win 3-2 on aggregate 

Caoimhín Reilly reports from the Lerkendal Stadion

DUNDALK’S DREAMS OF European group stage football, and a date with Celtic, were ended in Trondheim tonight as Stephen Kenny’s men bowed out to Rosenborg.

Brian Gartland had given the Lilywhites a first-half lead but, like last week’s first-leg, it wasn’t an advantage they could hold onto until the interval with Yann-Erik De Lanlay drawing the tie level.

The game remained on a knife-edge until Matthias Vilhjalmsson handed Rosenborg a passage through with a header in the first half of extra-time.

It was a cruel way to end what was a valiant effort by the champions of Ireland.

Gartland’s goal — his first European goal in three seasons — gave Dundalk the lead after 12 minutes.

In what was their first meaningful foray behind enemy lines, John Mountney forced a corner which Michael Duffy swung-in for the towering central defender who headed to the corner of the net.

The Lilywhites really ought to have doubled their advantage three minutes later when another Duffy set-piece — this time from the opposite corner — provided David McMillan with a free header.

But from six-yards the striker’s powerful nod was saved superbly by Anders Hansen in the home goal.

Duffy and Mountney continued to look dangerous in Dundalk’s attack but the home side battled their way back into contention as the first half wore on.

Brian Gartland celebrates scoring with Dane Massey Gartland celebrates his goal with Dane Massey. Source: Ciaran Culligan/INPHO

You couldn’t quite call Dundalk’s play tentative, but they were appearing to stand-off as the hosts committed waves to attack.

It took a miracle block from Niclas Vemmelund to deny Vegar Hedenstad an equaliser before De Lanlay raced in behind the visiting rearguard, receiving Mike Jensen’s through ball before finishing past Gary Rogers to leave the score tied at 1-1 at the break.

The home side remained in the ascendancy during the second half with Jensen continuing to make them tick in midfield. Stephen O’Donnell’s presence was requested by Kenny in a bid to deny the Dane space.

Duffy was the man called ashore, a move which greatly reduced Dundalk’s potency on the break as Rosenborg penned them in.

Frederik Midsjo forced Rogers to save before Tore Reginiussen — the Norwegian’s first-leg goal scorer — shot fresh air from six-yards following Hedenstad’s pinpoint delivery.

Benson came closest for Dundalk in the second half when his bending 20-yard free-kick forced Hansen to produce another fine stop.

The biggest talking point from the incident was the persistent fouling of the already booked Jevtovic in the build-up.

The Rosenborg attacker, who had been booked on 74 minutes, committed three fouls after his original misdemeanour with the match official Aliyar Aghayev being lenient in the extreme as the match finished level with extra-time ensuing.

John Mountney and Birger Meling John Mountney and Birger Meling of Rosenborg. Source: Ciaran Culligan/INPHO

Substitute Vilhjalmsson’s match-winning goal arrived eight minutes into extra-time as the Icelandic international nodded Hedenstad’s delivery to the top-corner of the net.

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At that point, the contest looked decided with Dundalk heavily jaded.

Ciaran Kilduff almost provided them with the perfect tonic — and an aggregate advantage — at the death of the first period of extra-time when his shot was acrobatically saved by goalkeeper Hansen.

The second quarter-of-an-hour offered little in the way of opportunities, apart from a Jensen shot which Rogers saved, as Dundalk bowed out and the Scandinavians booked their place in the third qualifying round of the Champions League.

Rosenborg: Anders Hansen; Vegar Hedenstad, Tore Reginiussen, Jorgen Skjelvik, Birger Meling; Mike Jensen, Anders Agnes Konradsen, Frederik Midtsjo; Milan Jevtovic (Elbasan Rashani 116), Nicklas Bendtner (Marius Lundemo 114), Yann-Erik De Lanlay (Matthias Vilhjalmsson 72)

Subs not used: Arild Ostbo, Jacob Rasmussen, Johan Bjordal, Alex Gersbach

Dundalk: Gary Rogers; Seán Gannon, Brian Gartland, Niclas Vemmelund, Dane Massey; Chris Shields, Robbie Benson; John Mountney, Patrick McEleney (Jamie McGrath 84), Michael Duffy (Stephen O’Donnell 59); David McMillan (Ciarán Kilduff 94)

Subs not used: Gabriel Sava (gk), Paddy Barrett, Seán Hoare, Dylan Connolly

Referee: Aliyar Aghayev (Azerbaijan)

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Caoimhín Reilly

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