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'I missed a penalty in the final of the EA Sports Cup before. Thankfully this one went in'

Dundalk’s Sean Hoare scored the winning penalty against Riga FC his evening.

Dundalk's Sean Hoare.
Dundalk's Sean Hoare.
Image: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

SEAN HOARE ADMITS he was relieved to slot away tonight’s winning penalty against Riga FC to send Dundalk into the next round of the Champions League.

The defender stepped up to convert after a Lilywhites goalkeeper Gary Rogers pulled off a string of impressive saves.

Dundalk twice spurned chances to capitalise on Riga’s penalties woes, with misses from Georgie Kelly and Dane Massey keeping the game in the balance.

After Armands Pētersons’ effort was saved by Rogers, Hoare seized his opportunity to be the hero and rifled the ball into the net.

Speaking to Dundalk TV after the game, the former Galway United defender recalled a missed chance in 2015 which had played on his mind prior to the spotkick.

“In the final of the EA Sports Cup I had one to win it and I missed,” he said.

The keeper was diving every time and I knew he’d go again so I put it down the middle. Thankfully it went.”

Dundalk appeared the brighter of the two sides for much of tonight’s game, with Pat Hoban and substitute Daniel Kelly making a nuisance of themselves over the course of the 120 minutes.

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Riga stopper Roberts Ozols was also forced into a number of excellent saves in both halves to keep the game at 0-0.

Hoare says his side will be ready for their next challenge; Qarabag of Azerbaijan who last featured in the Champions League group stages in 2017. 

“We have to try get as far as we can in this competition and see how it goes,” he continued. “We’ll sit back and do our homework, see how we feel next week.

“But 100%, [the result] is great.”

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