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Dublin: 13 °C Sunday 22 September, 2019
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Tosi strikes at the death to earn Limerick a draw in Tallaght

Roberto Lopes has opened the scoring for Shamrock Rovers.

Goalscorers Rodrigo Tosi and Roberto Lopes.
Goalscorers Rodrigo Tosi and Roberto Lopes.
Image: Donall Farmer/INPHO

Shamrock Rovers 1
Limerick 1

Andrew Cunneen reports from Tallaght Stadium 

A DRAMATIC LATE equaliser from Rodrigo Tosi grabbed Limerick a point in Tallaght tonight.

Roberto Lopes bagged the opening goal of the game after only eighteen minutes — heading home from a corner — but Tosi’s late strike stole a deserved result for the Blues.

There wasn’t to be any settling-in period as both sides looked intent on attacking in numbers. Graham Burke and Lee-J Lynch were tasked with linking up play from advanced midfield positions and both produced in a first half full of good football from both sides.

With Finn and McAllister sitting in midfield, Rovers were assured on the ball — allowing Burke and Miele to exchange passes around the target of Gary Shaw.

Miele, in particular, drew Limerick defenders to the ball — giving space for full backs to get in behind.

One such move outside the Limerick box afforded Burke a shot on goal, but the ball just rolled wide of Brendan Clarke’s post.

For all the positive play in possession, it was overplaying from Chiedozie Ogbene that resulted in the first goal after eighteen minutes. Instead of clearing after a Hoops attack broke down, Ogbene took on three players before being dispossessed.

Finn took the ball into the right channel and played in his full back. Madden’s cross was well blocked away by the leg of Tommy Robson, but at the expense of a corner.

Burke’s curling set-piece towards the near post was met excellently by Lopes, who glanced a header past Clarke to the far post.

For all that Limerick were growing into the game, Stephen Bradley’s men should have doubled their lead only three minutes later. The hosts saw opportunities to overload Limerick’s left side on multiple occasions and it nearly paid off again.

This time, Finn danced his way into the box from wide before squaring for Gary Shaw only six yards in front of goal. Shaw opted for his left foot, and somehow fluffed his lines with an open goal at his mercy.

Roberto Lopes celebrates scoring the first goal of the game with team mates The Hoops players celebrate their opener. Source: Donall Farmer/INPHO

Limerick were slow out of the blocks in the second half, but did create a chance on the hour for leading marksman Tosi. Lynch picked up possession forty yards from goal and lofted a cross towards the penalty spot.

Chencinski was indecisive — allowing Tosi to make limited contact with the ball — before the Rovers stopper pushed around the post.

Rovers introduced Sam Bone and Paul Corry to try and tighten up midfield, and tighten up midfield they did. The majority of the second period was played fifty yards from the Rovers goal, with only  Clarke in the Limerick half at times, but the visitors had few ideas.

Limerick’s best chance of the game to that point arrived with just five minutes left on the clock. A cross from the left was cleverly headed into the path of Tosi by substitute John O’Flynn but Roberto Lopes jumped in front of the ball to deny what would have been a certain goal.

Tosi would have another bite, however. Ogbene, who had a mixed game, burst down the right before playing a superb cross across the face of goal. O’Flynn missed it, but Tosi would not — sliding in to smash high into the net in the 90th minute.

That point sees Limerick remain fourth, while Rovers stay three points behind them in sixth.

Shamrock Rovers: Tomer Chencinski; Simon Madden, David Webster, Roberto Lopes, Luke Byrne; Ronan Finn, David McAllister (Paul Corry, 74); Darren Meenan (Sam Bone, 59), Graham Burke, Brandon Miele (James Doona, 66); Gary Shaw.

Limerick: Brendan Clarke; Shaun Kelly, Tony Whitehead, Robbie Williams, Tommy Robson; Paul O’Conor (Bastien Hery, 27), Shane Duggan; Dean Clarke (John O’Flynn, 82), Lee-J Lynch, Chiedozie Ogbene; Rodrigo Tosi (Tommy Walsh, 90).

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About the author:

Andrew Cunneen

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