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Dublin: 15 °C Saturday 4 July, 2020

Ireland U21 international Elbouzedi on target to help Waterford return to winning ways

Alan Reynold’s men bounced back from a shock defeat away to Finn Harps seven days ago.

Zack Elbouzedi's strike was the difference on Friday night.
Zack Elbouzedi's strike was the difference on Friday night.
Image: Oisin Keniry/INPHO

Waterford 1


WATERFORD FC MADE a return to winning ways after a hard-fought 1-0 win at home to UCD at the RSC on Friday evening.

Zack Elbouzedi’s 36th-minute goal separated the teams, with Alan Reynolds’ side picking up the points as they head into a five-week break before their next league fixture due to the summer break and international call-ups for Elbouzedi and Aaron Drinan.

UCD started brightly and had the first chance of the game after 12 minutes — Neil Farrugia getting down the left but his strike was straight at Waterford goalkeeper Matthew Connor.

After the Students had much of the early possession, Bastien Hery had Waterford’s first chance on 28 minutes when advancing from midfield but defender Josh Collins made the important block.

Alan Reynolds Waterford manager Alan Reynolds. Source: Morgan Treacy/INPHO

Hery fired wide with another chance before Collins was forced into another important block; Drinan finding Cory Galvin but the defender made the block.

Reynold’s men took the lead after 36 minutes. Rory Feely did well down the right before playing the ball inside to Galvin. His strike was blocked but the ball dropped to Elbouzedi who calmly fired left-footed into the bottom corner of goalkeeper Kearns’ goal.

JJ Lunney went close to doubling the lead in first-half stoppage time. Galvin again slipped the ball through for Hery and his pullback fell to the feet of the advancing midfielder, but his right-footed effort was just over the crossbar from inside the penalty area.

Despite Collie O’Neill’s side having lots of possession early in the second, it was Waterford that almost doubled their lead. Drinan found the run of goalscorer Elbouzedi and his curling effort forced Kearns into another excellent save.

At the other end, Liam Scales got on the end of an overhit corner kick to deliver to Farrugia inside the penalty area; his header forcing Connor to produce the save.

Zak Elbouzedi celebrates scoring a goal Elbouzedi celebrates giving Waterford the lead at the RSC. Source: Oisin Keniry/INPHO

UCD had an even better chance with 13 minutes left in the clock. Richie O’Farrell somehow kept the ball alive on the endline before pulling it back for Conor Davis but the striker could only shoot straight at Connor from inside the area.

Waterford could have sealed the points in stoppage time — Akinade forcing Kearns into a good save, before two minutes later he almost set Hery up but again Kearns was on hand.

But UCD couldn’t force a late equaliser as Elbouzedi’s goal secured the points for Waterford.

WATERFORD FC: Matthew Connor, Rory Feely, Maxim Kouogun, Damien Delaney, Georgie Poynton, Bastien Hery, JJ Lunney, Karolis Chvedukas (Shane Griffin 89), Cory Galvin (Izzy Akinade 67), Aaron Drinan, Zack Elbouzedi (Scott Twine 84).

UCD: Conor Kearns, Liam Scales, Josh Collins, Neil Farrugia, Gary O’Neill, Jason McClelland (Dara Keane 87), Richie O’Farrell, Sean McDonald, Conor Davis (Yoyo Mahdy 78), Paul Doyle (Danu Bishop 87), Evan Farrell.

Referee: Robert Hennessey

Gavan Casey is joined by Ryan Bailey and Andy Dunne to look ahead to Saturday’s Pro14 final, look at whether Joey Carbery’s move has paid off and Jack Conan talks about how his body is holding up.:

Source: The42 Rugby Weekly/SoundCloud

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