Dundalk 1-2 Atletico Madrid
Two goals in a seven-minute period of the first half from Jimenez and Molino gave Club Atlético de Madrid their second win in as many days as the Spanish giants recorded a comfortable if narrow 2-1 win over Dundalk at Oriel Park on Monday evening. The midfield duo gave the visitors a healthy advantage by the midway point of the opening half, and although Chris Turner converted from the spot early in the second half, the Lilywhites rarely threatened an equaliser, their best chance of one falling to Brian Gilmore (ex Glagow Rangers, Clyde FC and FC Haka of Finland) whose wonderful long-range effort was tipped over.
Atlético took the lead on the quarter-hour when Jimenez split the Dundalk defence on the right and fired a low drive across Chris Bennion and into the far corner. The visitors doubled that advantage soon after when, midway through the half, Joshua slipped Molino through, and despite the best efforts of Bennion, his shot eventually found the net as it bounced off the ‘keeper and in. Atienza then stung the palms of Bennion with a long-range effort as Atlético looked to kill off the game, and they again went close moments later as Gallegos broke through and fired a 25-yard effort that the Scottish netminder was forced to push behind.
Dundalk almost got one back when their best chance of the half fell to Paul McAreavey on 39 minutes. Substitute Kevin McKinlay, who replaced David Ward seven minutes earlier, played in Chris Turner behind the Atlético backline but his pull-back was tamely connected with by the former Linfield midfielder whose effort was easily gathered by Joel in the visitors’ goal. However, five minutes after the break, Dundalk were back in the game when Turner cheekily converted his eighth penalty of the season after Shaun Kelly’s foraging run into the Atlético box was halted illegally.
Darren Mansaram then could have grabbed an equaliser but he fired wide of an open goal when well placed, before Gilmore, a 22-year-old left winger who was the only guest on the team, unleashed a powerful 30-yard effort which seemed bound for the top corner only for substitute goalkeeper Nacho to palm it over the crossbar. Atlético too had chances and, from a corner, Martín’s header was pushed on to the post by another sub ‘keeper, Peter Cherrie. Youth player, Philip Duffy then entered for his debut with four minutes remaining in the last noteworthy action of the night.
DUNDALK FC: Chris Bennion (Peter Cherrie 59); Shaun Kelly, Michael McGowan, Michael Coburn (Liam Burns 59), James Creaney; David Ward (Kevin McKinlay 32), Paul McAreavey, Chris Turner (Tiarnán Mulvenna 58), Michael Daly; Darren Mansaram, Brian Gilmore (Philip Duffy 86).
Goal: C Turner (50 pen).
Unused Subs: Mickey O’Kane, Colin Hoey, Mark Griffin, Matthew Halsey, John Smyth.
CLUB ATLÉTICO DE MADRID: Joel (Nacho HT); Sergio Rodríguez (Jaime HT), Pulido, Martín, Javier; Molina, Atienza (Ruben Perez HT), Jimenez (Indiano HT), Gallegos (Perea 75); Felipe, Joshua (Campillo HT).
Goals: Jimenez (15), Molino (32).
Unused Subs: Pablo, Regalón, Alberto.
Referee: Paul Tuite (Dublin).