Late Duffy Strike Seals AVIVA Date
Dundalk qualified for their fifth successive extra.ie FAI Cup Final with a dramatic win over Sligo Rovers on Sunday evening.
Michael Duffy’s 89th minute strike booked the Lilywhites place at the AVIVA Stadium on November 3rd.
There was some early action with both sides having efforts.
Kris Twardek first for Sligo with a shot that went well wide and Michael Duffy responded with a superb effort but it was gathered by McGinty following a deflection.
Duffy had a free-kick from 25 yards also go into the arms of McGinty to round off what was a lively opening 15 minutes.
Patrick McEleney was substituted through injury close to the half hour mark but before he was he almost found the top left corner with a sublime free-kick which he won himself however it was inches over the crossbar.
Sligo had a series of corners and free-kicks but didn’t create anything of note.
Duffy was on the end of a Daniel Kelly cross from the right but his drilled effort was charged down by McFadden.
McGinty was forced into a good save as the half-time whistle approached when Duffy’s corner found the head of Sean Hoare however his nod down was pushed away by the goalkeeper.
On the stroke of half-time, Jamie McGrath cut inside well on the left and crossed however his ball in came at Hoban too quickly and was straight into the grateful grasp of McGinty.
McGrath had the first chance of the second half when a superb reverse ball from Benson played him in on the edge oft he area however the Athboy man’s shot from the edge of the area was just wide.
Former Lilywhite Ronan Murray then had a chance to try one of his trademark free-kicks however from 30 yards out he cleared the crossbar.
Dundalk had a wonderful opportunity to take the lead when some good build up play saw Daniel Kelly feed Gannon on the right and his inch perfect cross was met by Hoban on the turn but it was brilliantly saved by McGinty.
Sligo had some pressure but again didn’t really create anything during that spell.
With 25 minutes remaining, the ball fell to McGrath in the box and he had a shot from close range however it was brilliantly charged down by McFadden from point blank range.
Dundalk were dominant in possession but restricted to long range efforts and Chris Shields had one from the edge of the box but his left footed effort went wide.
The chances kept coming and Duffy capitalised on a misplaced clearance to shoot but it was well charged down, only for it to fall to Sean Muray six yards out. He could only direct it over the bar with the goal at his mercy.
It looked like the Lilywhites had missed their opportunity however Murray’s free-kick to the back post was headed down by substitute Georgie Kelly. It was into the path of Duffy who caught it superbly on the volley and it nestled into the bottom corner out of the reach of McGinty.
That proved to be the final action of the game as Dundalk saw it out to reach the final and face off against Shamrock Rovers to defend their trophy and play for a historic treble.
SLIGO ROVERS: Ed McGinty; Lewis Banks, Kyle Callan-McFadden (capt), John Mahon, Regan Donelan (Niall Watson 63); David Cawley, Daryl Fordyce, Kris Twardek, Danny Kane; Ronan Coughlan, Romeo Parkes (Ronan Murray 12).
Substitutes not used: Luke McNicholas (GK), Sam Warde, Johnny Dunleavy, John Russell, Niall Morahan.
Booked: Fordyce (17), McFadden (32), McGinty (82), Cawley (90+2)
Sent off: None.
DUNDALK: Gary Rogers; Sean Gannon, Daniel Cleary, Sean Hoare, Dane Massey; Chris Shields, Patrick McEleney (Robbie Benson 28); Daniel Kelly (Sean Murray 68), Jamie McGrath, Michael Duffy; Patrick Hoban (capt) (Georgie Kelly 86).
Substitutes not used: Aaron McCarey (GK), Cameron Dummigan, Dean Jarvis, Andy Boyle.
Booked: Benson (56), Massey (58), Hoban (70)
Sent off: None.
Referee: Rob Harvey