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Lilywhites Fall In Budapest To NK Celje

Match Report
// 19 Aug 2020

Dundalk fell to a 3-0 defeat in Budapest as Slovenian champions NK Celje progress to face Molde of Norway next weekend.

Goals in either half for Celje from Luka Kerin, Dario Vizinger and his replacement Filip Dangubic were enough to send them through.

Both teams had periods of possession in the opening stages without creating much until Vizinger opened up from 30 yards for Celje however he fired well wide.

19 August 2020; Chris Shields of Dundalk in action against Dario Vizinger of NK Celja during the UEFA Champions League First Qualifying Round match between NK Celja and Dundalk at Ferenc Szusza Stadion in Budapest, Hungary. Photo by Vid Ponikvar/Sportsfile

It looked like the Lilywhites had taken the lead just after the quarter hour mark when Stefan Colovic’s corner was guided goalwaards by Brian Gartland however it was saved brilliantly by Rozman.

Denis Marindici looked to have a perfect opportunity just before the half hour mark to give Celje the lead however Chris Shields charged down his shot from the left.

Dundalk were more dominant as the half wore on and a pair of chances from Duffy, first from a header and then a deflected shot, were into the arms of Matjaz Rozman in the Celje goal.

19 August 2020; Sean Gannon of Dundalk in action against Denis Marandici of NK Celja during the UEFA Champions League First Qualifying Round match between NK Celja and Dundalk at Ferenc Szusza Stadion in Budapest, Hungary. Photo by Vid Ponikvar/Sportsfile

Against the run of play, Celje took the lead in the 43rd minute. The ball broke between Rogers and Gartland letting Luka Kerin get in on goal and his shot was partially blocked by the goalkeeper but the ball ended up in the net.

Dundalk upped the tempo in the second half and a brilliant combination between Duffy and Jordan Flores saw the latter fire a first time rasping shot towards goal but it was expertly tipped over by Rozman.

It looked like it would be 1-1 when Chris Shields found Duffy through on goal but he pulled his shot inches wide.

Dundalk had all of the possession and were probing at every opportunity.

19 August 2020; Jordan Flores of Dundalk in action against Josip Calusic of NK Celja during the UEFA Champions League First Qualifying Round match between NK Celja and Dundalk at Ferenc Szusza Stadion in Budapest, Hungary. Photo by Vid Ponikvar/Sportsfile

Duffy again had a shot but it was blocked while Sean Murray had a free-kick blocked.

From that free-kick, it found its way to Hoban and his header cannoned back off the post and was cleared to safety.

Celje secured their path to the second qualifying round though in the final minute of the 90 when Dundalk got caught on the break allowing Vizinger score the second.

There would be a third goal in injury-time as   Filip Dangubic bundled home from close range after a free-kick.

That proved to be the final action and our interest in the Champions League ends for this year.

NK CELJE: Matjaž Rozman;Advan Kadušić, Žan Zaletel, Josip Čalušić, Denis Marandici; Lan Štravs, Matic Vrbanec (Nino Pungarsek 86),Luka Kerin; Mitja Lotrič (capt),  Ivan Božić (Jacob Novak 82), Dario Vizinger (Filip Dangubic 90)

Substitutes not used: Metod Jurhar (GK), Dušan Stojinović, Amadej Brecl, Rok Štraus.

Booked: Kerin (20)

Sent off: None.

DUNDALK: Gary Rogers; Sean Gannon, Brian Gartland (Nathan Oduwa 76), Sean Hoare, Darragh Leahy; Chris Shields (David McMillan 82), Jordan Flores (Sean Murray 68); Stefan Colovic, Patrick McEleney, Michael Duffy; Patrick Hoban.

Substitutes not used: Aaron McCarey (GK), John Mountney, Daniel Cleary, Daniel Kelly.

Booked: Gannon (3), Shields (49)

Sent off: None.

Referee: Vitor Fernandes Ferreira