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Lilywhites Make Group Stage History!!!

Match Report
// 1 Oct 2020

Dundalk made history on Thursday night as they were the first Irish side to twice qualify for the UEFA Europa League group stages with a 3-1 win over Faroese champions Ki Klaksvik!

Goals from Sean Murray, Daniel Cleary and Ringsend native Daniel Kelly were enough on the night to seal an historic victory for Filippo Giovagnoli’s men.

1 October 2020; Darragh Leahy of Dundalk in action against Jóannes Bjartalíð of Ki Klaksvik during the UEFA Europa League Play-off match between Dundalk and Ki Klaksvik at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin. Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

It was a bright start by the Lilywhites as Patrick Hoban head a header go wide from a good Stefan Colovic cross before Patrick McEleney tested the goalkeeper with a curling effort from 25 yards but Joensen pushed it away to safety.

The Lilywhites played a few crosses into the box which caused some confusion while Ki had one corner which the Lilywhites eventually cleared.

As the half wore on, Dundalk assumed control of possession and deservedly went in front in the 35th minute.

1 October 2020; Sean Murray of Dundalk scores his side’s first goal despite the efforts of Ki Klaksvik goalkeeper Kristian Joensen during the UEFA Europa League Play-off match between Dundalk and Ki Klaksvik at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin. Photo by Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile

A Sean Hoare cross looked routine for the defence to clear however Hoban managed to get his head to it which flicked it into the path of the roaming Sean Murray and he managed to guide it past Joensen in goal.

Murray again tried to double his lead however when he found space from distance he fired well over the bar.

It was 1-0 at half-time but the Irish champions doubled their advantage almost immediately after the re-start.

Another Duffy corner caused panic and the goalkeeper missed the ball. It bounced off Hoban and into the path of Cleary who spun and fired to the empty net.

1 October 2020; Daniel Cleary of Dundalk shoots to score his side’s second goal despite the efforts of Páll Klettskard of Ki Klaksvik during the UEFA Europa League Play-off match between Dundalk and Ki Klaksvik at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin. Photo by Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile

The Lilywhites sat off a bit but Duffy had a chance to finish it off when he danced through the defence but his end shot was wide of the target.

Ki had chances of their own as a corner caused unease and Johannesen forced a good save from Rogers on the hour mark.

1 October 2020; Daniel Kelly of Dundalk celebrates with team-mate Patrick McEleney, 11, after scoring his side’s third goal during the UEFA Europa League Play-off match between Dundalk and Ki Klaksvik at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin. Photo by Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile

The visitors did pull a goal back after that spell of pressure when Ole Erik Midtskogen found space 20 yards from goal and his clever drive was to the bottom left corner past the reach of Rogers.

1 October 2020; Sean Murray of Dundalk celebrates with team-mate Michael Duffy after scoring their side’s first goal during the UEFA Europa League Play-off match between Dundalk and Ki Klaksvik at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin. Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

Dundalk made it 3-1 with 10 minutes remaining when Murray robbed the ball on the halfway line and played it to Daniel Kelly who was free on the right hand side. He got in behind and beautifully tucked the ball away past the goalkeeper.

That was the final action of note as Dundalk FC booked their place in the group stage draw tomorrow!!!!

DUNDALK: Gary Rogers; Sean Hoare, Brian Gartland (capt), Daniel Cleary, Darragh Leahy; Sean Murray, Greg Sloggett, Patrick McEleney; Stefan Colovic (Daniel Kelly 71), Patrick Hoban (David McMillan 71), Michael Duffy.

Substitutes not used: Aaron McCarey (GK), John Mountney, Will Patching, Cameron Dummigan,  Andy Boyle.

Booked: Hoban (67), Kelly (84)

Sent off: None.

KI: Kristian Joensen; Deni Pavlovic (Jonn Johannesen 87), Odmar Faero, Jesper Brinick; Jakup Andreasen (capt), Heini Vatnsdal, Joannes Bjartalio, Patrik Johannesen; Ole Erid Midtskogen, Pall Klettskard (Boris Dosijak 55), Joannes Danielsen.

Booked: None.

Sent off: None.

Substitutes not used: Lukasz Jarosinski (GK), David Lannggaard, Isak Simonsen, David Skrbec,  Olavur Niclasen.

Referee: Maurizio Mariani (Italy)