Lilywhites Win Incredible Game On Penalties Against Pat’s
Dundalk secured a penalty shootout victory over St. Patrick’s Athletic on Monday evening in the EA SPORTS Cup second round after an incredible game finished 4-4 at Richmond Park.
Maro Tagbajumi and Ronan Murray had put the Lilywhites in front however Christy Fagan and Graham Kelly levelled to send the game to extra-time. The two 15 minute periods provided more entertainment before Mick Leahy put Pat’s in front twice and scored an own goal to make it 3-3 before Dane Massey levelled in the final minute to send the game to spot kicks which Dundalk won 8-7.
Dundalk made the dream start when Marco Tagbajumi netted his first goal for the club as he chased down Tyson Farago, who hesitated in goal, and blocked the his clearance. It put the Lilywhites 1-0 up and that set the tone for the early part of the game.
Dundalk controlled possession and Ronan Murray curled one just over the bar from a free-kick while John Mountney was first to react to Stephen O’Donnell winning the ball back deep in the Pat’s half but dragged his shot wide of the target.
Tagbajumi had a great opportunity to make it 2-0 just before the 20 minute mark however when Murray played him through on goal, he held onto the ball a fraction too long and his shot was blocked clear.
Sam Byrne had a go from a similar position to Murray with a free-kick but Farago made amends and clutched the ball to his chest and at the other end, Dundalk goalkeeper Gabriel Sava was called into action for the first time when he beat the ball away from Ian Turner’s free-kick.
Stephen Folan headed wide from Byrne’s corner before Darragh Markey had Sava at full stretch with a superb low drive however the netminder tipped the ball around the post.
Dundalk would indeed make it 2-0 almost on the stroke of half-time when Georgie Poynton did well to retain possession on the half-time and he played the ball to Stephen O’Donnell. He laid it off to Murray who took a superb touch to set himself up and fired low and hard to the bottom right hand corner out of the reach of Farago.
Dundalk should have made it 3-0 straight after the break when Dylan Connolly raided down the left and crossed it for the waiting Byrne but he couldn’t get a foot on it and the ball went harmlessly away to safety.
Pat’s got back into the game just before the hour mark when Christy Fagan caught the ball superbly on the volley from Turner’s cross and found the top right hand corner giving Sava no chance.
They would level with their next attack when Turner again got down the right and the initial shot was missed by Fagan however Kelly was there to shoot from the edge of the box and a deflection took the ball past Sava.
Doona on the left found Markey however Sava gathered at the second attempt.
The game was a little bit scrappy for the next stages with both sides struggling to gain any sort of rhythm.
Tagbajumi looked like he had the chance to win the game for the visitors when Adorján capitalised on a poor pass and he played it into the striker however his goalbound effort was brilliantly stopped by Farago to deny the Lilywhites the lead with 10 minutes left on the clock.
That proved to be the final action of note during normal time as both sides tried to avoid the extra periods however it was to no avail.
It was the home side who started the first period of extra-time better and they went in front in the 97th minute when Doona’s cross found the head of Leahy and he looped his header over Sava into the net.
Dundalk did indeed level when Connolly found space on the right in behind and his cross was turned into his own net this time by Leahy to make it 3-3 in the 103rd minute.
Leahy made up for it though a few moments later when he headed his side in front once more as Dundalk failed to clear a free-kick.
The second period was a scrap with both sides trying to retain possession however the rain made it difficult.
All looked lost for the Lilywhites and they were staring defeat in the face however in the final minute of extra-time Dane Massey rose highest to head home Adorján’s corner to send the game to spot kicks.
The kicks went to sudden death and after Markey missed his effort, it was left to Tagbajumi to end the night like he started it by finding the net and he ensured Dundalk were in the hat for the quarter-finals.
ST. PATRICK’S ATHLETIC: Tyson Farago; Michael Barker (Kevin Toner 87), Michael Leahy, Lee Desmond, Ian Turner (Dean Clarke 70); Graham Kelly, James Doona, Jamie Lennon; Thomas Byrne (Simon Madden 57), Christy Fagan, Darragh Markey.
Substitutes not used: Brian Maher (GK), Owen Garvan, Ryan Brennan, Jake Keegan.
Booked: Barker (37)
Sent off: None.
DUNDALK: Gabriel Sava; Georgie Poynton, Brian Gartland, Stephen Folan, Dean Jarvis (Dane Massey 92); John Mountney, Stephen O’Donnell (capt); Sam Byrne (Jamie McGrath 66), Ronan Murray (Krisztián Adorján 64) Dylan Connolly; Marco Tagbajumi.
Substitutes not used: Ross Treacy (GK), Sean Gannon, Daniel Cleary, Jack O’Keeffe.
Booked: O’Donnell (27), Tagbajumi (37), Gartland (107)
Sent off: None.
Referee: Adriano Reale