After the 1st leg of the tie ended as a 0-0 draw vs. Latvian champions, Riga in Oriel Park last week, odds seemed to be stacked against the Lily whites as they visited the Latvian capital this evening. This wasn’t helped by the absence of star man, Michael Duffy.
Vinny Perth’s men fought a hard battle throughout the 90 minutes which ended in a scoreless draw, however many would say they were unlucky not to clinch a winner in the dying minutes.
Extratime saw a few more chances for the men in white which they were unlucky not to take advantage of! And so, after an extremely tight 120 minutes of football, these two sides could not be separated.
There was no surprise when the penalty shoot out proved to be just as much a nail bitting encounter than the previous 120 minutes! After 5 penalties each, it remained tied at 3-3, going into sudden death.
Dundalk goalkeeper, Gary Rogers pulled off some excellent saves in an excellent all-round performance and it was his heroic display which proved the deciding factor in the end. After Rogers denied Riga’s Armands Pētersons, it was Seán Hoare who stepped up and slotted home the deciding penalty.
Dundalk will have another tough tie in the second round as they go on to face champions of Azerbaijan, Qarabag with the first leg in Oriel Park next Tuesday!