BATE BORISOV 0
(Dundalk advance 3-1 on aggregate)
Darren Cleary at the Tallaght Stadium
History will look back on this night as the greatest a League of Ireland club has had in Europe. Dundalk have gone where no other has before and they did it in some style.
David McMillan scored either side of the half-time break while Robbie Benson hit the net late on as the Lillywhites became the first side in history to make the Champions League play-off round.
McMillan’s first goal shortly before half-time levelled the tie on aggregate. The striker climbed highest to head home Daryl Horgan’s inch perfect cross.
A special word of praise is reserved for the assist, with two defenders surrounding his Horgan twisted and turner before hanging a cross up for McMillan to power his header past Sergei Veramko.
Dundalk began to dream of progression to the next round of the Champions League and that came closer to becoming a reality on 59 minutes then McMillan doubled their lead.
Patrick McEleney, a replacement for the injured Ronan Finn, hung up a cross at the back post, it was headed back across goal by Dane Massey where McMillan glanced it into the back of the net.
In doing so he became the League of Ireland’s record goal scorer in the Champions League surpassing legends like Glen Crowe and Jason Byrne with his 6th goal in the competition.
Dundalk continued to apply the pressure as they went in search of the goal that would kill the contest, McEleney came close to it but his effort was just over the bar.
McEleney had another chance but his shot from close range was cleared from danger by Yuri Kendysh.
BATE weren’t done yet, Gordeichuk and Rodionov had attempts saved by Gary Rogers.
They also called on the considerable experience of former Arsenal and Barcelona striker Aleksandr Hleb. The veteran came on for Aliaksandr Karnitski, but he couldn't spoil Dundalk's party.
Dundalk pushed for the goal to kill any hope of a comeback and their persistence paid off as Robbie Benson scored a late goal sealed the most incredible of wins.
DUNDALK: Rogers; Gannon, Barrett, Boyle, Massey; Ronan Finn (McEleney 33), O’Donnell (c), Mountney; Shields, McMillan (Benson 78), Horgan.
BATE BORISOV: Veremenko; Dubra, Karnitski (Hleb 46), Ivanic, Pikk ( Gordeichuk 65), Zhavnerchik (Signevich 81), Rios, Rodionov (c), Stasevich, Polyakov, Kendysh.