Dundalk in dreamland as they b...


Dundalk in dreamland as they book Europa League group place

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Dundalk have qualified for the group stage of the UEFA Europa League. 

Goals from Sean Murray and Daniels Cleary and Kelly gave Filippo Giovagnoli's side a 3-1 win over the Faroes of KI.

It's the latest instalment of what has been a crazy season for the County Louth side, whose European adventure precipitated the departure of Vinny Perth, and continues under the outsider Italian.

The Lilywhites had to ride their luck at times at an empty Aviva Stadium, but had enough grit and experience to haul themselves over the line.

With the win comes at least €2.92million in prize money to boost the Peak6 coffers.

Dundalk noses were in front twelve minutes before half-time.

Sean Hoare sent a lofted cross into the box from the right flank. Pat Hoban rose to cushion a header perfectly into the path of Sean Murray who nodded it past the onrushing Kristian Joensen.

Dundalk arguably had the best chance of the match prior to the goal. A Michael Duffy free-kick from the left couldn't be met with any real purchase and squeaked wide.

Just three-minutes after the break, Daniel Cleary doubled the Lilywhites' lead. A corner from the left wasn't dealt with by Joensen, the ball eventually coming back to Cleary at the near post who swept home.

The two-goal lead seemed to serve only to allow nerves to creep in.

KI saw more of the ball, and the balance of the chances. The head of Brian Gartland cleared one opportunity off the line.

While substitute Boris Dosljak sliced a shot wide when it seemed easier to test Gary Rogers in the Dundalk goal.

KI pressure paid off when a shot from Ole Erik Midtskogen beat Rogers at his near post to make it 2-1.

As the team from the Faroes continued to probe for an equaliser, Dundalk managed to re-establish a two-goal advantage.

Murray fed substitute Daniel Kelly, whose first touch took him across his marker before a composed finish past Joensen.

To their credit, KI never threw in the towel - winning a series of corners in stoppage time to Dundalk cries of "let's defend this with our lives".

But for the second time in five seasons, Dundalk's name will be in the hat for the group stage of the Europa League.

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Dundalk Europa Europa League Filippo Giovagnoli KI Klaksvik Pat Hoban Sean Hoare Sean Murray UEFA Europa League

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