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Posted 02 July 2015

UCD AFC victorious in first leg of Europa League tie

UCD AFC will take a lead to Luxembourg following their 1-0 win against F91 Dudelange in the first round of the Europa League at the UCD Bowl.

Despite their relegation from the Airtricity League last season, UCD AFC qualified for this season’s tournament owing to their record in the UEFA Fair Play League.

Dudelange, meanwhile, have been the dominant force in their home nation since the turn of the millennium, winning the league 11 times in 16 years.

Throughout that time they have been regular entrants into the qualifying rounds in the UEFA Champions’ League and UEFA Europa League.


On the other hand, UCD had only qualified for European competition on two previous occasions in their 120-year history, failing to win a game in either of those ties.

The game started with Dudelange fielding 5 Luxembourg internationals but UCD were unfazed and began determined to try and implement the passing football they’re known for rather than reverting to an overly-defensive approach that some expected.

It was a tough opening period for the Students with the visitors maintaining possession and winning eight corners in the first half.

Ryan Swan celebrates scoring his match winning goal against F91 Dudelange
Ryan Swan celebrates scoring his match winning goal against F91 Dudelange

Their defence managed to remain solid in the face of this and offered their goalkeeper considerable protection by blocking a number of shots and crosses from the Luxembourg outfit.

Then, with just a minute to go before half time, Robbie Benson took the ball from the foot of a Dudelange defender and played it to Ryan Swan who struck a low shot under the keeper to give UCD the lead going into the break.

The second half presented opportunities for both teams, with UCD hitting the crossbar and their goalkeeper making a diving save to prevent the away team from equalising.

A period of sustained pressure was weathered competently by UCD and, after three minutes of additional time, the final whistle eventually blew to give the home team their first ever win in Europe.

With the second leg arriving in a week’s time, the Students will be hoping to add another first to their club’s history by entering the draw for the next round. Should that happen, fans can look forward to another absorbing night at the UCD Bowl.

(Produced by UCD University Relations)


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UCD AFC victorious in first leg of Europa League tie
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