19 Apr 2017
Reigning League champions Dundalk were taken all the way to a penalty shoot out by UCD before securing their progress to the next round of the EA Sports Cup in an exciting game at Oriel Park Monday night.
A competitive first half with few clear cut chances was turned on its head in the 17th minute when a brilliant strike from Gary O'Neill stunned the home fans and gave UCD the lead.
Dundalk, not wanting to be the victims of a cup upset, piled on the pressure but were denied multiple times by a string of stunning saves from UCD’s Niall Corbet.
The home side could’ve been forgiven for thinking this just wasn’t going to be their night after striker Ciaran Killduff placed the ball for a penalty awarded in the 66th minute only for his effort to once again be denied by a fantastic Corbet save.
The pressure finally paid off for Dundalk 14 minutes from time though, Conor Clifford showing great skill to chest down the ball before unleashing a wonderful strike that even Corbet could do little to prevent.
Dundalk thought they’d added a second through Jamie McGrath in extra time but it was ruled out for offside. Under huge amounts of pressure UCD somehow doggedly held on and forced penalties. The first five takers all converted with substitute Yousef Madhy the unlucky man for the students, missing his penalty and sending a relieved Dundalk side into the next round with a final score of 7 – 6.