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Dundalk FC beat Bate Borisov and keep fans dreaming of the Champions League

The game started at a cautious pace for both teams in this Champions League qualifier in Tallaght Stadium with Dundalk in their full black kit and Bate Borisov in all blue.

The first threat came on sixteen minutes when Ronan Finn carelessly gave the ball across the pitch in his own half to a Bate player that had his twenty five yard effort just go past the post and wide.

Dundalk had a huge chance to take the lead on the thirty second minute when John Mountney made a darting run down the right wing taking on the left back and firing his shot to the bottom corner only to be brilliantly saved by Bate keeper Veramko.

Ronan Finn who didn’t train at all the week previous to the game due to injury, unfortunately had to come off on the thirty first minute with a repeat of the groin injury and was replaced by Patrick McEleney.

The breakthrough came for Dundalk on the forty fourth minute with brilliant work from Daryl Horgan who brilliantly crossed for the reliable David McMillan to head home six yards out and bring it back to 1-1 on aggregate and open the tie up completely.

That goal for McMillan has moved McMillan into third place in the all time League of Ireland goal scoring ranks in Europe overtaking Eamon Zayed.

The teams went in at half time with Dundalk leading and full of confidence in pursuit of progressing to the next leg.

Bate Borisov brought on their own champions league winner Alex Hleb for the second half in a straight swap with Karnitski.

On fifty five minutes Dundalk had a scare when a bad clearance from Paddy Barrett fell straight to Rios who put a strong effort just past Gary Rogers post.

On sixty minutes Tallaght Stadium erupted….

A great run down the right wing by McEleney had him put in an over hit cross that was put back in the area by left back Dane Massey only to be headed in by the machine that is David McMillan.

With sixty six minutes gone Bate had an opportunity at Dundalk’s goal but Alex Hleb dragged his shot too the left of Rogers goal.

Bate Borisov put more pressure on the Louth side with quick efforts in the seventy second minute by Rogers was equal to both.

Dundalk could have wrapped the game up on seventy five minutes when McEleney had a chance stopped on route to goal by a Bate defender.

Scorer of both Dundalk goals David McMillan came off in the seventy eight minute to a standing ovation.

The final bullet in Bate Borisov’s coffin came in the eighty ninth minute when substitute Robbie Benson broke through and one on one put the ball in the back of the net.

Dundalk held out until the end to become local and national heroes and guarantee themselves at least a Europa League group stage appearance., and possibly there I say it the Champions League?

Heroes among men. man of the match – Patrick McEleney

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