- Tuesday July 5th, 2016 @ 22:07
REPORT: Dennehy Header Sends Saints Through In Europa League
St Patrick's Athletic advanced to the UEFA Europa League Second Qualifiying Round after overcoming AS Jeunesse d'Esch on away goals as Darren Dennehy's second half goal proved crucial as the tie finished 2-2.
The Tralee man's header from a Keith Treacy free-kick found the back of the Jeunesse net and proved crucial as despite losing 2-1 on the night, Liam Buckley's side advanced on away goals.
The Saints had fallen behind to a Patrick Stumpf goal on 22 minutes as the striker latched onto a loose ball following a long throw into the Saints box to hold off defender Ger O'Brien and finish to the back of the net.
Pat's tried to respond and went close to equalising on the stroke of half-time as Republic of Ireland U21 international defender Sean Hoare went close as his header flashed wide of the goal from a Keith Treacy corner.
Liam Buckley's side came out much more determined and focused in the second half and threatened when Conan Byrne did well to flick the ball over his marker before flashing a shot wide of goal.
Set-pieces always remained the best avenue for the Saints and Darren Dennehy saw a header tipped wide by Jeunesse netminder Marc Oberweis on 72 minutes. However from the resulting corner, Dennehy was once more picked out by Republic of Ireland international Treacy and his towering header squirmed over the line to give the Saints the crucial away goal and the lead in the tie.
The goal immediately saw the home side react and apply the pressure back on the Inchicore side. Saints' keeper Brendan Clarke used all his experience to save efforts from Milos Adrien Todorov and Portier, the second in particular being a superb reflex save to stop the defender's volley from a corner finding the top corner.
The pressure however eventually told as Stumpf added to his earlier goal as he ghosted into the box to score and give Jeunesse some hope with three minutes remaining.
However the Saints stood up to any further attacks from Jeunesse and could have in fact added to their lead following a late counter-attacked, however home defender Portier received his marching order after receiving a second yellow card for fouling David Cawley when a goal scoring chance seemed certain.
Liam Buckley's Pat's side now progress to the next round where will now meet either Dinamo Minsk (Belarus) or Spartak Jurmala (Latvia), with the first leg to take place next week.
St Patrick's Ath: Clarke; O'Brien (c), D. Dennehy, Hoare, Bermingham; Byrne, Cawley, Timlin (Kelly 79), Treacy (Verdon 82), B. Dennehy; Fagan.
Subs Not Used: O'Malley (Gk), Desmond, Barker, McGrath, Corcoran.
AS Jeunesse Esch: Oberweis (c); Ontiveros (Deidda 88), Todorovic, Portier, Kuhne; Mertinitz, Stumpf, Peters, Pinna, Delgado; Lapierre (Sardaryan 80).
Subs Not Used: Devas (GK), Brandon Rosa, De Sousa, Proietti, Westermann.