Goals from Rodrigo Tosi and Shane Duggan fired Limerick into the FAI Cup semi-finals for the first time since 1994 as they beat Galway United 2-1 on Friday night.
There was very little to talk about in the opening exchanges and it took ten minutes for the first real moment of note to occur when Limerick’s Stephen Kenny blazed a shot just inches wide of Conor Winn’s goal.
Limerick were the side to settle into this tie the better of the two and the Super Blues went close with headers from both Barry Cotter and Rodrigo Tosi.
Both will have been disappointed with their efforts with Cotters nodded into Winn’s hands from a corner while Tosi failed to capitalize on a free header as his effort bounced harmlessly wide of the goal.
Bastien Hery was Galway’s worst nightmare going forward in the first half. The Frenchman was playing deep in the Limerick midfield and it was his presence that broke up numerous probing Galway attacks in the opening 45 minutes as well as being the base of Neil McDonald’s attack.
Against the run of play, Galway nearly found themselves in the lead after a searching cross from David Cawley found the run of Eoin McCormack. The striker could only just clip the ball with the outside of his boot and Brendan Clarke was able to make an easy save.
Minutes later the Tribesmen nearly took full control of the tie when Gavan Holohan fancied his chances from outside the box but the midfielder’s powerful shot was well saved again by the Limerick netminder.
Galway started the second half in sluggish form and they showed it letting Limerick take the lead with just ten minutes gone in the second period.
Stephen Kenny got to the ball just outside the Galway box after Holohan was caught flat-footed. The midfielder’s shot was saved by Winn but was then pushed into the path of Tosi, who got in to score easily for the visitors.
Limerick grabbed their second with some great link up play from the Super Blues as Tosi worked the ball across to Ogbene on the left hand side of Winn’s box.
The striker had to settle for passing the ball off as Colm Horgan stood him up giving him no room for a shot. Duggan was the recipient of that pass and he turned excellently and rifled the ball into the Galway net.
Kevin Devaney set up second half substitute Ronan Manning, after a gut busting run through the middle, and the Galway youngster did well to give himself an eye at goal with his first touch but his shot was saved by Clarke.
Minutes later Galway broke again but Rory Hale’s effort was driven well over the bar as United searched for a way back into this cup tie.
They got their way back in with just ten minutes to go in the game. Devaney was involved again and his close range effort was batted down by Clarke, and unfortunately for Limerick it fell in the path of substitute Padraic Cunningham who blasted the ball into the net to set up an intriguing end to the match.
Shane Keegan’s side pushed for their equaliser for the remainder of the match but ultimately came up short.
Galway United: Conor Winn; Colm Horgan, Marc Ludden, Paul Sinnott, Stephen Folan; Gavan Holohan (Ronan Manning, 69) David Cawley, Kevin Devaney, Rory Hale (Conor Melody, 90); Ronan Murray, Eoin McCormack (Padraic Cunningham, 68).
Subs not used: Charlie Burns, Alex Byrne, Aaron Conway, Gary Shanahan.
Booked: Colm Horgan (84)
Limerick: Brendan Clarke; Barry Cotter, David O’Connor, Tony Whitehead, Shane Tracy; Lee Lynch, Stephen Kenny (Joe Crowe, 84), Chiedozie Ogbene; Bastien Hery, Shane Duggan; Rodrigo Tosi (John O’Flynn, 85).
Subs not used: Freddy Hall, Peter Berki, Dean Clarke, Killian Brouder, Henry Cameron.
Booked: Shane Duggan (23)
Referee: Ben Connolly
Extratime.ie Man of the Match: Bastien Hery