Herdi Prenga 110' -
Roman Debelko 121' -
Tomislav Saric 123' -
Vladislavs Gabovs 125' -
Felipe Brisola 127' -
Stefan Panic 129' -
Deniss Rakels 131' -
Armands Petersons 133' -
Champions League Report: Riga FC 0-0 Dundalk (Dundalk win 5-4 on penos)Wed, Jul 17 2019
Niall Newberry reports from the Skonto Stadium in Latvia
Dundalk set up a Champions League second qualifying round tie with Qarabag FK in the most dramatic fashion imaginable, as they defeated Latvian double-winners Riga FC in a sudden-death penalty shoot-out following a scoreless draw at the Skonto Stadium on Wednesday evening.
Having played out two 0-0 draws over the past two weeks, even a shoot-out struggled to separate these sides before Sean Hoare scored the decisive spot-kick after Armands Petersons saw his effort saved by Gary Rogers.
The Latvian double-winners made no changes from the first leg but Dundalk did make three with Andy Boyle, Dean Jarvis and Robbie Benson coming in for Daniel Cleary, Dean Jarvis and Michael Duffy.
Despite their best efforts, Dundalk were unable to fly Duffy to Riga after he had been forced to return home from the party at Dublin Airport on Monday due to the imminent birth of his child.
This match was almost identical to the first leg in many respects although Riga – who appeared to settle for a 0-0 at Oriel Park seven days beforehand – looked the more menacing in the early stages.
However, the Lilywhites settled into their new surroundings after about 20 minutes and Sean Gannon’s low cross was spilled by Roberts Ozols with Patrick Hoban lurking before Herdi Prenga passed the ball back to him, but wasn’t penalised by Macedonian referee Dimitar Meckarovski.
Patrick McEleney started on the left wing in Duffy’s absence but quickly reverted back to his more familiar number ten role and from that point on, the Derry native started to make his presence known.
He tested Ozols three times in the space of five minutes, first when John Mountney’s corner was headed clear by the Riga defence before dropping to McEleney, who forced the Riga goalkeeper into a magnificent save with a first-time shot, which was met with the nervous approval of the natives.
Soon after that, he tried his luck once more from distance after getting away from a couple of Riga defenders and although his effort was well wide, Ozols was taking no chances and was at full stretch.
The third attempt was a dipping free-kick that sailed straight into the arms of the Riga goalkeeper.
McEleney was then the architect for Dundalk’s next chance and he showed some terrific skill before sending a beautiful cross into Mountney, who just couldn’t get enough on his effort and was offside.
However, despite Dundalk’s first half dominance, it was Riga that came agonisingly close to taking the lead a minute before the break when Roman Debelko’s shot whistled just the past the post.
The second half began much like the first with neither side creating too much in the way of chances.
Not long past the hour-mark, the strong travelling contingent thought their side had scored when Chris Shields planted a cross that was headed home by Hoban but, the flag was raised for offside.
Riga almost took the lead themselves when a short corner from Aleksejs Visnakovs to Petersons saw the full-back cross for Debelko but, fortunately for Dundalk, his header was wide.
In what was a tense closing period, neither side fashioned anything of note and the tie headed into extra-time.
Ukrainian striker Debelko – who played against Dundalk last season for Levadia Tallinn – was proving to be a real handful and he got in behind the Lilywhite rear-guard but his attempt was foiled by Rogers.
It was proving to be end-to-end stuff and the League of Ireland champions almost grabbed a priceless away goal when Daniel Kelly showed some magnificent skill before firing a shot at Ozols.
The outstanding Hoare produced an excellent block just as Debelko was about to pull the trigger before at the other end, a Dean Jarvis piledriver sailed just wide after being played in by Sean Murray.
However, after over 210 minutes of football over two legs, nothing could separate the sides and a penalty shoot-out commenced.
The sides couldn’t be separated after seven penalties each with Felipe Brisola, Dane Massey, Stefan Panic and Georgie Kelly all succumbed to the pressure after Debelko, Hoban, Tomislav Saric, Murray, Vladislavs Gabovs and Jarvis were all successful.
Deniss Rakels and Jamie McGrath both scored in sudden-death before Petersons had his effort saved by Rogers before Hoare stepped up to take the decisive and scored to cap off a man-of-the-match display and send Dundalk into the next round.
Riga FC: Roberts Ozols; Armands Petersons, Herdi Prenga, Antonijs Cernomordijs, Ritvars Rugins; Olegs Laizans (Stefan Panic 81), Tomislav Saric; Aleksejs Visnakovs (Vladislavs Gabovs 106), Roger (Felipe Brisola 51), Joel Bopesu (Deniss Rakels 52); Roman Debelko.
Subs not used: Maksims Uvarenko (gk), Elvis Stuglis, Kamil Bilinski.
Booked: Herdi Prenga (7 and 111), Tomislav Saric (33).
Sent off: Herdi Prenga (111).
Dundalk: Gary Rogers; Sean Gannon, Sean Hoare, Andy Boyle, Dane Massey; Chris Shields (Dean Jarvis 99), Robbie Benson (Daniel Kelly 81); John Mountney (Sean Murray 65), Patrick McEleney (Georgie Kelly 111), Jamie McGrath; Patrick Hoban.
Subs not used: Aaron McCarey (gk), Brian Gartland, Daniel Cleary.
Booked: Chris Shields (55), Daniel Kelly (89).
Referee: Dimitar Meckarovski (Macedonia).
Attendance: 4,000 (estimate).
Extratime.ie Man of the Match: Sean Hoare (Dundalk).