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Sunday 25 September 2016

David on double as Dundalk win Euro million

David McMillan
David McMillan

In a town known locally for being the mythical Icelandic home of elves and dwarves, Dundalk performed like giants to take a massive step in the right direction.

Stephen Kenny's side came to Hafnarfjordur with a mission to turn their European campaign into an adventure and they achieved it with inspired second-half spell which booked their place in the next round of the Champions League.

David McMillan's brace brought his personal tally to nine goals in his last four starts and, in doing so, he guaranteed his employers a minimum of €1.2m in UEFA prize money.

The immediate prize for the League of Ireland champions is a rematch with BATE Borisov, the side that knocked them out at this hurdle last year, with the important caveat that losing would not mean the end.

Instead, they would be relocated into the final playoff round for the Europa League. This win opens doors.

FH had ex-Manchester United FA Youth Cup star Sam Hewson available again and his classy pedigree came to the fore for the opener.

He engineered a move from his berth on the left side and continued his run to collect a perfectly cushioned pass from Steven Lennon to take a touch and slot the ball past Gary Rogers.

In a dramatic period after the restart, a penalty that was softly awarded for a penalty box tug on Barrett. Ronan Finn accepted the gift but his effort was saved by Nielsen. Dundalk responded fantastically well and their efforts were rewarded when Horgan's endeavours forced a tackle that broke to McMillan and his speculative attempt from distance bobbled past Nielsen.

And, just after the hour mark, the border side delivered. Dane Massey's intelligent clip up the left released Horgan and he scampered away before laying it on a plate for McMillan who timed his run and finish to perfection.

Dundalk dozed as Kristjan Finnbogason raced unmarked into the area and drilled a right footer past Rogers, but the visitors held out for the away goals win.

"I felt FH really started well and they looked very comfortable," said Dundalk manager Stephen Kenny. "But we felt it was only a matter of time before we score and so it proved

"David McMillan scored a great goal, but the last ten minutes we were under pressure. But we're through and that's the most important thing," he added.

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