Defensive errors, horrible heat and a night to forget for Dundalk as they crashed out of the Europa League as AEK Larnaca put Dundalk to the sword to exert their experience and home advantage to progress to round three of the competition. Stephen K
Defensive errors, horrible heat and a night to forget for Dundalk as they crashed out of the Europa League as AEK Larnaca put Dundalk to the sword to exert their experience and home advantage to progress to round three of the competition.
Stephen Kenny sees his end their impressive winning streak and will look at opportunities missed at home and will rue on this result for 12 months. Ivan Trickovski showed his mettle early in the game with a deflected effort that went wide, he didn't have to wait long as defensive hesitation led to the talented midfielder latch onto a defensive splitting pass and he smartly curled it past Rogers to sink Dundalk hearts.
They didn't have to wait long for a second as Tete doubled the effort as Sean Hoare who has been one Kenny's outstanding players this season mis tracked the run of the tricky winger, he then tapped it over the on rushing Gary Rogers.
The water break seemed to give Dundalk a much needed chance to break AEK's stride but a big penalty shout for Dundalk was waved away. With that let off Dundalk were put to the sword as a cross from the left was met by Ivan Tričkovski, Rogers parried the initial ball and Tričkovski slotted in the rebound to kill the tie.
The second-half saw Dundalk ring in the changes and while Dundalk did begin to exploit gaps in the defence, the heavy legs from the amount of running they did in the first half proved too tough.
Patrick McEleney showed moments of class but it was all in vain as both Massey and Hoban went close for the Lilywhites, it was AEK however who had the last hurrah. Just on the pitch the first touch by substitute Thomas and he cooly slotted it past Rogers following a lay off by Giannou to see the tie off.