Dundalk plaudits despite disappointing defeat

Dundalk bowed out of the Champions League on Wednesday night, in an exhausting (physically and mentally) 3-2 aggregate defeat to Rosenborg after extra time in Trondheim.

As was the case at Oriel Park in last week’s first leg, Dundalk made the brighter start and took the lead after twelve minutes courtesy of a header from defender Brian Gartland. Indeed, it could have been two just minutes later but David McMillan drew a fine save from Rosenborg keeper Andre Hansen.

However, history was to repeat itself in more than ways than one in this tie, and Rosenborg were level just before half time yet again as Yann-Erik de Lanlay fired past Gary Rogers to make it 2-2 on aggregate.

The home side were on top for most of the second half, with the best chance falling to defender Tore Reginiussen but he fluffed his lines when unmarked in the Dundalk box.

To extra time it went, where the Rosenborg turnaround was complete when the Norwegian side’s chief goalscorer Matthias Vilhjalmsson directed a header past Rogers – if nothing else killing off the chance of penalties.

Stephen Kenny’s side were given a huge chance to equalise on the stroke of half time in extra time, but substitute Ciaran Kilduff saw his effort palmed onto the crossbar by Hansen.

Unfortunately for Kenny and Dundalk, there will be no repeat of last year’s heroics, no dream tie against Celtic in the next round – but they exit with the heads held high.

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