Robbie Benson wonder-goal not enough to inspire famous night for Dundalk
Stephen Kenny's side drew 1-1 with 10-man Legia Warsaw in Poland this evening21:49 Tuesday 23 August 2016, 21:49 23 Aug 2016
Robbie Benson's first half volley wasn't enough to inspire Dundalk to a famous victory as they drew 1-1 (3-1 agg) with Legia Warsaw in Poland.
Stephen Kenny's side led for more than an hour against the Polish champions, but conceded late to settle for the draw.
The Premier Division champions looked tired come the end of the match, taking into account the herculean effort they had put in. They went into the game chasing a 2-0 deficit from the opening leg defeat at the Aviva Stadium.
Dundalk started the brighter of the two sides, pushing the play wide and getting a number of crosses into the box and forcing Legia defenders to commit to challenges.
Daryl Horgan's first-half freekick did little to trouble Arkadiusz Malarz, before Benson broke the deadlock.
A cross from the right was headed back across goal by David McMillan and dropped invitingly for the Dundalk midfielder. Benson didn't need to be asked twice and stepped up to strike a cracking volley into the top right hand corner of the net.
After the goal Legia dominated a lot of the possession, winning corners but couldn't really turn their advantage into something more substantial.
Adam Hlousek had arguably their best chance of the half when his outside of the left foot effort was bending into the top corner, only for Rogers to get turn it behind at full stretch.
The turning point in the second half came with the dismissal of Hlousek. Having already been booked in the opening half of the game, Hlousek was penalised for pulling down Ronan Finn.
Dundalk pushed in search of a second goal which would have forced extra time, Benson again going close but his acrobatic effort flew over the crossbar.
As the game drew to a close and Kenny's men pushed up the pitch, Michal Kucharczyk got on the end of a hopeful ball and fired passed Rogers for the equalising goal which ensured Legia's progression to the Champions League group stage.
For Dundalk, their heroic efforts have been rewarded with a spot in the group stage of the Europa League and some of Europe's finest teams.
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