| 15.2°C Dublin

foster happy to have draw in can

DUNDALK manager Ian Foster feels that the pressure is now on Luxembourg side Grevenmacher in their Europa League battle after the Lilywhites took a 3-3 draw away from the Grand Duchy last night.

The Oriel Park club have been very shy in front of goal in recent campaigns, scoring just one goal in their previous 12 Euro games going back to 1987 when Dundalk lost 6-0 to an Ajax side featuring Frank Stapleton and Frank Rijkaard.

But Foster's men now have three away goals in the bag, meaning that Grevenmacher have to score in the second leg in Oriel Park next week if they are to progress to the second qualifying round and a meeting with Bulgarian side Levski Sofia.


To go undefeated and score three goals away from home is some achievement for a Dundalk side that contained six players making their European debuts.

But some fans will think of what might have been as Dundalk were 2-0 ahead at one point, goals from Fahrudin Kuduzovic and Ian Hatswell giving them the lead. However, Dundalk needed a late own goal from Khalid Benichou to earn the draw after Grevenmacher went 3-2 ahead with three goals in 12 minutes.

"We are disappointed to concede the three goals, particularly losing the last two as quickly as we did, but we bounced back and got the equaliser and now they have to come to Oriel Park and score," said Foster.

"I don't think people understand how difficult it was for the players out there. We're certainly not used to playing in heat like that. We did tire in fairness. We are fit, and you can argue that it was their first competitive game, but when you are used to playing in heat like that then it will benefit you.

"We threatened them in the first-half and had a couple of great chances, but the lads were dying at half-time.

"We had to keep an eye on them, Nathan Murphy was close to coming off with the heat and then, ironically, he comes off soon after with ligament damage to his ankle.

"I think we can get at them.

"They put the ball at risk at the back and they give you a chance.

"Their front players were very lively. Harting in midfield really impressed me and he sprayed the ball about.

"They will be a threat to us but if we are at it I can see us getting goals against them and it will be a great atmosphere at Oriel.

"If somebody had said we would get three away goals before we left for Luxembourg then I'd have been delighted."