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One goal will do it: Crowe

Sporting Fingal skipper Shaun Williams is confident that Liam Buckley's side can nick the goal they need to knock Maritimo out of the Europa League tonight and become the first Irish side in 35 years to defeat Portuguese opposition.

Fingal come into the tie at Dalymount Park (7.45) with two valuable away goals from the first leg in Madeira last week.

This is the club's debut in European football but despite that history is, strangely, on their side going into the tie as Maritimo's away record in Europe is dismal, with just one win and six defeats in eight European games away from home.

Indeed those with long memories would hope for a repeat of the 2004 Champions League campaign when Shelbourne lost their away leg 3-2, in Croatia against Hajduk Split, but went through thanks to a home win.

"We only need one goal to go through. The goals they scored at home weren't world class, more minor mistakes on our behalf which we can rectify. Everyone knows their jobs," says Dubliner Williams, who will captain the side at Dalymount Park tonight.

"Everyone is gunning for this return leg. We'll definitely pull up our socks for this one. Liam has us geed up to the fact can win the game. Everyone wants to win because a big prize in the next round of the competition as the seeded team.





FANCY THEIR CHANCES

"After that, we'd be a few games away from the group stages but we'll take each game as it comes," added Williams, aware that the draw for the third qualifying round would be kind to Fingal as the winners of tonight's tie would fancy their chances against either FC Honka (Finland) or Bangor City (Wales) in the next round,

Glen Crowe was one of the heroes for Fingal in the away game as his early goal gave the Dublin side a 1-0 lead before they lost 3-2, an important goal for former Bohemians and Shelbourne striker Crowe as it took his tally of goals in Europe to 11, a new record.

"We don't need to be chasing them early on, it's over 90 minutes," said Crowe "We can be patient. It's important we don't concede, if we do then we need to score two.

"We must be solid defensively and only one goal is needed. Whether it comes in the first or the 90th minute, it will do. I think we've a got a great chance," added Crowe.

"But it will take a lot of hard work. It's not a case of turning up and getting a result. We have to pass the ball as well as we did in first half over there and better than we did in second."

Boss Liam Buckley, who enjoyed European success as a manager with Shamrock Rovers, expects a tight game at Dalymount.

"It's a difficult game," said manager Buckley. "I'm not sure how they'll address it, will they look to kill it off early and try and bag a goal, but, then, they don't have to win.

"I'd like to think it will be a little bit cagey. We obviously have to win the game, but we don't have to win it in the first minute.

"They may know us better now, but we know more about them as well. They may have a better handle on us, but they will have more respect for us given what happened over there. It's in the mix.

"Psychologically, they don't have to win. But I can guarantee he'll say to his players 'let's go and try to win the game', all manager will do that.

"But in real terms they'll still think 'we're through at 3-2'. It's only if we score that alarm bells will start going off all over the place because they're out.

"I've no doubt they'll try and bag an early goal. That would make it very difficult for us, but not impossible.

"So we've got to make sure we keep it tight and keep ourselves in the game. I've no doubt we'll get chances.

"We did over there with Ronan Finn, Shaunie Williams' header and we scored a couple of goals. We will get chances. I just hope we get them before they do."

Fingal will make at least one change to the starting eleven as Colin Hawkins misses out, having broken three ribs in the first game in Madeira, and Maritimo make changes too as their €5 million-rated Angolan star Djalma is out.

Maritimo had a late arrival in Dublin yesterday evening, touching down in Dublin airport only 26 hours before kick off as their travel plans were disrupted by strike action in France.


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