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Rooney sends Dons into dreamland with penalty

Adam Rooney was the toast of Aberdeen last night after scoring the decisive penalty in their 4-2 League Cup final shoot-out victory over Inverness Caley Thistle.

After 120 goalless minutes, the final went into extra-time, with the Highlanders missing their first two spot-kicks to hand the initiative to the Dons.

Former Crumlin United striker Rooney was given the task of sealing the victory and made no mistake from 12 yards to kick off the celebrations among 40,000 fans who had made the 300-mile round trip to Celtic Park.

"During the week, we practised penalties in training and it was great to see the ball hit the back of the net," Rooney admitted. "The gaffer made sure that everyone had taken some, I've taken a lot in my career and felt confident stepping up.

"There was a lot of pressure on me, I decided to put it down the middle and was delighted to get the decisive goal. It was a bit of a bittersweet moment, it wasn't nice to score in front of the Caley Thistle fans, they were excellent today and I really enjoyed my time there. It's a great occasion for Aberdeen to win their first trophy in almost 20 years. The support that we had was incredible, no one expected us to sell 40,000 tickets," he added.

ALLOCATION

"When the first allocation of tickets came up as a squad, we felt that we could take 25-30,000 fans but then it reached 40,000 and we were still looking for more tickets.

"Everyone in the city seemed to be after tickets, we've got a semi-final in the Scottish Cup coming up in a few weeks and hopefully we can give the fans another great day out."

The 120 minutes before the shoot-out will be quickly forgotten, with Aberdeen suffering a blow in the first minute when Jonny Hayes picked up a shoulder injury that forced him off almost before the game had started.

But after watching Ireland's Six Nation success on Saturday, Rooney was inspired to seize his moment of glory.

"It's been a weekend for the Irish, myself Willo Flood and Jonny Hayes were watching the rugby on my phone," the striker added.


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