Monday 18 December 2017

Dundalk look to their history in hopes of unlikely Champions League progress

Dundalk manager Stephen Kenny
Dundalk manager Stephen Kenny

Dundalk are looking back in a bid to move forwards and claim a lucrative place in the group stage of this season's Champions League.

The Lilywhites lost 2-0 to Legia Warsaw in front of more than 30,000 at Dublin's Aviva Stadium last Wednesday, making the Polish champions favourites to qualify.

Nemanja Nikolic opened the scoring from the penalty spot, before Aleksandar Prijovic doubled the advantage in the late stages of the contest.

However, Dundalk hit back from a goal down to win 2-1 away to Hajduk Split in the Europa League two years ago.

And Stephen Kenny's Irish league and cup double winners are hoping history repeats itself as they bid to earn an unlikely spot alongside the big guns in Thursday's draw for the group stage.

Midfielder John Mountney told reporters after the first leg setback: "The tie is still well alive.

"We went 3-0 down to Hajduk Split (on aggregate) and went to the wire - they were holding on at the end.

"I think we can go over there and try to be positive."

Defender Andy Boyle acknowledged: "The second (Legia Warsaw) goal makes it difficult for us. But we've been here before.

"We made a right fist of it against Hajduk Split, scoring two away from home. The first goal is massive. Hopefully we will get a better outcome out there in Warsaw."

Press Association

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