Sport Soccer

Monday 22 January 2018

10 stats which show how incredible Dundalk have been in Europe this year

Stephen Kenny
Stephen Kenny

David Smith

Dundalk have performed admirably in Europe so far this season. The Irish champions sit second in their Europa League group after three games. The following 10 stats about the Lilywhites' opponents show just how impressive the Louth club's performances have been.

1. Dundalk beat BATE Borisov in their Champions League qualifier. In 2012, BATE beat Bayern Munich 3-1 in the Champions League. The Belarusian club have also won 10 consecutive domestic titles.

The success of Stephen Kenny and Graham Byrne at Dundalk has been achieved by outstanding management and local goodwill Photo: David Maher/Sportsfile

2. Legia Warsaw ended Dundalk's dream of Champions League football by beating them 3-1 in the qualifying round. The Polish club had demolished Celtic 6-1 on aggregate just two years ago, but they needed a controversial penalty to help them to a  2-0 win in Dublin.

3. Legia Warsaw's stadium has a capacity of 39,000. Dundalk has a population of 32,000 people.

4. Dundalk drew 1-1 with AZ Alkmaar in Holland in their opening Europa League group game. The Dutch club have been managed by Louis van Gaal, Ronald Koeman, and currently have John van der Brom as their boss.

5. Alkmaar made the quarter finals of the competition in 2013/14, but were defeated by Benfica, who went on to lose the final to Sevilla. AZ have won the Eredivisie twice, and lost the Europa League final in the 1980-81 season.

Ciaran Kilduff, right, scores Dundalk’s history-making equalising goal against AZ Alkmaar. Photo by David Maher/Sportsfile

6. Ciaran Kilduff's goal handed Dundalk a 1-0 win over Maccabi Tel Aviv in their second group match. Maccabi are the most decorated team in Israeli history, and Jordi Cruyff serves as their Director of Football.

7. Dundalk were unlucky to lose 2-1 to FC Zenit last night after going 1-0 up through Robbie Benson. Zenit won both the Europa League and the Super Cup in the 2008/09 season.

8. Zenit had 11 internationals in their starting line-up, and their squad cost €145million to assemble. Dundalk have only paid in the region of €20k in transfer fees for their players. The Russians knocked Liverpool out of the competition on away goals in 2013.

9. Zenit are currently constructing a stadium which will have a capacity of 64,287. Oriel Park can hold just over 4,000 fans.

10. Alex Witsel has 76 caps for Belgium, and scored in their 3-0 win over Ireland in the Euros. No Dundalk player has made an international appearance for Ireland.

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