Sport Champions League

Monday 19 August 2019

Proud night for record-breaking Rogers

Gary Rogers, centre, celebrates with his Dundalk team-mates following the match. Photo: Roman Koksarov/Sportsfile
Gary Rogers, centre, celebrates with his Dundalk team-mates following the match. Photo: Roman Koksarov/Sportsfile
Daniel McDonnell

Daniel McDonnell

For a tie of immense significance, Dundalk left no stone unturned.

Opposition scout Stephen O'Donnell made several trips to Latvia and head coach Vinny Perth ventured out too.

O'Donnell was actually in Azerbaijan last night, watching Dundalk's next opponents Qarabag in action.

Research on penalty-takers was a collective effort, though, as Dundalk pored over years of footage to find the Riga players in action.

When the Champions League clash went the distance, goalkeeper Gary Rogers remembered his research. He met with a problem.

"We did plenty of homework on their penalty-takers but actually very few of them were still on the pitch," smiled the Meathman. "But we were really well prepared and I'm delighted to get the couple of saves."

His stop from Armands Petersons set up Seán Hoare to do the business.

It added gloss to an evening of personal significance for Rogers. His 41st appearance in Europe equals Ollie Cahill's record for a League of Ireland player.

The 37-year-old will move to the top of the charts when Qarabag come to Oriel Park next Wednesday and - barring injury - he will make at least four more outings this year.

If Dundalk lose to Qarabag, they will go into the third round of Europa League qualifiers.

"I've been to Kazakhstan so Azerbaijan will be a new one for me," said Rogers.

"But it's just great to be in the next round of the Champions League as that is the pinnacle for League of Ireland players. Qarabag are a really good side but we're more than capable and we showed that in the past .

"Over the two legs, on the balance of play I think we deserved it. We created a lot of chances in the first half tonight but that away goal didn't come for us.

"It's not too often that you win a Champions League game in that dramatic fashion and you have to enjoy the occasion. You can see from the reaction that everybody did."

Irish Independent

The Throw-In All-Ireland Hurling Final preview: Can Tipp's firepower edge clash with the Cats?

In association with Bord Gáis Energy

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport