Monday 23 October 2017

Corbet heroics put 10-man UCD in dreamland

F91 Dudelange 2 UCD 1 (2-2 on agg – UCD win on away goals)

Gregory Adler of F91 Dudelange in action against UCD's Ryan McLoughlin
Gregory Adler of F91 Dudelange in action against UCD's Ryan McLoughlin

Paul Buttner

Ryan Swan's early header gave 10-man UCD their vital away goal before a tenacious defensive display earned them a remarkable Europa League passage in Luxembourg last night.

The match-winner in the first leg at the UCD Bowl last week, 19-year-old Swan stuck again to give his side an early lead.

However, left-back Sean Coyne was then shown a straight red card on 28 minutes, spelling big trouble for UCD.

Dudelange duly stormed back into the game, scoring twice before half-time.

But try as they might in the second half, the Luxembourgers could find no way past an inspired Niall Corbet as UCD gallantly hung on to record arguably the biggest result in their history.

Collie O'Neill, who only arrived in the Grand Duchy at lunchtime due to his wife being (still) overdue on their third child, now brings his youngsters to meet Slovak side Slovan Bratislava in the second round next week.

And the club bank another €210,000 to add to the €200,000 secured for qualifying.

Dudelange threatened early on before UCD stunned their hosts on 17 minutes. Mark Langtry's throw on the right was flicked on by Jamie Doyle for Swan to head home.

Dudelange responded, with Corbet forced into two good saves.

When Coyne was shown a straight red card for a lunging tackle, midfielder Dylan Watts was sacrificed as Maxim Kouogun came on in a rejigged back four.

The hosts levelled on 43 minutes through Joel Pedro, whose cracking drive from 20 yards found the top corner.

Then, three minutes into added time, Dudelange were ahead on the night when Kevin Nakache headed home a long throw.

The woodwork rescued UCD four minutes into the second half as David Turpel rattled the bar from the edge of the area, and Pedro was just inches wide with a header.

Corbett came into his own when pushing away a free kick from Rosa Cruz as the pressure mounted, then producing a brilliant stop with his feet to deny Roman Ney before palming away a drive from Pedro as UCD hung on.

F91 Dudelange - Joubert; Da Sousa (Ibrahimovic, 65), Schnell, Prempeh, Ney; Nakache; Benzouien (Adler 71), Pedro, Rosa Cruz, Da Mota (Lauriente 76); Turpel.

UCD - Corbet; Langtry, Leahy (Harney 79), Boyle, Coyne; O'Neill; Mulhall, Watts (Kouogun 31), Benson, Doyle; Swan (Belhout 67).

Ref - R Hasanov (Azerbaijan).

Irish Independent

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