O'Neill leads slick Students past Waterford test
UCD 4 Waterford1
In a repeat of last year's FAI Cup quarter-final, UCD outplayed Waterford once again to run out emphatic winners at the UCD Bowl.
The poor pitch didn't hinder either sides from serving up a cracking game in front of Ireland U-21 manager Stephen Kenny.
Both sides had chances before UCD punished a Waterford mistake for the lead goal on 21 minutes.
A heavy touch from ex-Student Maxi Kuougun was pounced on by Yoyo Mahdy. He pulled the ball back skipper Gary O'Neill who was upended by Blues' captain Damien Delaney to concede a penalty and O'Neill sent Matt Connor the wrong way from the spot.
UCD doubled their lead three minutes later as O'Neill again showcased his deadball ability when clipping a free-kick over the wall that bounced down off the crossbar. Mahdy reacted quickest to head the ball to the net.
Waterford pulled a goal back on 37 minutes as Aaron Drinan carved UCD open as he powered into the box to shoot.
Conor Kearns could only parry the low drive away with Scott Twine first to the loose ball to drill it to the net. In a thrilling game, the woodwork then rescued Waterford two minutes before the break as Mahdy cracked a low drive off the post.
But two minutes into the second half the unmarked Richie O'Farrell out-jumped the Blues rearguard to head O'Neill's corner into the net. Substitute Sean McDonald added a fourth goal from close range on 73 minutes, seconds after he'd come on.
UCD - Kearns; Tobin, Scales, Collins, Dignam; O'Neill; Farrugia (Coffey, 79), O'Farrell, Molloy (Doyle, 82), McClelland; Mahdy (McDonald, 72).
Waterford - Connor; Simpson (Feely ht), Delaney, Kouogun, Lynch; Chedvukas (Hery ht), Duggan, Lunney (Martin, 69); Elbouzedi, Drinan, Twine.
REF - A Buttimer (Cork).