Sunday 18 August 2019

O'Neill leads slick Students past Waterford test

UCD 4 Waterford1

Waterford's Kevin Lynch in action against UCD's Dan Tobin. Photo: Sportsfile
Waterford's Kevin Lynch in action against UCD's Dan Tobin. Photo: Sportsfile

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.

UCD's Gary O'Neill tucks away a penalty. Photo: Sportsfile
UCD's Gary O'Neill tucks away a penalty. Photo: Sportsfile

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.

UCD's Liam Scales and Conor Kearns celebrate. Photo: Sportsfile
UCD's Liam Scales and Conor Kearns celebrate. Photo: Sportsfile

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).

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