Saturday 17 March 2018

Saints suffer late blow as Wagner rides to Siroki rescue


ST PATRICK's Athletic will hope that they don't live to regret last night's lost opportunity as they suffered injury-time heartbreak in Herzegovina.

They had one leg in the potentially lucrative third qualifying round of the Europa League until Brazilian Wagner broke their resolve to earn an draw for home side, who only had 10 men for much of the game.

Liam Buckley's men also missed a first-half penalty.

Last year's finalists Athletic Bilbao and Bundesliga side Hanover 96 are two of the six sides they can meet in the next round, so completing the job could prove very lucrative indeed.

The Saints attacked from the off and earned a penalty when defender Vedran Jese handled Sean O'Connor's cross. John Russell stepped up, but goalkeeper Luka Bilobrk guessed right and saved.

Russell's agony was to last just a minute, however, as Christy Fagan fed Russell, whose effort was parried by Bilobrk and Fagan was on hand to sweep home the rebound.

Things got even better for Buckley's men before the break as right-back Mladen Juricevic caught Russell late and received his second yellow card.

It looked like being a famous victory until Mateo Bertosa's cross found Wagner, who got the vital touch to keep the tie alive.

SIROKI BRIJEG -- Bilobrk; Jurcevic, Dzidic, Jese, Bertosa; Serdarusic (Dzidic 46), Zlomislic (Ricardo Baiano 67); Coric, Wagner, Bloudelk; Roskam (Kordic 55).

ST PATRICK'S ATH -- Clarke; O'Brien, Kenna, Browne, Bermingham; Bolger, Chambers, Russell; O'Connor (Meenan 73), Forrester (J Kelly 84), Fagan.

REF -- I Kovacs (Romania)

Irish Independent

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