Dundalk made a fantastic start to their 2018 Europa League campaign with a 1-0 victory over Levadia Tallinn on Thursday.
The Estonian side, no stranger to League of Ireland sides after their 6-2 aggregate defeat to Cork City in the same round last year, were looking to give a better account of themselves this time around.
After a slow start from both sides, the game began to open up, with the home side carving out the first few chances. Dundalk were taking a while to kick into gear, with only Michael Duffy really looking like creating something in the first half hour.
Indeed, the best chance of the first half was primarily down to some great work from Duffy. The winger laid the ball across to Robbie Benson in the box, but his effort was deflected over with just seconds remaining in the first half.
Scoreless at the break but it didn’t take long for the deadlock to be broken after the restart, Duffy again heavily involved as he controlled Benson’s brilliant pass before putting in a low cross for Dylan Conolly to slot Dundalk into the lead on 53 minutes.
Dylan Connolly puts Dundalk 1-0 up away to Levadia Tallinn on 53 minutes. pic.twitter.com/jGFwQhTjT1
— Paul Dollery (@PaulDollery) July 12, 2018
Connolly could (and probably should) have made it 2-0 with just twenty minutes remaining, but his shot was well saved by Levadia keeper Sergei Lepmets from a one-on-situation. Lepmets was on hand again to deny Pat Hoban with just five minutes remaining, making a fine save to keep out the forward’s low shot.
1-0 to the Lilywhiites the final score in Tallinn, and Stephen Kenny will more than confident of finishing the job at Oriel Park next week after what was another strong night for a League of Ireland club in Europe.
— Dundalk FC (@DundalkFC) July 12, 2018
In tonight’s other games, Derry City host Dinamo Minsk to the Brandywell, while Shamrock Rovers welcome AIK to Tallaght.