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Sligo Rovers to land big European payday as Derry slump to Riga defeat


Sligo Rovers avoided a major European embarrassment.

League of Ireland Premier Division side Sligo Rovers have avoided a Europa Conference League nightmare against Welsh side Bala Town, and picked up a cool reward in doing so.

The Bit O’ Red came into the contest off the back of 2-1 first-leg win, but they were brought the distance to a penalty shootout versus their lowly Welsh opponents.

Sligo lost the game 1-0 thanks to a Dave Edwards goal, but Ed McGinty spared their blushes in a dramatic shootout at the Showgrounds.

McGinty the hero for Sligo.

In qualifying for the second-qualifying round of the Europa Conference League, the Bit O’ Red have set up a date with Motherwell in the next round of the competition.

Also, the result now means that Rovers will pick up at least €550,000 from their European odyssey this season.

Before a ball was even kicked Sligo were guaranteed a €250,000 total, but they have since been able to add to their total.

It is a big season for Josh Russell’s side in terms of their European exploits, with continental football appearing unlikely for next season.

But hopes of collecting big rewards in European almost went up in smoke against their part-time opponents. Former Wales international Edwards gave the visitors a shock 1-0 lead, and they ought to have won the game outright before a penalty shootout.

And it was on penalties when Sligo won their penalty shootout with vigour as McGinty stood tall to break Welsh hearts.

Derry City slump to defeat.

For Derry City, they will be left ruing some big misses as they missed out on qualification for the second-qualifying round of the Europa Conference League.

The Candystripes faced a tall order after their first-leg loss against Riga, and were undone again by some Brazilian magic in the Latvian capital.

Ireland U21 Brian Maher could do little about either goal from Gabriel Ramos’ brace, with the second being the best of the night. However, a 4-0 loss on aggregate will rankle with Ruaidhri Higgins’ side.

Elsewhere, St Patrick’s Athletic have learned their opponents for their European game, with NS Mura set to take on Tim Clancy’s side.

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