Penalty shootout drama as Sligo Rovers go through in Europa Conference League

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Sligo Rovers 0

Bala City 1

(Combination: 2-2 – Sligo Rovers win 4-3 on penalties)

SLIGO ROVERS NEEDED penalties to earn their spot within the Europa Convention League second qualifying spherical after they couldn’t beat Bala City in bizarre time, or extra-time.

Bala had been main 1-0, and Rovers couldn’t discover a approach to come again, with the perimeters degree on combination following the primary leg.

Ed McGinty was the hero, saving two penalties and retaining Rovers within the sport with a number of necessary saves all through the night.

The Bit O’Purple carried a 2-1 victory into the second leg having come from behind in Park Corridor within the first leg final Thursday.

Lassana Mendes put the Cymru Premier aspect forward after 5 minutes, however the deadly strikeforce of Aidan Keena and Max Mata ensured Rovers’ introduced the lead dwelling.

Rovers have solely ever progressed by a spherical in Europe as soon as, as have Bala, who went by the primary spherical in 2020 when ties had been one-legged affairs resulting from Covid-19.

The win in Oswestry final week was solely Rovers’ fourth victory in Europe, but it surely prolonged John Russell’s unbeaten run since taking on as Rovers supervisor.

Tonight’s hosts had been heavy favourites, given the truth that their opponents are part-time and returned to pre-season early to organize for Europe.

Russell made two adjustments to his aspect following final week’s win. Nando Pijnaker serves a suspension having been dismissed within the first leg, with Garry Buckley returning in his place.

Estonian worldwide Frank Liivak was handed a primary begin, with Will Fitzgerald lacking out.

Bala City supervisor Colin Caton additionally made two adjustments. Bradley Bauress and Oliver Shannon got here into the beginning 11 with Calum Woods and Oliver Southern dropping to the bench.

It was a tense opening 20 minutes, with neither goalkeeper examined. Rovers tried to beat Alex Ramsay when Adam McDonnell’s nook was nodded simply large by Niall Morahan, earlier than Karl O’Sullivan’s nook was directed large by Shane Blaney.

Bala’s direct strategy isn’t the best on the attention, however it’s efficient and Rovers had been having some problem defending towards it in these opening minutes.

On 35 minutes, the guests went forward. Rovers didn’t clear a cross correctly with Bradley Bauress’ cross falling properly for the outstretched David Edwards, with the previous Welsh worldwide wanted no invitation, poking it previous Ed McGinty to present his aspect the lead on the night time, and making it 2-2 on combination.

Blaney’s free-kick skimmed the crossbar earlier than half-time, with the Bit O’Purple nearly surprised by their Welsh counterparts.

An excellent save from McGinty denied Mendes on 50 minutes after an excellent cross from Chrois Venables, however Davies ought to have prolonged his aspect’s lead on the hour mark. By way of one-on-one, he simply wanted to take the ball previous McGinty, however the Rovers netminder did sufficient to take the ball away with out committing the foul.

Shane Blaney directed a header off the road on 90+6 minutes, as this sport headed for extra-time, with John Russell’s aspect struggling to get a shot on course.

McGinty saved once more on 98 minutes, earlier than Will Fitzgerald got here shut for Rovers from a Karl O’Sullivan nook.

The momentum was with Rovers, however they weren’t troubling Ramsay sufficient in objectives.
Bala will likely be questioning how they didn’t rating deep into extra-time when Davies’ effort was saved by McGinty, Venables’ header hit the crossbar and Wall then couldn’t get it in in spite of everything that.

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And so, penalties loomed. Venables netted first for Bala, with Cawley equalising. Edwards made it 2-1, with Kirk levelling. Spittle then missed his penalty, with Keena placing Rovers forward.

Kay made it 3-3, with Blaney scoring his to make it 4-3. Wall then missed his penalty, to ship Rovers by.

They did it the toughest method attainable, however Rovers are by to face Motherwell.

Sligo Rovers: Ed McGinty, Colm Horgan (Lewis Banks, 64), Garry Buckley, Shane Blaney, Paddy Kirk, Frank Liivak (Will Fitzgerald, 46), Adam McDonnell (Kailin Barlow, 99), Niall Morahan (David Cawley, 70), Karl O’Sullivan, Max Mata (Cillian Heaney, 70), Aidan Keena.

Bala City: Alex Ramsay, Nathan Peate, Ross White, Oliver Southern (Johnny Spittle, 105), Bradley Bauress (Luke Wall, 89), Antony Kay, Lassana Mendes, Kieran Smith, David Edwards, Chris Venables, Paul Rutherford (James Davies, 52 [Naim Arsan, 114).

Referee: Jochem Kamphuis.

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