Dundalk go through in Europa League penalty shoot-out drama
Europa League qualifying round three: Sheriff Tiraspol 1 Dundalk 1 (Dundalk won 5-3 on penalties after extra-time)
CHRIS Shields held his nerve to score from the spot and send Dundalk through to the final stage of Europa League qualification last night.
Ki Klaksvik of the Faroes Islands now await and the prize will be a place in the group stage after the League of Ireland side drew 1-1 after extra-time but progressed in a dramatic penalty shoot-out. Stefan Colovic scored Dundalk's first and Patrick Hoban made it 2-1 but the turning point came win Gary Rogers saved from Obilor.
Sean Hoare scored to send Dundalk 3-1 in front and Patrick McEleney and Shields did likewise to seal the win.
It was an unforgettable finish to a game that had begun poorly for Dundalk. They were behind after just eight minutes when Veaceslav Posmac headed a corner past Rogers but were back on level terms by the interval.
Just before half-time, Sean Murray timed his run into the box to perfection and got his head on a cross from the left wing just before goalkeeper Mikulic could get there.
And the League of Ireland side had the better of the chances in the second half. First Patrick Hoban got on the end of the low cross whipped in from the left by Michael Duffy but his effort was blocked.
Dundalk had a goal disallowed when Greg Sloggett headed in at the far post but the referee has blown his whistle for a foul on the goalkeeper by Hoban.
Dundalk went close again when a high, looping cross found Michael Duffy at the far post but his effort was cleared off the line and, before the end of normal time, Brian Gartland's headed just wide from a corner.
The Louth men continued to carve out half-chances. The first came after a superb run and cross into the box from Daniel Kelly. Hoban threw himself at it but couldn't get a touch.
At the other end, Dos Santos and Petro both had shots blocked and the tie went to penalties and ice-cool Dundalk progressed.