FH Hafnarfjordur 2 Dundalk 2 (3-3 on aggregate, Dundalk win on away goals)
David McMillan's deadly double earned Dundalk a €1.2million payday as they came from behind against FH Hafnarfjordur in the Kaplakriki last night to advance to the Champions League third qualifying on away goals, writes James Rogers.
Things looked bleak for Stephen Kenny's side when they fell behind in the 19th minute to a Sam Hewson strike. The former Manchester Utd player started a move on the left which he finished in style from close range after a neat exchange with Steven Lennon.
Despite that setback, Dundalk began to grow into the game after a slow start with Dane Massey drilling wide from the edge of the area two minutes later before a superb burst down the left by Daryl Horgan on 25 minutes saw him denied by the legs of goalkeeper Gunnar Nielsen.
The Louth men looked to be thrown a lifeline five minutes into the second half, however, when they were awarded a penalty after McMillan was hauled to the ground from a Horgan corner. Ronan Finn stepped up to take the spot kick but was denied by a super stop from Gunnar Nielsen to his right.
Rather than deflate the Lilywhites, they responded in the best possible fashion with a 52nd minute equaliser. A quick free from Horgan saw McMillan pick the ball up 30 yards from goal with his low shot creeping to the net off the inside of the upright.
After clipping the outside of the post from a Sean Gannon cross four minutes later, McMillan then sent the 250 travelling fans wild with a second on 62 minutes for what was his ninth goal in four matches.
Dane Massey's ball over the top played Horgan in behind Jonathan Hendrickx on the left with the winger pulling an inch perfect pass back to McMillan on the edge of the six yard box and he made no mistake.
Despite needing two goals at that stage, FH refused to throw in the towel though and pulled one back on 77 minutes. First leg goalscorer and former Dundalk player Lennon saw his through ball latched onto by substitute Kristjan Floki Finnbogason who slotted home through the legs of Gary Rogers.
The Icelandic side then had strong penalty appeals turned down a minute from the end when Lennon went down in the box under a challenge from Stephen O'Donnell but the well placed Paolo Valeri waved play on.
Dundalk now advance to face the side who eliminated them from last year's Champions League, BATE Borisov, with the first leg in Belarus on Tuesday.
FH Hafnarfjordur: Nielsen; Hendrickx, Olafsson, Doumbia, Bodvarsson; D Vidarsson, Pálsson (P Vidarsson 66), B Vidarsson (KF Finnbogason 66); Valdimarsson, Lennon, Hewson (Bjornsson 77). Subs not used: K Finnbogason, Nattestad, Serwy, Gudmundsson.
Dundalk: Rogers; Gannon, Barrett, Boyle, Massey; Mountney (Benson HT), Finn, O'Donnell, Horgan; McEleney (Shields 79), McMillan (Kilduff 82). Subs not used: Sava, Grimes, Meenan, O'Connor.
Referee: P Valeri (Italy)