Dundalk deserved more than defeat, says captain

Dundalk captain Stephen O’Donnell believes his team deserved more following a 2-0 Champions League play-off first-leg qualifier defeat to Legia Warsaw, writes Ger McCarthy.

Hull City transfer target Nemanja Nikolic’s converted penalty and an injury-time Aleksandar Prijovic strike proved the difference between the sides on a rain-soaked evening at the Aviva Stadium.

“I thought we deserved more than that tonight. First half, we played well but conceded two sloppy goals, especially the last kick of the game,” O’Donnell told RTÉ shortly after full-time.

Dundalk's Ronan Finn reacts to a missed chance. Pic:INPHO/Ryan Byrne
Dundalk's Ronan Finn reacts to a missed chance. Pic:INPHO/Ryan Byrne

“I think we showed enough to know that if we go over there with the same attitude that we can definitely score goals against them. If we score first you never what could happen.”

Two big calls including Andy Boyle adjudged to have handled in the penalty area and resulting in the award of a penalty perplexed O’Donnell who felt the decision was harsh.

“Another day it could have been seen as a great block,” commented the Dundalk captain.

“Some days they are given, some days they are not. We could have had a penalty too as anywhere else on the park and it is a free-kick. It is just disappointing really, kind of the usual story, we played well but lost 2-0.

“It was such an enjoyable experience playing on a pitch like that though, in a brilliant atmosphere and in a big stadium. I thought we looked at home and tried to play football the right way. It’s just very disappointing to concede that late goal.

“It is an uphill battle to get back into this one, they’ll have a partisan crowd there as well next week but as I said, if we get the first goal, that will be huge. We lost 2-0 to Hadjuk Split two seasons ago but went over there and beat them 2-1. We have to have that same attitude next week.”

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