The Europa League continued on Thursday evening with Dundalk going down to a three one defeat by Rapid Vienna of Austria in the Aviva Stadium. Following a lack lustre first half during which they conceded two goals the ‘Lilywhites’ made three half-time changes and were much improved in the second half. However substitute Nathan Oduwa badly missed a penalty kick and three other gilt edged chances which would have brought quite a different complexion to matters. Captain Chris Shields did convert a second penalty kick but it was too little too late. At the same time, Matt Doherty was in action with Tottenham Hotspur who crushed visitors Ludogorets of Bulgaria by four goals to nil. Glasgow Celtic are out of contention after their four one defeat by Sparta Prague in the Czech Republic. The visitors opened the scoring on 15 minutes but thereafter were very much second best. Shane Duffy was unused on the substitute bench.
The fourth quarter-final in the 2020 FAI Cup took place in the Showgrounds on Wednesday evening with Sligo Rovers playing host to Derry City. A fairly even contest, with the ‘Candystripes’ playing marginally better football while the ‘Bit’of’Red’ had the better scoring opportunities, ended scoreless after extra-time. The penalty shoot-out went the way of the hosts by three goals to one. The victors will travel to Tallaght Stadium to face League Champions Shamrock Rovers in the semi-final at 2pm on Sunday next.
There will be second round FA Cup action on Friday evening for U21 defender Lee O’Connor whose loan club Tranmere Rovers play host in Prenton Park at 7.55pm to non-league Brackley Town.