Football

Match-Winner Byrne Hails 'Unbelievable' Flores After Rovers Dundalk Classic

Match-Winner Byrne Hails 'Unbelievable' Flores After Rovers Dundalk Classic

What a night in Tallaght.

The season's first meeting between defending champions Dundalk and last year's cup winners Shamrock Rovers did not disappoint. A pulsating back and forth game saw Rovers run out 3-2 winners in front of a record crowd at the Tallaght Stadium.

The result leaves Rovers top of the table with four wins from four ahead of Dundalk in second, and sets up an exciting title race that should see both sides in the mix over the course of the season. But this game will live long in the memory for some outrageous goals.

Jordan Flores is now a viral sensation after his stunning first-half volley levelled the game at 1-1.

This type of corner routine has been trademarked in the past by the likes of David Beckham and Paul Scholes, but few have been delivered with such ferocity. The corner was fizzed towards the back post and the body angle Flores had to make to connect with the ball so cleanly was outrageous. A stunning goal that is already being tipped to be in contention for the Puskas award.

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In the second half Dundalk took the lead through Patrick Hoban, only to be pegged back to 2-2 by a Roberto  Lopes effort on 71 mins. With the clock running down, up stepped Jack Byrne to settle the game in Rovers' favour with another magnificent strike to round off one of the best games the league has seen in recent years.

Speaking after the game with RTÉ Sport's Tony O'Donoghue, a delighted Byrne was quick to praise his former Wigan team-mate Flores for his wonder-strike.

It was an unbelievable night. Greg has just handed me the armband there, that was for Gary O'Neill. He sadly lost his mother during the week and we just wanted to go out there and give a good performance for him and I thought we done that.

They're the champions for a reason, they're a top side. I played with Jordan at Wigan and I know how good he is, he's an unbelievable footballer. So yeah, I'd seen trouble when it dropped to him at the edge of the box. You can't say much about the strike. We couldn't have done much about it and it's just one of those things. I thought we started the game really well and we were disappointed to concede but there's not much you can do about the goal.

Jack Byrne's eye-catching form, with Mick McCarthy watching on from the stands, may put him in contention for a spot in the Ireland squad ahead of the play-off against Slovakia. But in the meantime, his performances for Rovers are likely to have a big impact on the title race.

SEE ALSO: Having Began His Career With A Broken Back, Darragh Lenihan Now Enjoys Weight Of Responsibility

 

 

Emmet Bradshaw

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