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Shamrock Rovers Win In Europe And Guarantee Themselves Group Stage Action

Shamrock Rovers Win In Europe And Guarantee Themselves Group Stage Action
By Colman Stanley Updated

Shamrock Rovers are through to the Europa League play-off round after defeating Shkupi 2-1 in North Macedonia. The result sees the Dublin side through to the Europa League play-off round where they will face Bulgarian side Ferencvaros, with the first-leg away from home, in Budapest, next Thursday.

The result also guarantees Shamrock Rovers European group stage football, with the loser from their tie with Ferencvaros qualifying for the group stages of the Europa Conference League.

Shamrock Rovers vs Shkupi Recap

Shamrock Rovers had a blistering start to the match with Rory Gaffney coming desperately close within five minutes, with Skhupi's keeper, Kristijan Naumovski, getting the faintest of touches with his foot to tip Gaffney's shot onto the post.

Richie Towell nearly put Shamrock Rovers in front on two occasions in the first-half. He had a shot deflected over the bar, and then had a shot cleared off the line. While Skhupi's last gasp defence was commendable, Rovers should have been at least 1-0 in front at half-time.

Regardless, Shamrock Rovers were in pole position, with a 3-1 overall lead and Shkupi chasing the game.

They used this situation to their advantage and made the most out of the space left in Shkupi's half to grab the first goal of the game, albeit with a slice of luck.

Rory Gaffney picked up the ball 20 yards out from goal and his shot took a wicked deflection off a defender and looped over the head of Naumovski.

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Substitute Aidomo Edakhu put the game to bed in the 85th minute. A through ball from Graham Burke was missed completely by Naumovski, which gave Edakhu a simple open-goal finish.

Shkupi managed to pull a consolation goal back in the fourth minute of injury time, courtesy of a an excellent finish from 20 yards from Sunday Adetunji.

Shamrock Rovers Through In Europe

9 August 2022; Rory Gaffney of Shamrock Rovers, left, celebrates with teammate Andy Lyons after scoring his side's first goal during the UEFA Europa League third qualifying round second leg match between Shkupi and Shamrock Rovers at Arena Todor Proeski in Skopje, North Macedonia. Photo by Ognen Teofilovski/Sportsfile

READ MORE: O'Neill Goal With Final Kick Gives Shamrock Rovers Crucial 3-1 Win

St. Patrick's Athletic meet CSKA Sofia in the third-round of Europa Conference League qualifying on Thirsday. The Inchicore side take a 1-0 advantage into the second-leg, which will be played at Tallaght Stadium. Kick-off is at 19:45.

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Sligo Rovers will be playing their second-leg tie with Viking at the Showgrounds on the same day, although only a miracle will see them through, with a 5-1 deficit. Kick-off is at 19:00.

SEE ALSO: Rio Ferdinand Describes His Hatred For Balotelli During His Liverpool Days


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