Football

Stephen Bradley Hails The Mettle Of Shamrock Rovers After Last Night's Thriller

Stephen Bradley Hails The Mettle Of Shamrock Rovers After Last Night's Thriller

Shamrock Rovers manager Stephen Bradley says his players showed what they are all about in their incredible 12-11 penalty shootout win last night over Ilves of Finland.

There was heartbreak and delight across the capital last night depending on who you supported. On a night where both Bohemians and Shamrock Rovers forced their Europa League qualifiers into extra time and penalties, only Rovers made it into the next stage of the competition despite going behind twice to their opponents.

After the game, Bradley spoke to Irish Football Fan TV about the character shown by his team to make it through to the next stage of the competition saying;

I thought we showed unbelievable character, unbelievable togetherness and we just showed what this group is all about. They believed till the last minute and I think people the last couple of weeks have been having little digs at them and knocking them and that's fine because we know what this group is about and I think they showed that again tonight.

Bradley also thanked the fans who were outside the stadium cheering on the team saying "they were unbelievable I think they helped us the last bit of the game, they got us through it".

Unbelievable Character

Rovers went behind to Ilves inside ten minutes after Joey O'Brien was deemed to have handled the ball inside the area. The penalty was then converted by Ilves forward Lauri Ala-Myllymäki to give his side the lead. But Rovers equalised four minutes later thanks to Graham Burke who curled a lovely shot past Hillander in the Ilves goal.

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Rovers came from behind again in the second half before playing extra time with 10 men following Liam Scales dismissal in the 88th minute, a challenge his manager labelled "sloppy".

Rovers managed to hold on to the 2-2 scoreline until penalties where they went on to win in sensational fashion, breaking a European competition record for most penalties scored in a game in the process.

Rovers fans have their goalkeeper Alan Mannus to thank for their sides victory, as not only did he make a save at 11-11 but also converted a penalty himself. But it will be O'Brien who grabs the headlines after he finished the job and made it 12 -11 in favour of his side.

Rovers will have to wait till Monday to find out who they will face in the next round of the Europa League qualifiers where they could face either Celtic or Rangers.

See Also: The Exciting Ireland Team We Want To See Start Against Bulgaria

Jonathon Lynam

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