FAI Cup: Shamrock Rovers 1-1 Dundalk (4-2 on penalties)

Shamrock Rovers celebrate
Rovers won the penalty shootout 4-2

Shamrock Rovers denied Dundalk a historic treble with a dramatic penalty shootout victory in the FAI Cup final.

It looked like Aaron McEneff's 90th minute spot-kick had sealed the win for Rovers but Michael Duffy equalised with the last kick of normal time.

Rovers' keeper Alan Mannus saved Daniel Cleary's strike in the shootout after Duffy's effort came back off the bar.

Gary O'Neill slotted home the decisive penalty to give the Dublin side their first Cup triumph in 32 years.

League and EA Sports Cup winners Dundalk were hoping to become the just the second League of Ireland side to win the domestic treble.

However Rovers' victory means Derry City's 1989 side remain the only team to have won all three competitions in a season.

Rovers, runners up in the league, were in truth good value for their victory having enjoyed the better of the 120 minutes.

Chances did not flow throughout the contest although both sides did spurn opportunities to break the deadlock.

Cleary send his back-post header wider as Dundalk looked to take the lead just before the break, while Rovers went close in the second half through Graham Burke who fired his effort narrowly over the bar.

Michael Duffy
Michael Duffy's strike sent the game into extra-time

With extra-time looming, what most onlookers thought to be the game's decisive moment arrived in the 89th minute when Aaron Greene was brought down in the area by Gary Rogers.

Midfielder McEneff dispatched the penalty prompting wild scenes from the Rovers fans inside the Aviva Stadium.

However the elation was short lived as, with the last act of injury-time, Duffy swivelled to fire a brilliant half-volley beyond Mannus to send the game into extra-time.

At the end of a largely uneventful 30 minutes, Mannus was alert to turn away Georgie Kelly's effort before the former Linfield stopper dived to his right to keep out Cleary's effort in the shootout, allowing O'Neill to seal the victory.

Top Stories

Also in NI Sport