FAI Cup quarter-final: Derry season over as they lose penalty shootout in Sligo

Ronan Coughlan (right) fires in a first-half shot for Sligo despite Eoin Toal's efforts
Sligo's Ronan Coughlan (right) scored one of the home team's penalties

Derry City's League of Ireland campaign is over after they lost their FAI Cup quarter-final against Sligo Rovers on a penalty shootout.

The match failed to produce a goal in 120-plus minutes of football but Sligo clinched the shootout 3-1.

Ex-Derry man Junior Ogedi-Uzokwe missed first but Candstripes skipper Conor McCormack blazed over before Walter Figueira and Ibrahim Meite also missed.

Sligo's win earns them a semi-final with Shamrock Rovers on Sunday.

The Dublin club will be strong favourites to win on their home Tallaght Stadium pitch as they aim to complete a league and FAI Cup double but Sligo, after their fourth place in the Premier Division, will also secure a European spot if the champions or Dundalk clinch a cup triumph.

After their season of toil in the condensed campaign, the FAI Cup represented Derry's last chance of securing a European spot.

The Candystripes created the more chances in normal time with Cameron McJannett thundering a header against the Sligo woodwork in the 80th minute moments after home keeper Edward McGinty had denied Stephen Mallon's attempt from a tight angle.

Ronan Coughlan went close for Sligo in the first half after being played in by Junior with Derry keeper Peter Cherrie making a smart save.

However, Derry looked the more comfortable side on the ball for the majority of normal time as Argentine midfielder Gerardo Bruna pulled the midfield strings and Mallon was a threat down the Candystripes' right flank.

The Candystripes went into Wednesday's game having only had one full training session - which was on Tuesday - since their concluding league game in Cork on 9 November because of issues relating to Covid-19.

Given their lack of preparation, they produced a brave effort but came up short in the penalties lottery as Figueira hit the crossbar after appearing to slip and substitute Meite fired wide after skipper McCormack's initial conclusive miss with Conor Clifford the only Derry player to find the net.

Coughlan, Alex Cooper and Gary Buckley were Sligo's successful penalty takers after former Derry favourite Junior had shot against a post with their second attempt.

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