Dundalk’s Europa league campaign got off to a good start tonight as they secured a 1-1 draw with Dutch side AZ Alkmaar tonight.
Dundalk showed Europe’s elite clubs they are a match for anybody this evening after they snatched a deserved 1-1 draw in their debut group stage match. The Lillywhites who narrowly missed out in champions league qualification last month showed their class against the Dutch outfit in a highly contested affair.
In a game that saw chances for both sides it was the Dutch side who struck first on the 61st minute when Stijn Wuytens converted after Dundalk keeper missed judged a cross to allow the Alkmaar striker to head into an empty net. The goal came after Stephen Kenny’s men had a number of half decent chances to break the deadlock in the first half.
Although Alkmaar largely dominated possession they didn’t have it all there own way as David McMillan and Darryl Horgan spurned good opportunities to give Dundalk the lead. Things got much worse for the lilywhites in the second half as Stephen O’Donnell received a second booking for a cynical foul on the 72nd minute.
The League Of Ireland champions could have found themselves 2-0 down if not only for the heroics of O’Boyle when he remarkably cleared off the line. Just as all hope was lost substitute Ciaran Kilduff popped up in the 88th minute and headed home from a free kick to give the lillywhites a much deserved point.