/ Soccer

CS Maritimo 3-2 Sporting Fingal

Updated: Thursday, 15 Jul 2010 22:48

Glen Crowe is congratulated on his goal
Glen Crowe is congratulated on his goal

Sporting Fingal conceded a late winner against CS Maritimo in their Europa League first leg tie at the Estadio da Madeira, but still have a good chance to progress in the competition.

The FAI Ford Cup holders grabbed an all-important away goal on 33 minutes when Glen Crowe planted a header into the top corner, but Esteves and Cherrad netted in the second half to reverse the deficit.

Lorcan Fitzgerald then scored Fingal’s second three minutes from time, but five minutes into stoppage time, Tcho slipped in to volley the winner.

The sides meet again in the second leg at Dalymount Park next Thursday, with the Dublin side knowing a 1-0 victory will book them a berth in the third round draw.

Fingal were worthy of their interval lead but appeared to wane late on, with the 600m above sea level venue a natural factor.

Ronan Finn was the Irish side’s livewire in the first half, and burst forward from midfield on the half hour mark only to smack his shot
straight at the goalkeeper Pecanha.

However, he soon saw his side take the lead when his tempting cross was finished by Crowe from ten yards.

The strike brought Crowe’s personal haul of goal in European ties to 11, a record for a domestically-based Irish player.

Maritimo offered little by way of attacking threat and it was only after they introduced two substitutes at the break that goalkeeper Brendan Clarke saw much action.

Fitzgerald produced a last-ditch tackle to deny Tcho five minutes after the restart, while Clarke had to dive full-stretch on 65 minutes to turn Baba’s deflected shot around the post.

The Portuguese side continued to press and were rewarded on 78 minutes when full-back Esteves raided forward to head home inside of Clarke’s left post.

And they added a second goal seven minutes later as substitute Cherrad pounced to scoop the ball home after Clarke had spilled a long range shot by Robson.

Still, Fingal regrouped and made it 2-2 three minutes later.

A defensive error between Esteves and his goalkeeper allowed Fitzgerald to ghost in and lob home his first goal of the season.

Referee Luc Wilmes from Luxembourg signalled for three minutes of stoppage time, but five minutes had elapsed by the time Tcho was left unmarked inside the six yard box to net the winner, much to the relief of the home fans.


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