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St Patrick's Athletic 2-1 Siroki Brijeg, AET (3-2 on aggregate)

Updated: Friday, 27 Jul 2012 09:30 | Comments

Pat's players mob Christy Fagan after his injury time winner
Pat's players mob Christy Fagan after his injury time winner

St Patrick's Athletic advanced to the Europa League third round qualifiers thanks to a 3-2 aggregate win against Siroki Brijeg, with Christy Fagan the hero following his extra-time winner.

The Saints led at the break thanks to John Russell but were pinned back early in the second-half before Fagan struck in extra-time to make it 2-1 and a memorable night for the Inchicore club.

Fagan got the end of a Conor Kenna header after Chris Forrester nodded on James Chambers' free kick.

In truth, Pat’s should have been comfortably ahead at the break but for spurning two guilt-edged chances.

The first came midway through the half when Greg Bolger got on the end of a James Chambers free kick from out on the Pat’s left. The goalkeeper Luka Bilobrk could only parry the effort and Christy Fagan, charging in, should have slotted home.

On 33 minutes Bilobrk struggled again under another Chambers free kick. This time it was defender Kenny Browne who followed up but Bilobrk atoned for his mistake with a great save.

Either side of those chances Chris Forrester and Sean O’Connor, frequently swapping wings, were causing problems and the two linked up for the opener six minutes before the break.

O’Connor, on the left, whipped a high ball over Bilobrk’s head and Forrester swept the ball back across goal for Fagan to attack. His effort was hacked down and John Russell, atoning for his penalty miss in the reverse fixture, slammed home.

Liam Buckley’s men were made weather some intense Siroki pressure immediately after the restart. Kresimir Kordic and Brazilian Wagner both flashed efforts at goal but neither effort had Brendan Clarke in any serious difficulty.

In a rare foray into their Bosnian opponents half, a flowing move ended with Sean O’Connor being denied after a fantastic counter attack. It was a chance he was made rue only five minutes later when Ivica Dzidic headed home a corner from captain Dalibor Silic.

Having switched to a two-man attack, Siroki were a more threatening side but the remainder of normal time played out in a scrappy manner with clear-cut chances at a premium.

Forrester and Fagan both went close early in extra-time before the former Man United man Fagan pounced. Pat’s then had Ger O’Brien to thank after a last-ditch tackle which means the Dublin side will now face German giants Hannover 96 in the next round.

St Patrick’s Athletic: Clarke; Ger O’Brien, Conor Kenna, Kenny Browne, Ian Bermingham; Sean O’Connor (Darren Meenan, 90), Greg Bolger, John Russell, James Chambers, Chris Forrester (Jake Kelly, 105); Chris Fagan (Anto Flood, 110)

NK Siroki Brijeg: Luka Bilobrk; Dino Coric, Mateo Bertosa, Ivica Dzidic (Damir Dzidic, 86), Vedran Jese, Wagner, Damir Zlomislic, Sandro Bloudek (Mateo Roskam, 63), Kresimir Kordic, Ricardo Baiano (Jure Ivankovic, 86), Dalibor Silic

Referee: Deniz Aytekin (GER)

Attendance: 1,805

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