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Dundalk came from behind twice against Levadia Tallinn in Tallaght Stadium on Thursday night in the second qualifying round of the UEFA Europa Conference League to ensure an exciting second leg.
It took just 66 seconds for the side to go behind to the 2020-21 Estonian Cup winners, courtesy of a Bogdan Vastsuk strike.
However, Dundalk were level within a minute of play after League of Ireland standout Will Patching put a finishing touch to Dan Kelly’s ball.
Yet, Dundalk continued to struggle to get a grip on the game throughout the early stages and their nervy start allowed Levadia to cause more problems.
Ernest Agyiri looked very dangerous on the left flank after already assisting in the game but their second goal came from another avenue of play.
Zakaria Belgarishvili spotted Vastsuk when he got the ball between the lines and fed the striker, who chipped Alessio Abibi to regain the lead.
Dundalk started to find the desired tempo soon after going behind for a second time.
David McMillan missed a strong chance before taking another one moments later to bring the sides level once again.
Dundalk dominance grew in front of the 1,000 fans in the stadium and some penalty shouts helped to get the crowd louder.
Dundalk continued to impose pressure on the Estonians in the second-half, with Vinny Perth’s side doing all but finishing off plays.
Greg Sloggett’s introduction in place of Wilifred Zahibo gave the FAI Cup champions even more urgency in attack.
However, try as they did, the third goal did not come for the Louth-based side, who now must travel to Tallinn and win to go through.
Dundalk will face Levadia Tallinn at the Le Coq Arena in Estonia’s capital city on Thursday, July 29th at 5:30 pm IST.
To see the report for the Bohemians game, click here.
Dundalk: Allessio Abibi; Raivis Jurkovskis, Andy Boyle C, Sonni Nattestad, Darragh Leahy; Will Patching, Wilfried Zahibo (Greg Sloggett, 58), Samuel Stanton (Sean Murray, 75); Daniel Kelly, Patrick McEleney, David McMillan (Ole Erik Midtskogen 87).
Levadia Tallinn: Karl Andre Vallner; Ilja Antonov (Trevor Elhi, 56), Maximiliano Ugge, Maksim Podholjuzin, Miljian Ilic (Rasmus Peetson, HT); Frank Liivak (Karl Rudolf Oigus 79), Marko Puntincanin, Brent Lepistu C, Bogdan Vastsuk, Ernest Agyiri (Mark Oliver Roosnupp, 67); Zakaria Beglarishvili.