The two teams also contended last year’s final.
Shamrock Rovers and Dundalk were victorious in their respective FAI Cup semi-finals today, meaning they will compete against each other in the final. The two teams also faced each other in last year’s final. That game finished in a 1-1 draw after extra time before Shamrock Rovers won on penalties.
Shamrock Rovers faced Sligo Rovers in their FAI Cup semi-final earlier today. Aaron McEneff scored twice in Tallaght Stadium as they comfortably dispatched of the Bit O’ Red.
Dundalk faced unlikely semi-finalists Athlone town as they travelled to the midlands. Athlone Town sprung a surprise in their quarter-final as they eased past (former) Premier Division club Shelbourne in a 4-1 victory. There was no such upset tonight though as Dundalk achieved a record breaking 11-0 victory. Michael Duffy, Andy Boyle, Patrick McEleney, Sean Murray, John Mountney, Jordan Flores, Nathan Oduwa, Chris Shields and David McMillan all scored in the comprehensive win.
Shamrock Rovers won their previous two fixtures against Dundalk this season, one of which ended with a 4-0 scoreline. They also finished the league season unbeaten on their way to the Premier Division title meaning they’ll be the favourites going into the game.
That doesn’t mean the match won’t be tightly contested, however. Dundalk appear to be improving game by game, having endured a horrific start to the season.
There will also be an abundance of individual quality on display. Jack Byrne will be the name of most people’s lips – as he has been for much of the season – going into the final. The midfielder has been nothing short of incredible this season, consistently defying his naysayers. His performances this season have earned him several inclusions in Ireland senior squads which have led to a handful of cameos. Aaron McEneff and Graham Burke were also included in the latest Ireland squad to accompany their Shamrock Rovers teammate.
Dundalk are also not short of individual quality. Michael Duffy is arguably their best player. The explosive winger has been one of the league’s most consistent and dangerous players since joining from Celtic in 2017. The Derry man probably would have been included in Stephen Kenny’s last squad only for issues out of his control. Chris Shields always provides adequate defensive cover in midfield so he should also limit Shamrock Rover’s attacking options. Patrick Hoban is another one of Dundalk’s dangermen. The striker has been named top scorer in the last 3 Irish Premier Division seasons; however he will miss the FAI Cup final due to injury.
The match will take place next Sunday as the finalists will travel to the Aviva Stadium. It will no doubt be a strange cup final in the absence of fans, but nevertheless it should provide an exciting affair to close the curtains on the domestic League of Ireland season.
The https://t.co/X9zf94pmtW FAI Cup final confirmed 🏆
— FAIreland ⚽️🇮🇪 (@FAIreland) NOVEMBER 29, 2020