Substitute David McMillan’s crucial away goal saw St Patrick Athletic emerge from their trip with hope of a place in the third qualifying round.
Despite going down to 2-1 Shakhter Karagandy Pete Mahon’s side will be confident heading into the second leg at Richmond Park next Thursday.
But for the post and a goal 4 minutes from time, the plane ride home might have been even nicer with Evan McMillan going close with a first half header that came hit the post.
Shakhter edged the first half but couldn’t find a way past a determined St Pats rearguard that held firm until 52 minutes in to the game.
Zhambyi Kukeyev’s corner evading the Pats backline to reach Nikola Vasiljevic who had no problem beating Gary Roger’s from close range.
If the goal was intended to push the Shakhter on it didn’t transpire and instead it was Pats who scored next, McMillan tapping home after Shakhter keeper Aleksandr Mokin had parried Stephen Bradley’s free-kick.
However a tiring Pats side couldn’t hold on for the draw and with 4 minutes left Vasiljevic grabbed his and Shakhter’s second to see the home side home by the narrowest of margins.
An exciting second leg awaits us next week in Inchicore.
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