Dundalk earn historic Europa League point thanks to Ciaran Kilduff's late show

The 10-men held AZ Alkmaar to a 1-1 draw in the Netherlands

David McMillan, Dundalk, AZ

Dundalk's David McMillan shoots at goal ©INPHO/Karel Delvoije

A late Ciaran Kilduff header has given Dundalk a historic point in their opening Europa League group stage match as Stephen Kenny's 10-men held out for a 1-1 draw at AZ Alkmaar.

It means Dundalk are the first League of Ireland club to win a point in the group stages of a European competition, as Shamrock Rovers didn't manage to do so in the 2010-11 season.

AZ almost took the lead in a frenetic start to the game in the first two minutes.

Iranian winger Alireza Jahanbakhsh attempted a shot and saw it rebound off the post as Dundalk's clean sheet was preserved early on.

But Dundalk settled into the fixture and on 12 minutes, David McMillan had a sight of goal but his shot lacked the power to threaten the AZ keeper.

Patrick McEleney also forced a save shortly before half-time with his own effort.  

Dundalk fans at the game ©INPHO/Karel Delvoije

However, a minute before the half-time whistle blew, AZ had a goal ruled out for offside when Nigerian forward Friday found the net.

Unfortunately for Dundalk, they fell behind on the hour mark as AZ forward Stijn Wuytens headed past the on-rushing Gary Rogers.

However, Wuytens appeared to be knocked unconscious in the collision with the goalkeeper, leading to worrying scenes for the watching players and fans alike.

The Belgian was stretchered off and regained consciousness in the dressing room shortly afterwards. 

Meanwhile, on the pitch, Dundalk were down to 10-men on 71 minutes after the goal as captain Stephen O'Donnell incurred a second yellow card for a foul on Ridgeciano Haps.

But the 10-men of Dundalk levelled with a minute of normal time to play as Kilduff headed in from a set-piece to set up potential history.

And in the lengthy stoppage time period, the reigning Irish champions hung on.