WATCH: Battling Dundalk edged out again by Zenit

Stephen Kenny's side gave a good account of themselves in Russia

Dundalk, Zenit,

Dundalk's Ronan Finn with Axel Witsel of Zenit ©INPHO/Mikhail Kireev

Dundalk have been narrowly beaten by Europa League Group D leaders Zenit Saint Petersburg in Russia.

Stephen Kenny's side lost 2-1 but are still in contention to qualify from the group. 

Dundalk showed plenty of grit and determination in the first half as they held Zenit at bay.

Gary Rogers was particularly impressive as he and the Lilywhites defence snuffed out the threat from the Russian giants. 

But Zenit ultimately took the lead five minutes before the break when they caught out Dundalk and broke forwards, with Aleksandar Kerzhakov playing in Guiliano who finished off the attack with a composed finish.

Giuliano celebrates scoring their first goal for Zenit ©INPHO/Mikhail Kireev

However, after the break, Dundalk showed the resolute traits that have seen them impress in their Europa League group stage debut as Ireland squad call-up Daryl Horgan showed pace to race through and equalise. 

Zenit pushed forwards again and on 78 minutes, Giuliano got his second when he poked in from close range after a goalmouth scramble. 

But Stephen Kenny's side could have been level again after an audacious attempt from Patrick McEleney beat the goalkeeper but hit the frame of the goal. 

However, Zenit held on to their lead to move further clear at the top of the group, while Dundalk remain on four points from four games.

Their remaining fixtures are against Maccabi Tel Aviv away and AZ Alkmaar at home.

Those two sides drew 0-0 in Israel.