Richie McCormack
Richie McCormack

20.14 10 Dec 2020


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Ten months after it began, Dundalk brought their season came to a close with a fighting display against Arsenal. 

Jordan Flores and Sean Hoare both found the net in a 4-2 defeat to the Premier League side at the Aviva Stadium.

Dundalk finish bottom of Group B without a point to their name.

Arsenal were in front inside twelve minutes at the Aviva. Eddie Nketiah pounced on a failed Andy Boyle clearance before clipping the ball over Gary Rogers.

If Dundalk felt hard-done-by by the opener, they could likely only applaud the goal that doubled Arsenal's lead.

Emile Smith-Rowe cut inside from the left to feed Mohamed Elneny, whose right-footed thunderbolt flew into the corner of the net.

But the hosts' heads never dropped, and they found a lifeline back into the game just five-minutes after Elneny's strike.

Jordan Flores added to his collection of fine goals - this time with his right foot - to make it 2-1.

The Lilywhites could count themselves unlucky not to be level going in at the break.

The ball broke for Darragh Leahy just six-yards from goal but his shot was deflected wide and to Arsenal safety.

Arsenal were lucky not to concede just the other side of the break when a Michael Duffy break didn't produce the pass required by Dave McMillan's run.

Midway through the second half, the game was beyond the Cup-winners.

Dundalk failed to adequately clear their lines from an Arsenal throw-in in an advanced position. Joe Willock managed to get a shot away that squirmed under the body of Rogers.

Teenager Folarin Balogun made it 4-1 with ten minutes to go with a cool finish.

But Dundalk weren't done themselves.

A Flores free-kick from the left was met beautifully by the head of defender Sean Hoare.

He managed to direct the ball past Runar Runarsson in the Arsenal goal to offer a respectability to the scoreline that the hosts more than deserved.

Dundalk's travails were put into context by the side joining Arsenal in the last-32.

A 2-2 draw away to Rapid Vienna was enough to see Molde progress to the knockout phase at the Austrians' expense.

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Arsenal Dundalk Eddie Nketiah Europa League Jordan Flores Sean Hoare UEFA Europa League

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