Date: 21 July 2021
Competition: Europa Conference League Second Qualifying Round
Result: Dundalk 2 – 2 Levadia Tallinn
Tickets: €20 adults, €10 kids (no extra fees, well done Dundalk).
Attendance: Around 800, under covid spacing restrictions
The game: Dundalk have faded quite a bit since the highs of beating BATE here to qualify for the Europe League group stages – and getting results in the group, too – a few years back. This side look a shadow of their former selves, and while they play some semi-decent football, it’s easy to see why they’re no longer threatening the upper echelons of the League of Ireland.
They look particularly susceptible to the break, based on this game, in which Levadia only seriously threatened to score maybe three or four times, and put away two. The first was the opening attack of the game, which fashioned a cross they put away.
Dundalk worked the ball nicely to equalise almost immediately, before Levadia got another on the break to lead 2-1 after only about 20 minutes. Dundalk equalised before half time and dominated the game from then on, and really should have won. They now need to score in Tallinn to go through, which isn’t ideal, but Levadia don’t look all that great, so I guess we’ll see what happens. UEFA coeffiecient points are something the League of Ireland really needs to help with European competition, so winning against sides like this is important for the league.
The ground: Shamrock Rovers Tallaght Stadium is a fairly regularly stop off for me, so much so that this is at least the fifth time I’ve seen Dundalk play there, their favoured ground for European competitions, the success of which, unfortunately, has not been invested thoroughly enough in improving their own stadium.
It’ll be a nicer spot when it’s enclosed on all four sides, and the fourth stand is on the horizon, though I’m not sure how far off.
Extras: Not a lot on a day like this, were you’re essentially stuck in your seat due to the restrictions. I saw programmes, and you could buy a coke or a bottle of water. At the little lad’s request. it was McDonald’s drive through before kick off for us.
Assorted asides: Hat tip to the half a dozen Levadia Tallinn fans who either grouped together from an Irish base, or braved the undoubtedly strict requirements to get through the airport and support their team. They yelled their heads off throughout.
My totals for the year so far:
Games: 2. Home wins: 1. Draws: 1
Goals: 9. Home goals: 7. Away goals: 2. Goals per game: 4.5
A few pics: