David McMillan proved a hat-trick hero for Dantalk, who came from behind to beat Shamrock Rovers 4-2 after extra time to secure this year’s FII Cup at Aviva Stadium.
After the opening half stalled, Aaron Green went home to the back post when he handed the deserved lead to the Hoops in the 51st minute.
In the sixth consecutive FII Cup final, David McMillan returned to Dandal with two goals in the space of 20 minutes.
Roverus dominated before McMillan doubled the lead and sent the game into extra time in the 74th minute with a header from Roberto Lപ്pez.
Two goals from the second period of extra time will do this for the Lillywhites, as Macmillan sealed the victory and scored Sean Hoare before avenging his final defeat last year.
The freezing temperatures at the Dublin 4 venue, however, were thankfully left out of the final match of the 2020 season, which was affected by the snow Kovid.
Both teams used a back three in the opening exchanges and played fast football, with Dowdolk looking to pull Rovers out, while the Dublin club were a little more complicated with their approach.
In the eighth minute, when Abraham Burke made a cut from the right side, Hoops scored the first goal before taking a loose ball and making a low effort, but it did not bother Gary Rogers of Dandal.
Dandalk’s first goal came from a piece in the 17th minute when Alan Mannus handled Brian Gartland’s strong header.
At the other end, three minutes later, Aaron McNeff stabbed Rogers’ hand from 25 yards out. The Ronders began to move deeper into the Dandalk area.
But Dundalk felt it was dangerous to move forward and in the 26th minute David McMillan’s move to the right provided an opportunity after Sean Gonon reached the byline, however the striker’s shot fell wide.
The Ronders were starting to keep the pressure on Dandalk at half-time, with Graham Burke taking a step back from the Chris Shields and giving Hoops a great chance to run a set piece from the top position.
Burke dusted himself off to hit the left foot freely around the wall, which knocked Rogers around the ball post and landed brilliantly to the right.
From the corner, he smashed a ball across the goal, which was scored by Liam Scales; A scream of handball was ignored by the referee, who eventually awarded the corner.
Jack Byrne tried his luck in the 33rd minute but it went wide and then the Ireland International could not be cautious four minutes later. A Studs Up Challenge that Gunn was sent to fly.
In the 38th minute, Cameron Dummigan made the best effort, a great effort from the left side to the right and wide, and Aaron Green smashed an over for the Hoops as the half approached.
The clash between O’Brien and Shield proved to be the most dramatic moment in the final round as the Rovers defender literally took one for the team. Dylan Watts’ misplaced position after Hender Dandalk went into the captain’s path.
A yellow for the former Ireland International as the team descends into the tunnel for tea; Lee Grace did not return to the second half to replace the former West Ham defender.
Abraham Burke’s close-range effort was seen hitting the shield from the 48th minute, but the referee put in a great performance despite the great appeal. The arm of the shield clung to his side, and he could do little about it.
While Lee Grace’s lead from the resulting corner was not significant, a header to the back post, which Greene cleverly delivered home on a Dundalk stopper move, helped.
Before McMillan could get a boot on the ball, the striker’s bottom header seemed to be above the line, however, he had to hit it on the roof of the net and escape the stigma of scoring his own goal.
In the 53rd minute, Dundalk avoided their own penalty appeal as Sean Cavanagh seemed to do the bundle in the Greg Sloget box.
In the 58th minute, McNeff read the Shields pass and sent Ronan Finn to the right when the Lilly Whites did not help their goal as they tried to play from behind.
Daniel Cleary lifted the Rovers captain but easily erased freely from outside the box.
Goalscorer Green was happy with his role and chased down three or four Dantalk defenders before trying his luck from the edge of the box; The shot deviated widely but it led to a constant pressure, allowing the scales to work a header at the target with two angles.
Dandalk was unable to get out of their ball as Slogget was warned to move forward with his elbow at Watts, however, and was on leave after Burke hit the wall freely.
Dandalk equalized in the 69th minute.
A ball from the right fell into the box between McMillan and Scale, and the striker’s header blocked the boot but the forward responded quickly and thwarted his attempt from a nearby post.
Moments later, Scales intervened again, this time judging young Rovers defender Dan Cleary to the ground and pointing the referee to the spot.
Macmillan sent Mannus down the wrong path.
The league champions took just two minutes to restore the tie as they won by a corner, just as Dantalk was unable to handle the ball into the box in the middle of the week when he lost to Europa League Moldova, and Roberto Lപ്pez popped up, heading into the top corner of the penalty net.
When the Hoops tried to reassert their dominance in the 77th minute, Green deflected another attempt, and a minute later McNeef had to put in a great performance from a free header, but the Derry native could not work the goalkeeper.
The game really started to open in the last ten, as both teams lasted a bit until the end of December with a touch of exhaustion at the end of the season.
It started their challenge with a triple replacement for the Hoops in an attempt to achieve it in normal time, and another attempt at the Green goal rifle. This time Rogers could only take the ball out of his goal, and McNeff was inches away from connecting.
Puskas Award nominee Jordan Flores sent the Lily Whites a goal against Hoopes at a league meeting at Tallag Stadium.
During injury time and 30 minutes of extra time, Rovers almost snatched it, as Burke’s low drive across the goal did not turn home anyway, with only two inches to go before Lopes and substitute Rice Marshall could make contact.
– Soccer Republic (oc Sock Republic) December 6, 2020
So another cup final will go into extra time; For the fifth time in six years the blue reband event cannot be decided in normal time.
Dandal had the better of the first half of extra time, but Roverus was next on the right after a sweet phenomenon on the right, with Burke scoring three minutes before the break.
Rovers’ frontman went to power and tried to pass the ball past Rogers but the ball skied when asked for accuracy.
During injury time in the first half, Gartland had to take the yellow to prevent McNeff from exploding in the box; Rogers threw the ball after Byron’s free kick.
Dandalc broke the deadlock in the sixth minute of the second period when a promising ball to Bond erased half; The ball falls to John Mountain at the back post.
Midfielder’s erroneous hit shot fell to substitute Sean Hower’s leg, leading the ball home from ten yards.
With three minutes left, Hoops’ bodies move forward, and Daniel Kelly goes right into Macmillan’s path to reach a superb ball before he cuts the ball freely.
With the cup all won and the matchball line lined up, there is nothing wrong with stepping on the back of the Man of the Match net and taking the trophy to Oriel Park.
– Soccer Republic (oc Sock Republic) December 6, 2020
Shamrock Rovers: Alan Mannas; Joey O’Brien (Lee Grace HT), Roberto Lopes, Liam Scales; Ronan Finn (Rice Marshall 83), Sean Cavanaugh (Danny LaFerty 83), Aaron McNeff, Dylan Watts (Greg Bolger 83), Jack Byrne, Graham Brock; Aaron Green (Dean Williams HDT).
Dundalk: Gary Rogers; Brian Gartland (Sean Hore HDT), Daniel Cleary, Andy Boyle; Sean Gonon (Darag Lehi 96), Cameron Dummigan, Chris Shields, Greg Slogett (Jordan Flores 87), Michael Duffy (Daniel Kelly 111), Patrick McLenny (John Mountminty 96); David McMillan.
Referee: Robert Harvey.