ST. PATRICK’S ATHLETIC had every reason to party Thursday night.
Tim Clancy’s men have secured a meeting with CSKA Sofia in the Europa Conference League after a dramatic win over NS Mura.
After drawing the first leg 1-1 at Richmond Park, Pat’s traveled to Slovenia with a game well prepared.
It was 0-0 after regular time and extra time, despite a red card being shown to Mura’s substitute Matic Marusko in the 71st minute.
A penalty shootout followed, with both teams scoring three of their first five kicks to set up sudden death.
After three more sets of penalties, Pat’s won the day, with Joe Redmond’s goal followed by Tio Cipot launching his effort over the bar.
Their reward is a third qualifying round clash with CSKA Sofia, with the winner of that one over two legs going into the play-offs.
The locker room scenes after the game were suitably cheerful, with the St. Pat’s team and management team singing and dancing.
Fans on social media were also delighted, with one saying: ‘I love this club’
Another said: “Joey Anang. The best ever. The best ever. #StPatsFC#Saints2022#SaintsInEurope”
Reacting after the match, Pat’s boss Clancy praised his team’s character for its ability to get the job done on Slovenian opponents.
He said: “Passing that tie was a great result.
“In the game, Joe Anang made some great saves, but when you get to extra time and penalties, it’s a lottery.
“I think we certainly deserve our place in the next round. In both sets we played well. But we know it’s going to be a big demand in Sofia next week.
Pat’s victory over Mura came on the heels of Sligo Rovers’ memorable win over Motherwell in the Europa Conference League.
Described by Celtic legend Chris Sutton as a “bad night” for the Scottish Premiership side, goals from Shane Blaney and Max Mata sealed a 2-0 win at Showgrounds.