Paul Corcoran reports from Eamonn Deacy Park
UCD broke Galway United hearts on Tuesday night when they visited Eamonn Deacy Park.
In the midst of the wind and the rain, they held Galway United to a 2-2 draw to keep the home side out of the playoffs this season.
United opened the scoring in the first half with Stephen Christopher netting a scrappy goal, UCD replied with two of their own coming from Evan Weir late in the second half before Shane Duggan blasted home the equaliser seconds from full-time.
The home side started the game the more lively but struggled to create clear cut chances.
The first incident of note came in the fourth minute after a precise ball by Christopher down the left wing to Shane Doherty, a common manoeuvre during the game.
The winger played a great ball across the mouth of the UCD goal and the clearance managed to get as far as Galway’s Sam Warde but the midfielder didn’t react quick enough and his shot was blocked by the UCD defence.
A timely intervention from Paul Doyle kept the Tribesmen from taking the lead in the 12th minute after a scramble in the box from a Shane Duggan corner.
Mikey Place got the last chance at a shot and the ball was looking destined for the bottom corner before Doyle got his body in the way to deflect the ball behind for a corner.
Galway were on top for much of the first half and they nearly scored from their fifth corner which they won just before the half hour mark.
Christopher’s cross looked like it was curling in at the front post only for Lorcan Healy’s intervention but the goalkeeper only managed to slap the ball down. He got down just in time to prevent Galway’s attackers from tapping the ball into the net.
As the game ticked closer to half time Yoyo Mahdy started to pull the strings just outside the Galway box with a number of balls causing trouble for the Galway defence.
In the 33rd minute he threaded a ball through to Colm Whelan allowing the forward to break through the Galway defence but he ran into a hole and could only strike a shot directly at Horgan for an easy save.
The home side took the lead two minutes from the break after Duggan delivered a ball into the box from a corner-kick.
Chaos ensued in the UCD box with a number of shots being taken by the home side with The Students unable to clear until the ball finally fell to Christopher who just managed to find the one route into the back of the net in a crowded goalmouth.
UCD looked to be in control for much of the second half. They got an early chance in the 47th minute when Liam Kerrigan took on a long range effort from the edge of the box, Kevin Horgan had to be at full stretch to keep the ball from the bottom corner.
There was a lack of good chances throughout the half but it was UCD who scored as the game came close to its conclusion.
In the 81st minute Harry McEvoy lobbed a speculative effort into the box and Evan Weir managed to get above the Galway defence to nod the ball into the net for the equaliser.
He then got his second of the game just as the clock ticked into the 90th minute.
UCD won a free-kick a long way out from the Galway goal, the midfielder was undeterred and managed to rattle the back of the net with a rasping shot for what seemed to be the match winner.
However the Tribesmen got a very late equaliser with captain Shane Duggan taking the game by the scruff of its neck and going on a solo run to drive the ball into the back of the net from 30 yards.
United had little time to push for a winner, and a place in the playoffs slipped from their grasp on this stormy Tuesday night in Galway.
Galway United: Kevin Horgan; Maurice Nugent, Jack Lynch (Timmy Molloy 45), Marc Ludden, Killian Brouder; Stephen Christopher (Conor Barry 85), Sam Warde; Mikey Place (Carlton Ubaezuonu 64), Shane Doherty (Vinny Faherty 85), Wilson Waweru (Francely Lomboto 85).
Subs not used: Carlton Ubaezuonu, Mícheál Schlingermann, Timmy Molloy, Francely Lomboto, Christopher Horgan, Vinny Faherty, Conor Barry.
Booked: Mikey Place (16), Shane Doherty (49),
UCD: Lorcan Healy; Luke Boore, Harry McEvoy, Evan Weir; Mark Dignam (Dara Keane 62), Paul Doyle, Eoin Farrell, Liam Kerrigan; Yousef Mahdy (Danu Kinsella Bishop 90), Colm Whelan
Subs not used: Isaac Akinsete, Ciaran Behan, Dara Keane, Danu Kinsella Bishop, Michael O'Keane, Matthew Treanor, Adam Verdon.
Booked: Luke Boore (2), Harry McEvoy (87)
Referee: Marc Moynihan
extratime.com Man of the Match: Evan Weir (UCD)
The Final League of Ireland First Division Table 2020— Extratime.com (@ExtratimeNews) October 27, 2020
Congratulations to @DroghedaUnited - League Winners
Bray Wanderers, UCD, Longford Town and Cabinteely enter the play-offs. https://t.co/27fKdFUlse#LeagueOfIreland