Dundalk’s European dream is over as they fell to a 2-1 home defeat to Dutch side Vitesse Arnhem at Tallaght Stadium.
First half goals from Matus Bero and Yann Gboho proved the difference as the visitors blitzed their opponents in a 20-minute spell to march on to the play-off round of the UEFA Europa Conference League.
Patrick Hoban pulled a goal back for the hosts from the penalty spot to set up a grandstand finish but despite an onslaught of Dundalk pressure to force extra time, the Eredivisie side held on.
In truth the result is harsh on Vinny Perth’s charges who dominated for 70 of the 90 minutes and deserved extra time.
Dundalk thought they had got off to the dream start through Michael Duffy as he ran in behind to slot home but the linesman had his flag up for offside before the roof could be blown off Tallaght Stadium.
The first quarter was evenly matched with tackles flying in from both sides.
The game came to life in the 23rd minute when Hoban fashioned a chance all of his own making. He won a 50/50 down the right hand side and cut in to unleash a left footed effort that was tipped around the post by Markus Schubert in the Vitesse goal.
From the resulting corner Duffy found Patrick McEleney who thought he had proven the scourge of the Dutch side again when he chested and half volleyed at the back post only for Schubert to come up trumps again and tip around the post.
Then Vitesse scored a calamitous goal to stick a dagger in Dundalk hearts which was against the run of play.
Frederiksen’s shot was deflected off Boyle and the ball looped over Alessio Abibi in the Dundalk goal only for Bero to squeeze the ball home from close range.
It was nearly two within minutes as wing-back Million Manhoef went on a mazing run in which he nutmegged Abibi but Andy Boyle scrambled the ball off the line via the post.
That had the Lilywhites rattled and they never recovered as the Dutch visitors eventually doubled their advantage eight minutes before the interval.
Frederiksen was the architect again as he cleverly slipped Gboho in behind and he slotted neatly under Abibi to leave Vinny Perth’s side on the ropes going into the half-time break.
Dundalk dominated the second half like they did the opening half and after a couple of half chances they made the breakthrough that their performance on the night warranted after Patrick Hoban was bundled to the floor by Sondre Tronstad.
Hoban stepped up to dispatch the resulting penalty and set up a grandstand finish under the lights.
The hosts pushed hard for an equaliser but Schubert proved equal to a fine effort from McEleney and then a close range header from substitute Raivis Jurkovskis.
European specialist David McMillan was also denied by the Vitesse stopper with a header of his own as the clock entered the final five minutes.
Daniel Kelly had an impact from the bench and he thought he had provided the telling assist but Hoban could not reach his low curling cross as the ball agonisingly evaded the striker.
Urged on by a raucous home crowd the ball wouldn’t fall for the hosts in added time as their exit from Euroean competition was confirmed.
Dundalk: Alessio Abibi; Andy Boyle, Cameron Dummigan, Darragh Leahy; Michael Duffy, Patrick McEleney, Will Patching (Raivis Jurkovskis 72), Greg Sloggett, Sam Stanton (Daniel Kelly 58); Patrick Hoban.
Subs not used: Peter Cherrie, Niall Brady, Sean Murray, Han Jeongwoo, Ryan O'Kane, Wilfried Zahibo, Val Adedokun.
Booked: Daniel Kelly (77).
Vitesse Arnhem: Markus Schubert; Riechedly Bazoer, Danilho Doekhi, Maximilian Wittek; Yann Gboho (Tomas Hajek 62); Matús Bero.
Subs not used:
Booked: Tomas Hajek (83) Riechedly Bazoer (93).
Referee: Alain Durieuz
extratime.com Player of the Match: Markus Schubert (Vitesse Arnhem)