Graham Burke 16' -
Peno Scored: 16'

Richie Towell 64' -
Scored: 64'

Scored: 73'
- Vladimir Weiss 73'

Champions League Report: Shamrock Rovers 2 - 1 Slovan Bratislava (Slovan Bratislava win 3-2 on aggregate)

Tue, Jul 13 2021

Seán O’Connor reports from Tallaght Stadium

Shamrock Rovers were knocked out of the Champions League qualifiers on Tuesday evening despite a 2-1 win over Slovan Bratislava at Tallaght Stadium.

Despite a much-improved performance against the Slovakian Champions, Rovers lost the tie following Vladimir Weiss’ controversial 73rd minute strike.

Graham Burke got the hosts off to the perfect start fifteen minutes in, slotting his penalty after being fouled in the box.

Slovan threatened periodically thereafter, and the Hoops remained solid at the back, despite Richie Towell almost gifting Henty a goal.

Rovers began the second half excellently, resulting in Towell’s wonder strike on 65 minutes to level the tie. After Weiss’ strike, Rovers piled on the pressure for an equaliser.

Aaron Greene and Liam Scales went close late on, but it was not to be for the league champions, who now enter the Europa Conference League.

Coming into the game, Stephen Bradley made three changes following last week’s first-leg loss. Joey O’Brien, Danny Mandroiu and Burke returned into the starting eleven as Greene and Sean Hoare and Sean Gannon missed out.

Nigerian striker Ezekiel Henty had the first chance of the evening, but his effort proved no trouble for Alan Mannus, who kept the tie alive with his last-minute penalty save on Wednesday.

On five minutes, Richie Towell’s loose pass almost cost them the tie. Henty picked the ball up on the halfway line and galloped forward before shooting just wide, much to Towell’s relief.

But Rovers awoke from that near disaster, and took the lead after 15 minutes through Burke’s spot-kick.

A superb through ball from Gary O’Neill found the Irish international, who was then clipped in the box. Mario Zebec pointed straight to the spot and Burke coolly dispatched his penalty in the bottom right corner.

Slovan enjoyed a good spell after Burke's opener, as Henty continued to cause Roberto Lopes and Lee Grace all sorts of trouble.

The Slovaks smacked an effort off the crossbar before Mannus saved brilliantly from Henty’s header.

After the half hour mark, Rovers settled down and took control of possession after a frenetic ten minutes. Towell and O’Neill enjoyed more of the ball but struggled to thread it through to the front three.

Slovan threatened the hosts towards the end of the half, with a few corners and a Rataro header, but Rovers defended strongly and entered the half time break a goal up.

After a slow start to the second period, Liam Scales produced the first chance of the second half. Scales cut inside on the left wing and found Ronan Finn on the edge of the area, but the captain’s effort only stung the palms of Chovan.

That chance livened the crowd up in Dublin 24, and just moments later, they levelled the tie through new recruit Richie Towell.

After sustained pressure, Gaffney found Towell on the edge of the area. With one touch and a quick glance at goal, the 29-year-old fired the ball into the top corner to send a partisan home crowd into euphoria.

It was no more than Rovers deserved after an impressive showing against the Slovakian champions.

After levelling the tie, Rovers sat back while Slovan took better control of the contest. Dylan Watts replaced Gary O’Neill, who was lucky not to receive a second yellow just before.

But the Hoops were dealt a sucker punch six minutes after equalising. Lopes tumbled over on the edge of the area what looked like a clear foul before Slovakian international Vladimir Weiss picked up the ball and beat two men before firing past Mannus.

Tallaght Stadium erupted in a chorus of boos with the home fans feeling very hard done by Croatian referee Mario Zebec.

Rovers, now with no choice but to go for the third, upped the tempo and pressed higher up the pitch.

First, Lopes came inches away from an equaliser on 80 minutes, but Chovan brilliantly tipped it to safety.

Greene’s then went close with a header, but it was deflected just over them bar before Scales went close from the resulting corner.

It was not to be for the Hoops, however, as their huge pressure exerted on the Slovak champions was ultimately not enough on a pulsating night in the capital.

They will now enter the third round of the Europa Conference league, with the draw to be made next Monday.


Shamrock Rovers: Alan Mannus; Liam Scales, Lee Grace, Roberto Lopes (C), Joey O’Brien (Sean Hoare, 80), Ronan Finn; Gary O’Neill (Dylan Watts 71), Richie Towell (Aaron Greene, 84); Danny Mandroiu, Rory Gaffney, Graham Burke.

Subs not used: Leon Pohls; Sean Kavanagh, Sean Gannon, Max Murphy, Conan Noonan, Aidomo Emakhu.

Booked: Danny Mandroiu (18) Gary O’Neill (45) Richie Towell (84)


Slovan Bratislava: Adrian Chovan; Vernon De Marco, Vasil Bozikov, Guram Kashia, Jurij Medvedev; Joeri De Kamps, Jaba Kankava, Vladimir Weiss (Alen Mustafic 90); Rafael Ratao (Jarormir Zmrhal, 82), Ezekiel Henty, David Hrncar.

Subs not used: Martin Trnovsky; Rabiu Ibrahim, Dejan Drazic, Myenty Abena, David Strelec, Lukas Pauschek, Filip Lichy, Kenan Bajric, Aleksandar Cavri

Booked: Ezekiel Henty (22) Guram Kashia (33) Joeri De Kamps (86)


Referee: Mario Zebec

Attendance: 1500 Player of the Match: Richie Towell (Shamrock Rovers)

Shamrock R
WOct. 29, 2021
Shamrock R 3 - 0 Harps
WNov. 5, 2021
Waterford 1 - 3 Shamrock R
LNov. 12, 2021
Bohs 3 - 1 Shamrock R
WNov. 19, 2021
Shamrock R 2 - 1 Drogheda
WJan. 15, 2022
Fairview 0 - 1 Shamrock R
Alan Mannus 1
Pico 4
Lee Grace 5
Joey O'Brien 28
80Subbed Off: Sean Hoare 80'
Daniel Mandroiu 14
Booked: 18'
© Ronan Finn 8
Gary O'Neill 16
Booked: 45'
71Subbed Off: Dylan Watts 71'
Liam Scales 15
Richie Towell 17
Scored: 64'
Booked: 73'
84Subbed Off: Aaron Greene 84'
Rory Gaffney 20
Graham Burke 10
Peno Scored: 16'

Sean Kavanagh 11
Sean Hoare 3
80Subbed On: Joey O'Brien 80'
Aaron Greene 9
84Subbed On: Richie Towell 84'
Sean Gannon 2
Aidomo Emakhu
Max Murphy 24
Conan Noonan
Leon Pohls 25
Dylan Watts 7
71Subbed On: Gary O'Neill 71'
WAug. 13, 2019
Dundalk 1 - 3 SLOBrat
WJuly 7, 2021
SLOBrat 2 - 0 Shamrock R
LJuly 13, 2021
Shamrock R 2 - 1 SLOBrat
DJuly 21, 2021
SLOBrat 0 - 0 Young Boys
LJuly 28, 2021
Young Boys 3 - 2 SLOBrat
1 Adrian Chovan
Vernon De Marco
Vasil Bozhikov ©
Guram Kashia
Booked: 33'
Jurij Medvedev
David Hrncar
Joeri de Kamps
Booked: 86'
20 Jaba Kankava
Rafael Ratao
Midfielder 82'
82Subbed Off: Jaromir Zmrhal 82'
Vladimir Weiss
Scored: 73'
90Subbed Off: Alen Mustafic 90'
9 Ezekiel Henty
Booked: 23'

Rabiu Ibrahim
Dejan Drazic
Aleksandar Cavric
Kenan Bajric
Filip Lichy
Alen Mustafic
Midfield 90'
90Subbed On: Vladimir Weiss 90'
Lukas Pauschek
David Strelec
Martin Trnovsky
Jaromir Zmrhal
Unknown 82'
82Subbed On: Rafael Ratao 82'


Competition: 2021/2022 UEFA Champions League First Qualifying Round

Date: 8 p.m. July 13, 2021

Venue: Tallaght Stadium

Referee: Unknown

Attendance: Unknown