Football | Molde come from behind to defeat Dundalk in Tallaght
Molde came from behind to inflict a 2-1 defeat on Dundalk in the Europa League at Tallaght Stadium.
Sean Murray headed the Lilywhites into a first half lead, but two goals in 10 minutes from Etzaz Hussain and Ohi Anthony Omoijuanfo secured an away win for the Norwegian champions in Group B.
Patrick Hoban also had a goal harshly ruled out in the 24th minute for Filippo Giovagnoli’s side in Dublin.
Dundalk made a bright start in Tallaght, with John Mountney firing a free kick wide in the 16th minute.
Hoban thought he'd given the hosts the lead in the 24th minute, but his header from a half-cleared Michael Duffy cross was ruled out when referee Petri Viljanen adjudged that the Dundalk striker had fouled Molde defender Martin Bjørnbak in the buildup.
Molde did not create many chances of note in the first half, with Marcus Holmgren Pedersen's shot off target the best the visitors could muster in the opening 45 minutes.
Dundalk deservedly took the lead in the 35th minute.
Mountney linked up well with Sean Gannon on the right flank, before whipping in a wonderful cross for Murray to attack.
Murray, who has now scored three European goals in three games, beat Andreas Linde to the ball, heading it past the Molde goalkeeper into the back of the net.
The Lilywhites held on to their lead for the remainder of the half, and went into the interval in the lead.
Molde came out a different team in the second half, increasing their tempo, urgency and quality in the final third.
The Norwegian side's pressure almost resulted in a bizarre goal 10 minutes after the restart, when Mathis Bolly's goal-bound strike deflected off his teammate Stian Gregersen and narrowly over the crossbar.
Molde's first shot on target yielded a 62nd-minute equalizer. Marauding right back Marcus Holmgren Pedersen sent a cross to the back post, which Hussain met on the volley.
His shot deflected off Gannon and past Gary Rogers to draw the Eliteserien champions level.
10 minute later, Erling Moe's team took the lead.
Gannon fouled Molde substitute Erling Knudzton in the box, and the away side were awarded a penalty in the 72nd minute.
Rogers guessed the right way but could not prevent Omoijuanfo's penalty from nestling in the bottom corner.
Giovagnoli turned to his bench for a late leveller, introducing David McMillan, Andy Boyle, Stefan Colovic and Cameron Dunnigan.
However, the reigning Irish champions were unable to conjure a late goal, and rarely threatened Molde's goal in the final quarter.
In Group B's other match, goals from David Luiz and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang saw Arsenal come from behind to beat Rapid Wien 2-1 in Austria.
Next up for the Lilywhites in Europe is a glamorous tie against Mikel Arteta's Gunners at the Emirates Stadium, with a Premier Division clash against Waterford FC at Oriel Park to come before that.
Dundalk: Gary Rogers; Sean Gannon (David McMillan 77), Brian Gartland, Daniel Cleary, Darragh Leahy (Cameron Dummigan 77); Chris Shields, Greg Sloggett (Patrick McEleney 64); John Mountney, Sean Murray (Andy Boyle 77), Michael Duffy (Stefan Colovic 79), Patrick Hoban.
Molde: Andreas Linde; Marcus Holmgren Pedersen, Martin Bjørnbak, Stian Rode Gregersen, Kristoffer Haugen; Fredrik Aursnes, Magnus Wolff Eikrem (Martin Ellingsen 82), Etzaz Hussain; Eirik Hestad, Ohi Omoijuanfo (Ola Brynhildsen 95), Mathis Bolly (Erling Knudtzon 69).
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