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Pat's through after thrilling encounter - 30 June 2002


St Patrick's Athletic have booked a second round Intertoto Cup clash against KAA Ghent on Belgium after a thrilling 1-0 victory over HNK Rijeka at Richmond Park on Sunday leveled the tie at 3-3 with Pat's winning on the away goals rule.

Mbabazi Charles Livingstone was the Saints hero as he grabbed a goal after 22 minutes as Pat Dolan's side hung on to claim a memorable victory.

Rijeka dominated the opening minutes with Natko Racki testing Seamus Kelly's reflexes after just 20 seconds while a few minutes later Blendi Shkembi stung the palms of the St Pat's stopper. Sensing the opportunity to end the tie as a contest, Rijeka pressed forward and Pat's were fortunate on a number of occasions that Kelly's uncertainty at dealing with crosses was not punished.

However, it was Pat's who drew first blood when Paul Donnelly won the ball in midfield before playing the ball through for Livingstone to chase. The Uganda international easily rounded Matko Kalinic before slotting the ball into the empty net.

Spurrted on by this, St Pat's could have been 2-0 up shortly afterwards when Ger McCarthy picked out Martin Russell with a pin-point cross, but the veteran midfielder's effort flew narrowly wide.

The second half lacked the goal mouth incident of the first, as Pat's tried to contain their opponents and hit them on the break. Ger McCarthy had the ball in the net, but it was ruled out for offside, while the striker had the opportunity to end the tie after 65 minutes when he found himself clean through with just Kalinic to beat, but he scuffed his shot and it was easily dealt with by the Rijeka defence.

At the other end, St Pat's defence held firm as Rijeka were limited to long range efforts and at full time, it was the home fans who were singing as the team left the field to a standing ovation.

Team: Kelly, Crolly, Burke, Donnelly, Mcguire, Foley, Osam, Russell, McCarthy, Livingstone (Hughes), Griffin (Bird).[i/]

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Great stuff St. Pats, we're proud of ya. Even the Shels fans ;) Ghent will be stiff competition (what the hell is a Ghent anyways, or Genk for that matter ;) )
 
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