FAI Cup Final: Rebels Secure The Double

It was a match that highlighted how underrated Irish football can be.

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On Sunday 5 November, Cork City secured the double with a penalty shootout win over Dundalk in a repeat of last years final at the Aviva Stadium.  For the third year in a row, the final went to extra time.

Cork City started brighter than Dundalk as the Lilywhites put a number of balls into the box that failed to find their target. Cork was almost off a dream start in the seventh minute when Niclas Vemmelund nearly put Karl Sheppard clean through.

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The final was quite an open affair as both sides had chances with Sheppard producing a reaction save from Gary Rogers, while Michael Duffy and David McMillan tested Rebel keeper McNulty in the City goal.

Dundalk came out the second-half looking like a sharper side and both sides yet again had great chances to score and take the lead.

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There were hearts in the mouths of Dundalk fans when Alan Bennett shot on goal after  Rogers to claw it out just as it looked like City had repeated their last gasps heroics from last year.

As the final went to extra-time again Niclas Vemmelund raised highest in the box to put Dundalk into the lead with the 94th-minute header.

The league champions Cork then hit back when Achille Campion performed in his super-sub role and equalised for the Rebels in the dying minutes.

Both sides converted each of their opening three penalties before McNulty broke the deadlock by saving from Michael Duffy. Kieran Sadlier had the chance to win it from the final penalty of the five, and he duly converted to ensure that Cork City completed their first ever double and a back to back Fai Cup.

 Do you think Irish football is underrated? Let me know in the comments below! 
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