All will become clear in the coming days, but for now it looks like the Leesiders have peformed the greatest escape since Charles Bronson and Steve McQueen.
At the opposite end of the spectrum St. Patrick’s Athletic, enjoyed victory in their Europa League third qualifying round game against Russian heavyweights Krylya Sovetov with Declan ‘Fabio’ O’Brien scoring the one and only goal of the game. O’Brien made it three goals in three European games becoming the first League of Ireland player to score in three consecqutive European ties.
Speaking after the game O’Brien said – ‘It’s a fabulous result for Irish soccer at a time when it’s all been doom and gloom’
Pat’s have already earned €90,000 by reaching this stage, which will stablise the club, and if the hold on in Russia it will see them reach the play-off round and guarantee them two more European nights, along with a further windfall.
Elsewhere, in Bulgaria, Derry City battled bravely but went down 1-0 to CSKA Sofia leaving them with an uphill battle in the return leg at the Brandywell. The Candystripes European faith is in their own hands, but they are certainly the ones with the more difficult task facing them on Thursday night. If they like St. Pat’s weather the storm they will also reach the play-off round, and a guranteed cash bonus.
As all three clubs prepare to ride the emotional rollercoaster for another week, it will be survival of the fittest, but one thing is for sure, no club will be going down without a fight. Passion and belief will be key.