Goals by Barbadian Thierry Gale and Brazilian midfielder Alef Santos lifted Georgian club FC Dila Gori to an important 2-0 home win on Wednesday night and 3-2 aggregate victory over Slovakia’s DAC Dunajska Streda in the first qualifying round of the UEFA Europa Conference League at the Tengiz Burjanadze Stadium in Georgia.
Gale played the full 90 minutes and opened the scoring in the 33rd minute to tie the scores on aggregate. The 20-year-old broke the offside trap to connect with an excellent through ball from midfield, took one touch and clipped the ball over onrushing goalkeeper Samuel Petráš.
Prior to their goal, the home side created a promising opportunity to score from a corner kick in the 20th minute but goalkeeper Petráš kept his team in the game with a save on the goal line as Gale subsequently missed a guilt-edged chance.
The Barbadian forward was presented with another chance on the half-hour mark but, again, Petráš made the save.
Near the end of a laborious second half, Santos’ left-footed curling shot from outside the box smacked the back of the net in the 78th minute to the sheer delight of his teammates and supporters in the ground.
In last week’s first leg, DAC took a slender 2-1 victory courtesy of goals from Matej Trusa in the 33rd and Ammar Ramadan in the 36th minute. Mykola Kovtalyuk scored the consolation goal for Dila Gori in the 43rd minute.
The Georgian side advanced to the main path of the tournament’s second qualifying round where they will face Ukrainian team Vorskla Poltava. The first leg will be played in Ukraine on July 27, while the home tie will be played on August 3. (NM)