ST PATRICK’S Athletic boss Tim Clancy hailed the heroics of his two Joes – Redmond and Anang – as the Saints came through a penalty shoot-out in Slovenia to earn a place in the third round of the Europa Conference League qualifying and a meeting with CSKA Sofia next week.
fter a 1-1 draw in Dublin with NS Mura, the sides could not be separated, a scoreless draw in normal time and no goals in extra time, and in sudden death in a shoot-out, keeper Anang made the key save to win the tie 6-5 for Pat’s.
“To go through was a big result for us, after the first leg we believed we could compete with them, we came out here, Joe Anang made some great saves during the game, we had some good chances ourselves, when you get to extra time and penalties it’s a lottery. We could have won it, Tom Grivosti misses, their keeper makes a great save, then a couple of lads took some great penalties, their lad missed it and we’re delighted,” said manager Tim Clancy.
“We deserve our place in the next round, over both legs we played well, they were a lot better than they were last week in our place, we had travel arrangements and what not but we’re delighted to get through and the focus turns to Sunday and Waterford in the Cup and we’ll worry about next Thursday after that.
“We travel home first thing in the morning, set off at 5am, lads will have a rest on Friday and be in training on Saturday, then we prepare for Waterford, we’ll sort out the travel arrangements but we know it will be a big ask in Sofia next week,” he added, heaping praise on keeper Anang on loan from West Ham.
“Joe has been excellent since he came in from West Ham, he’s getting exposure in big games like this that you don’t get in the U23s over in England, it’s a loan that’s been beneficial to him, it’s temporary as Joe will have an amazing career after us, we’re delighted to see him progress for as long as he’s here, some of the saves he made in 90 minutes and extra time were exceptional and he saved one of the penalties as well.
“Joe Redmond has had a brilliant season for us, when Joe stepped up and put the keeper the wrong way it gave us a foothold in that shoot-out, the pressure got to their player and thankfully we are through.”