Live Updates: St Patrick's Ath -v- Hannover 96Thu, Aug 02 2012
Photo on Homepage courtsey of Jason O'Callaghan
ST PATRICK'S ATHLETIC
The Saints welcome Hannover 96 to Dublin on Thursday in the Europa League Third Qualifying round. Due to UEFA regulations, St. Pat’s will play this home game in Tallaght Stadium and away from Richmond Park where they have such a good home record in Europe (five consecutive home wins, unbeaten in 11 games).
St. Pat’s progressed to this stage of qualification for the Europa League after eliminating Icelandic side IBV. Last week they beat Bosnian side Siroki Brijeg 2-1 in Inchicore in extra time to go through 3-2 on aggregate. Goals from John Russell and Christy Fagan set up the win but the Saints were also thankful for Ger O’Brien’s last gasp tackle at the end of extra time.
“It was just head down and run after him”, said O'Brien speaking to stpatsfctv. “I slid in and thankfully blocked it and it has gone some way in helping the team win 2-1.”
Available for the game for manager Liam Buckley is captain Conor Kenna who missed, due to suspension, Pat’s’ last Airtricity League game, a 1-1 draw in Belfield against UCD. Dean Kelly (groin) and Stephen O’Flynn, who scored the crucial away goal in Iceland against IBV, has a broken rib and they will both miss the game. Mark Rossiter has a long term knee injury. Buckley is hoping that Vinny Faherty who has just re-signed for his second spell at the club will make the match squad. Faherty returns from playing in Australia in the Victorian Premier league.
It is a tough ask for Pat’s against a team who play in one of the heavyweight top flight divisions in Europe. “It is great for the fans, the players and the club,” said O’Brien. “It is a very strong division over there but we have them here first and hopefully we can take a good result over there.”
His manager also knows Pat’s face a difficult task. “We have to make sure we play our way,” said Liam Buckley speaking to stpatsfc. “When we get the ball, we’ve got to be even more patient in terms of keeping possession – our supporters have been great in understanding that and supporting us this season.
“We’ve a tough game Thursday night, but we’ll rely on what we’ve been working on for the past few months, and if we retain the ball, they’re not going to score. So we cannot afford to give the ball away cheaply which we have done at times this season – if we can avoid doing that, we’ll give ourselves a chance.”
Hannover’s first league game is not until 26 August when they face Schalke 04. They will be hoping that St. Pat’s don’t catch them cold on Thursday. The German side, who finished seventh in the Bundesliga last season, have played a number of pre-season friendlies in preparation for the start of their competitive season. They lost to Herta Berlin and to third division side Preussen Munster. Their game last week against FK Rad Belgrad was abandoned after 57 minutes due to torrential rain in Austria where the game was played. Ivorian striker Didier Ya Konan had put Hannover in the lead before the game ended prematurely.
96 followed that up with a 1-1 draw against Wisla Krakow last Saturday. Hannover played the game using the Umbro match balls that will be used in Thursday’s game in Tallaght to aid their preparation. Hungarian Szabolcs Huszti, who recently returned to Hannover following three years with Zenit St. Petersburg, put the German side in the lead. Manager Mirko Slomka will be disappointed that his team conceded an equaliser in the final moments of the game. They also lost central defender Brazilian Felipe during the game and he won’t make the match in Dublin. 'Die Roten' signed Felipe from Standard Liege, a club Hannover played four times in the Europa League last season.
Also missing will be another of Hannover’s new signings Hiroki Sakai. The defender is currently at the Olympics with Japan. He played in last week’s 1-0 win over Spain in Hampden Park. Adrian Nikci, signed from Zurich over the summer, is an injury doubt.
Referee: Tamás Bognar (Hungary).
Hannover got all the way to the quarter final of last year’s Europa League. They were eliminated at that stage by eventual winners Atletico Madrid, 4-2 on aggregate.
This is the third time in the last four years that St. Pat’s have played six games in Europe. In the same round last season, Pat’s played in Tallaght and were defeated 2-0 by Karpaty Lviv.
Pat’s last played German opposition in Europe in 2008. They played Hertha Berlin, drawing 0-0 in the home leg played in the RDS, and they lost 2-0 away.
St Patrick’s Athletic 15/2; Draw 15/4; Hannover 2/7.
St Patrick’s Athletic 1 - 3 Hannover 96.
St Patrick’s Athletic Injury News: Mark Rossiter, Dean Kelly, Stephen O’Flynn.
Hannover 96 Injury News: Felipe, Hiroki Sakai, Adrian Nikci (doubt).
Macdara made his debut as a football supporter in Lansdowne Road watching Ireland defeat Liechtenstein. He still believes one day he will see his club Shamrock Rovers win an FAI Cup. You can follow Macdara on twitter @macdarabueller