Robbie Benson is mobbed by his team-mates after putting Dundalk FC 3-0 against BATE Borisov at Tallaght Stadium. (Pic: Ciarán Culligan)
The poster moment of Dundalk FC’s magical European run of 2016, Robbie Benson's goal against BATE Borisov in the driving rain at Tallaght Stadium saw an outpouring of emotion unparalleled in the history of Irish club football.
Dundalk led 2-0 as the clock ticked towards the 90’ with David McMillan having twice headed to the net. The Belarusians, however, were on the attack, and had been for the majority of the final half-hour, in the knowledge that a goal would be enough to see them take their place in the Champions League play-off round.
But the night was made for Dundalk. A misplaced pass along BATE’s last line, forced by the type of pressure which signified the winners’ bold approach, saw a slip and substitute Benson raced onto the loose ball, dribbling 40 yards before picking out the bottom corner with his right foot. What scenes...
The Westmeath man took long strides towards the corner flag as both stands shook to their core. Benson slid on his front in celebration, Dundalk players dived on top of him, BATE hit rock bottom as The Lilywhites scaled new heights.
The noise when his goal nestled in the net is still enough to make the hair stand on the neck. For this goal alone, Benson will be forever remembered by Dundalk fans.
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