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Shelbourne FC 0-1 Hibernians FC (Aggregate 2-3)
A last-minute winner from Ndvbisi Chukunyere gave Hibernians FC a dramatic victory just as Shelbourne FC were preparing to celebrate.
The Irish hosts needed only a goalless draw to triumph following a 2-2 draw in the first leg. After spurning a succession of chances, however, they were left heartbroken after conceding so late in the game. With all eyes at Tolka Park on the clock, the Maltese champions launched a counterattack that finished with Nigerian striker Chukunyere converting in spectacular fashion.
Hibernians now go on to face the 2000/01 Portuguese champions Boavista FC, a fitting reward after coming out on top in one of the closest ties of the first qualifying round. Shelbourne only have themselves to blame, however, after having the majority of opportunities in a tight game.
Striker Trevor Molloy had several opportunities to put the match beyond doubt, particularly in an impressive Shels spell after the interval. Molloy was denied by a fine point-blank save by Hibernians goalkeeper Mario Muscat on 47 minutes and three minutes later the striker fired over the bar from three metres after Muscat parried an Ollie Cahill shot into his path.
The winning goal came in the 90th minute when lively substitute Antoine Zahra raced on to a pass from Adrian Ciantar and crossed for Chukunyere to finish from eight metres. Chukunyere was the hero for the visitors although Hibernians coach Robert Gatt will also be aware of the contribution made by goalkeeper Muscat.
Afterwards, Shelbourne manager Pat Fenlon blamed poor finishing on his side's exit. "We created enough chances to win two games but got punished for poor finishing in front of goal," he said.
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