Dundalk FC 0-4 NK Varteks (Varteks win 9-0 on aggregate)
Croatian side NK Varteks outclassed a dismal Dundalk FC side in Dublin and advanced to the UEFA Cup first round with a superb display of clever football which earned the visitors a standing ovation from the 1,000 fans in Tolka Park.
McCrystal sees red
Dundalk were 5-0 down from the first leg and had only pride to play for, but they failed to score a goal or have a shot on target and the final blow for the Whites was a second-half red card for defender Bryan McCrystal.
Varteks had made six changes from the first leg but the new faces were just as capable of dealing with the Irish threat, and the Croatians were ahead after 21 minutes as striker Matija Kristic had no trouble in heading past goalkeeper John Connolly from a corner by Ilami Halimi.
Misery for Dundalk
On 50 minutes Varteks were 2-0 ahead when Halimi again was the creator, this time for substitute Nedim Halilovic who calmly finished from close range. Four minutes later, former Leeds United AFC player McCrystal was sent off for a foul on Halilovic, his second bookable offence. On 69 minutes Varteks and their small band of fans were singing again when Franje Petrecevic provided a chance for substitute Ivica Huljev who made no mistake, and Dundalk's misery was complete on 79 minutes with a superb goal from long range by defender Ivan Fumic.
Work ahead for Murray
Varteks now advance into the next round while Dundalk manager Martin Murray tries to lift his side and prepare them for the challenge ahead, to win promotion to the Premier Division.