Nagjee Cup: Rovers turns table on TSV Munich

Shamrock Rovers came back from behind twice to turn the tables on TSV 1860 Munich 3-2 in a match that saw plenty of action and drama.

Shamrock Rovers and TSV 1860 Munich players in action at the Nagjee International football cup   -  S. Ramesh Kurup

If TSV 1860 Munich had looked the pick of the eight teams after the opening round of matches in the Mahindra & Mahindra Sait Nagjee international football tournament, Shamrock Rovers was arguably the least impressive. On Wednesday night, though, Rovers, came back from behind twice to turn the tables on TSV 3-2 in a match that saw plenty of action and drama.

Of the five goals, three were scored from the spot.

The Irish men had paid the penalty for a sedate beginning in the match against Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk, though they had speeded up things in the second half. On this night, they chose to continue from where they left off against the Ukrainians, showing lot more urgency in the opening minutes.

The Germans, on the other hand, failed to replicate the form that saw them blank Argentina 3-0. Still, it was the Under-21 boys from Munich that scored the first goal of the match, in the 14th minute, as Michael Kokocinsky made no mistake off the penalty kick awarded for a foul by Felix Webber on Simon Seferings.

But, in the 32nd minute, Gary McCabe made it 1-1, also from the spot. TSV, however, went ahead again, in the 42nd minute thorough another successful kick from the spot by Kokocinsky; this time, the penalty was for a foul on Nicholas Helmbrecht by David O’Connor.

That lead, though, was short-lived. The Irish equalised through Danny North in the injury time of the first half.

But that goal, which he scored off a rebound, after his own quick dash down the left flank, seemed to have shocked the Germans, who felt he was off-side and protested. The hard-working North was named the Man-of-the-Match.

The teams were thus level 2-2 at the breather.

Seven minutes into the second half, Rovers went ahead for the first time in the match. McCabe’s free-kick found North, who passed it back to him. McCabe then gave a cross to Gavin Brennan, who headed home what would prove to be the winner, from near the goal-line.

The result: Shamrock Rovers 3 (Gary McCabe 32 (p), Danny North 45, Gavin Brennan 52) bt TSV 1860 Munich 2 (Michael Kokocinsky 14 (p) & 42 (p)).

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