Waterford break UCD at the death to keep FAI Cup hopes alive

Prince Mutswunguma scored the stoppage time winner for the Blues in Belfield

File photo of Prince Mutswunguma. Photo: Laszlo Geczo/Inpho

File photo of Prince Mutswunguma. Photo: Laszlo Geczo/Inpho

 

UCD 2 Waterford 3

Prince Mutswunguma scored a stoppage time winner as Waterford twice came from behind to prevail in a cracking, rollercoaster tie to reach their first FAI Cup semi-final since 2009.

Enjoying much of the early possession, UCD passed the ball well with their in-form strikers Liam Kerrigan and Collie Whelan worrying the visitors defence for the first time on eight minutes, the latter blasting over the top.

That was soon forgotten four minutes later as Whelan, with his Ireland under-21 manager Jim Crawford in attendance, scored a sublime opening goal to give UCD’s blistering start its due reward.

Outfoxing the experienced Greg Halford, Whelan skipped into the box and drove a low shot past Brian Murphy for his 20th goal of the season.

Having reshuffled their line-up, Waterford relieved the pressure with a strong run from Junior Quitirna snuffed out by a superbly timed recovering tackle from Evan Osam.

Quitirna and Isaac Tshipamba then set up the well positioned Mutswunguma who shot wastefully wide as Waterford came right back into the game.

And they clinically punished sloppy defending to deservedly level on 36 minutes.

The lively Quitirna was alert to a loose pass to cut in from the right and drill his shot past Lorcan Healy from just inside the area.

The now dominant visitors might then have been ahead two minutes before the break, but Tshipamba just couldn’t reach Cameron Evans’ inviting cross from the left.

Blues started the second half as they finished the first, Phoenix Patterson shooting over the top after good work from Quitirna two minutes in.

But it was UCD who regained the lead on 49 minutes.

A slaloming run by Whelan opened Waterford up. He slipped the ball into the path of Kerrigan who took a touch before smashing a shot to the far corner for a wonderful finish.

In end-to-end play, Waterford hit back on 66 minutes. Sam Todd took down Mutswunguma to concede a penalty which was emphatically dispatched by Patterson.

Back at the other end, Murphy came into his own with two crucial saves from Whelan within minutes.

First the 38-year-old was out quickly to smother the ball at the feet of Whelan who had been played through one-on-one by Paul Doyle.

Murphy then went the right way to push Whelan’s 72nd minute penalty round a post after Kerrigan had been taken down by substitute Jeremy Milambo.

Not to be outdone, Healy made a terrific save back at his end to deprive Mutswunguma on 80 minutes after Quitirna cleverly worked the opening.

The drama continued until the death, though, as Blues won it in the 91st minute.

Despite UCD’s appeals for a foul on Whelan, Patterson got forward to cross for Mutswunguma to tap in from close range.

UCD: Healy; Osam, O’Brien, Todd, Weir; Doyle (Verdon, 78), Keaney; Kerrigan, Keane, Dignam; Whelan.

Waterford: Murphy; Power, Halford, Ferguson, Mutswunguma; Tshipamba (Milambo, 57; Stafford, 84), Evans, O’Keeffe, Patterson; Quitirna; J. Martin.

Referee: Rob Hennessy (Clare).

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