Galway United’s Friday evening trip to the sunny southeast proved to be a dramatic affair as they were defeated 2-1 by Waterford in extremely controversial circumstances.
It was a game that literally had everything, played in sweltering hot conditions in front of a deafening atmosphere. The game itself defied the intense heat and was played at a breathtaking tempo and remarkably increased to an even faster tempo in the second half.
Galway started the brightest, Stephen Walsh, who had previously gone close with three early headers, and opened the scoring in the 12th minute. Ed McCarthy did good work down the left wing and fed Rob Manley, who squared to Walsh.
Waterford equalised seven mins later, however, with Idowu taking advantage of some sloppy set-piece defending to rifle home.
Half-time substitute Francely Lomboto spurned a big opportunity early the second half with the game taking a frantic pace. Both teams went all out trying to secure a winner.
United were caught by a Waterford counterattack 19 mins into the second half. There was debate about the initial offside decision, but as the attack continued into the penalty area, Conor McCormack pulled back Wassim Oucharie was shown a red card.
Waterford’s top scorer Phoenix Patterson however, skied the resultant penalty miles over the bar.
The drama didn’t end there, however, as they were awarded a second penalty with nine mins to go in even more conversational circumstances. A decision that enraged the Tribesmen, with replays showing that it was the United defender James Finnergty that had been fouled.
Junior Quintirna stepped forward and slotted Waterford into the lead from the spot with tens mins to go.
United put in a very spirited performance but left the Waterford venue with nothing to show for the efforts except frustration.
GALWAY UNITED: C Kearns; J Finnerty, D Portilla (M Dimas 61), C Lyons; M Hemmings (W Waweru 85), C McCormack, D Hurley, B Héry (A Thomas 46), E McCarthy ( O O’Reilly 83); S Walsh, R Manley (F Lomboto 46).
WATERFORD: P Martin; T Sobowale, K Cantwell, R Taylor, D Power; N O’Keefe, S Griffin; J Quitirna, R Idowu, P Patterson (Y En-Neyah 87); W Aouachria.