Derry City's Sadou Diallo reckons Euro heroics ease pain of FAI Cup Final suspension

SADOU Diallo emerged the unlikely goalscoring hero for Derry City in Europe but the midfielder was so cool in front of goal he even closed his eyes before heading the Brandywell club into the second round.
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It was the former Forest Green man's first goal of the season and just his third since joining the club last summer.

He was assigned, alongside his defensive midfield partner Cameron Dummigan, to shepherd the City defence against HB Torshavn but he popped up to find the net from a corner kick after 23 minutes of the second leg tie on Foyleside.

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It was a memorable moment for Diallo who admits he's not renowned for his heading ability.Ruaidhri Higgins described him as a young Duncan Ferguson with his tongue firmly in cheek afterwards.

Derry City's Sadou Diallo celebrates his goal, against HB Torshavn, with Ronan Boyce Photo: George Sweeney.Derry City's Sadou Diallo celebrates his goal, against HB Torshavn, with Ronan Boyce Photo: George Sweeney.
Derry City's Sadou Diallo celebrates his goal, against HB Torshavn, with Ronan Boyce Photo: George Sweeney.

"He reminded me of Duncan Ferguson there," smiled Higgins. "He's not known for heading the ball in midfield, never mind in the opposition box. But he's been a great signing for us and it's a big goal for him and I'm sure he and his family are very proud tonight."

For Diallo, he was just relieved when the ball hit the back of the net."Obviously I'm happy but it didn't matter how we got the goals. We got the win in the end. I'm looking forward to the next round.

"I'm not known for my heading," he laughed. I saw it come towards my side so I just thought 'jump for it' and I closed my eyes and thankfully it went in."

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When he was told about his manager's comments, he laughed: "Of course he's going to say that. But no, it's good to get my first goal of the season as well. So it was nice."

Diallo felt the way Derry finished the first leg in Torshavn gave them confidence going into the return tie and with Finnish outfit KuPs up next, he has full belief the team can progress.

"I think we finished the first leg off, in the second half, pretty well and we carried that into the first half today. We had chances and I think we could've been a bit more clinical as well.

"These kinds of games are always tight and one goal can and does decide the outcome of the game. I think we coud've been more clinical with our chances but it's all about getting the win. In the end it was good to get a goal and we look forward to the next one now."

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With Athlone Town arriving at Brandywell on Sunday in the FAI Cup first round, it brings back memories of Diallo's heartbreaking suspension which ruled him out of last season's final at the Aviva Stadium.

He's determined to make amends for that frustration and admits his winning goal in Derry's biggest game of the season against Torshavn in some small way made up for it. Understandably he didn't want to dwell on it as he looks ahead to the rest of the season with real optimism.

"Yeah a little bit," he admitted. "Listen we have bigger games to come so we've got to look forward to that, starting with Sunday and then we can look towards Thursday next week.

"It's one game at a time. Hopefully we get to the final again and I can play this time."

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After that, it's another step up in class against KuPs but Diallo is up for the challenge."Listen, I think we have a good team and I believe in us so it doesn't matter who we play. We look forward to it. It's a challenge but I think we can get through any team."