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Penalty Heartbreak for U19s in UYL

UCD Under-19 manager Maciej Tarnogrodzki has praised his side following their 5-4 penalty shoot-out defeat in the UEFA Youth League against Molde FK.UCD Team vs Molde FK

The Students went into the game with a 2-1 lead from the home leg but the Norwegian side pegged UCD back with goals from Sivert Gussias and Leo Oestigaard.

Jack Ryan's 51st-minute strike levelled the tie on aggregate and the game was sent to penalties. Luke Boore's penalty was saved by Molde keeper Jonatan Byttingsvik to send the Norwegians through to the second round of the domestic champions path of the UEFA Youth League.

Despite the narrow penalty shoot-out defeat, Tarnogrodzki was full of praise for his side who are only the second side from Ireland to play in the UEFA Youth League.

The UCD U19 manager said: "To lose on penalties is always going to be difficult for us to take. We didn't play particularly well in the first-half but in the second-half, we came back strong.

"We were the better team throughout the second-half and we kept the ball really well. Molde struggled with our play and I think we did really well to get them to penalties.

"It is always unlucky to lose that way and not progress in the competition. I think the players should be really proud of their achievement tonight as this is a great level for them to be competing at.

"Molde are a fully professional side and their players train throughout the week, and we've more than matched them tonight. They've got seven international players playing for Norway and we've only got one international but the players rose to the level and to only lose on penalties, that is a great sign for us."

The Students gained a place in the UEFA Youth League through the domestic champions path after they won the SSE Airtricity U19 League title last season. Tarnogrodzki believes the UEFA Youth League experience will benefit the players in the future.

He continued: "Experience is huge in a young players' career. I told the players after the game that they will learn a lot from playing at this level but also losing like that.

"They've got full-time coaches and a full-time set-up, and they couldn't beat us across the both legs of football. The players have shown great signs tonight for their future careers and they should take huge confidence from that.

"No doubt some of them will be able to push into professional football and I'm sure this will be a big moment in their careers they'll be able to look back on."

You can watch extended highlights of the game here!