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Published: 22:00 | 2/8/16

Historic win for Dundalk

Guaranteed Europa League football

Dundalk are guaranteed a bumper pay-off after securing their place in the Champions League play-offs after a 3-1 aggregate defeat of BATE Borisov.

The Airtricity League side trailed 1-0 from the opening leg but the Belarusian's advantage was wiped out just before the break when David McMillan put Dundalk ahead at Tallaght Stadium.

McMillan added a second in the 58th minute to give Dundalk the lead for the first time in the tie and they wrapped it up when substitute Robert Benson netted in the 78th minute.

After some pleasing first-half play, Dundalk broke the deadlock just a minute before the interval when Daryl Horgan retained possession on the left wing before finding some space to cross into McMillan, who headed the ball into the top corner.

Borisov's poor defending contributed to Dundalk's second as Dane Massey was allowed to collect the ball in the area and chip on to the waiting McMillan, who duly headed his second of the night.

Dundalk would have been forgiven for defending their lead but they went in search of the goal that would put the tie beyond Borisov and they were rewarded with 12 minutes on the clock when McMillan's replacement Benson broke through and beat Sergo Veremko.

"The victory means Dundalk will be guaranteed a place in the Europa League group stages if they fail to progress from the next round," Benson told the club's official audioboom channel.

"It's tough to sum up, when you hear people say it will take a while to sink in, that's how I feel now.

"It's the best feeling I have had in football and the lads feel the same. We know that we have eight more games at least in Europe and that will go a long way.

"We're not content with the Europa League we want to make the Champions League.

"It's an incredible feeling, it's great for everyone, to be able to do it with this group of lads is an incredible feeling."

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