European dream stays alive for All Whites pair Max Mata and Nando Pijnaker

posted in: All Whites, News

Two New Zealand internationals will feature in the next round of the UEFA Europa Conference League after their League of Ireland team survived a penalty shoot-out to get through the first qualifying round.

Striker Max Mata and defender Nando Pijnaker play for Sligo Rovers who were tied 2-2 on aggregate after a two-legged qualifier against Welsh side Bala Town.

But Sligo kept their nerve in the penalty shoot-out on Friday July 16 (UKT) to earn themselves a second round tie against Scottish club Motherwell.

Those games will be played on Thursday July 21 (UKT) and Thursday July 28 (UKT).

Former Ngongotaha FC player Pijnaker did not feature in the second leg against Bala Town, having been sent off in the first leg.

Mata, who scored in the first leg, was substituted after 70 minutes in the return fixture so did not take part in the penalty shoot-out.

Both joined Rovers this season and are enjoying their first taste of European competition.

Photo: Pijnaker … missed second leg against Bala Town through suspension.

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