‘Something I’ll never forget’: Jose Mourinho congratulates Dundalk after penalty success

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Jose Mourinho was a surprise well-wisher after Dundalk progressed on penalties to the Champions League second qualifying round.

Gary Rogers, centre, of Dundalk celebrates with teammates at Skonto Stadium. Photo by Roman Koksarov/Sportsfile

It was an emotional night all round, featuring a newborn baby, a European record, the financial boost of another round, and Dundalk’s Champions League dream living on after a see-saw penalty shoot-out.

As head coach Vinny Perth was about to speak to reporters in Riga to reflect on all the drama, he was handed a phone by Andy Burton, a former Sky Sports reporter who works for Dundalk’s owners, PEAK6.

'Something I'll never forget': Jose Mourinho congratulates Dundalk after penalty success
A Dundalk supporter celebrates. Photo by Roman Koksarov/Sportsfile

On the other end of a FaceTime call? Only the former Man United, Chelsea, and Real Madrid manager.

“Jose rang through someone in the club. He just congratulated me and wished us well,” Perth told DFCTV.

“He was very typical Jose, saying ‘brilliant work, keep up the good work, enjoy the night’, but at the same time, ‘you’ve got work to do ahead of next week’.

Jose is a hero of mine. He’s someone that I really admire. To get a phone call off of him was pretty special and something I’ll never forget.

It was a first European win for Perth since taking over Dundalk this year, sealed in the most nail-biting of fashion.

It took two saves from Gary Rogers, who equalled the League of Ireland record for most European appearances, to give Dundalk the chance to progress.

Georgie Kelly saw his first opportunity saved but Sean Hoare coolly converted the winner, which sets up a tie against Azerbaijani champions Qarabag.

There was even more joy on the night when word came through from home that star winger Michael Duffy’s partner Emily had given birth to a baby boy.

He timed his arrival well, too, arriving at half-time in extra-time – just in time for Duffy to catch the penalties!

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