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Statistics: Ireland Under 16 [Powered by tplSoccerStats]
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07.09.2006 at 17:30 Crikvenica Attendance:
Croatia 2 - 2 Ireland Under 16
Referee: Friendly-match

None David O Brien (57)
Paul Murphy (68)
Opening squads
Mark Connors
David O Brien
Mark Power
John Dunleavy
Gavin Gunning
Conor Clifford
Gearoid Morrissey
Richard Towell
Calum O Shea
Paul Murphy
Aaron Doran
Harry Lee
Greg Cunningham
Niall Byrne
Darragh Satelle
David Cawley
Ronan Murray
Kallum Keane
None David Cawley -> Conor Clifford (14)
Niall Byrne -> Mark Power (50)
Greg Cunningham -> Calum O Shea (50)
Kallum Keane -> David O Brien (65)
Ronan Murray -> Gearoid Morrissey (65)
Darragh Satelle -> Gavin Gunning (69)
Yellow cards
None None.
Red cards
None None.
Match report
The Republic of Ireland Under 16 side ended their double International friendly with Croatia in an exciting 2-2 encounter in Crikvenica this afternoon.

It was Vincent Butler’s men who started the brighter and after only eight minutes, Irish captain Conor Clifford set up Aaron Doran, just outside the box but his effort was just inches wide of the top corner.

The Irish were dealt a cruel blow after only 14 minutes when Conor Clifford was forced to withdraw due to injury, being replaced by Ballina’s David Cawley.

The Republic of Ireland failed to take the game to Croatia and in the 20th minute a Croatian corner was headed goalbound and just cleared off the line by Mark Power. The ensuing clearance caused a substantial scramble in the box and the Irish were relieved when David Cawley was on-hand to clear the ball off the line.

After 35 minutes, Croatia punished the Irish for losing possession in key areas. A long ball over the Irish defence was pounced on by the striker who slammed the ball past the helpless Mark Connor’s in the Irish goal.

Ireland reacted to the opening goal almost instantly when a Callum O’Shea corner was caught cleanly by the ‘keeper only for him to collide with one of his team-mates and dropped the ball into the path of Gavin Gunning who was on hand to tap the ball into the Croatian net. His celebrations were cut short however when the referee disallowed his goal and awarded a free out.

After half-time, it was the Irish who looked to attack and after 57 minutes a Richie Towell free-kick in midfield was flicked goal-wards by Greg Cunningham but the Croatian goalkeeper was first to react when he saved low-down. The Irish were to thank their good fortune from the resulting save, the Croatian defence were pedestrian-like in their movement and Australian born winger, David O’ Brien was on-hand to intercept a loose pass and ran straight through on goal, his effort found the back of the net after the goalkeeper half-saved the shot.

Croatia were back in the lead after 63 minutes when a hopeful ball over the Irish defence was hacked at by Niall Byrne, his clearance was sliced and lobbed right over the despairing hands of Connors in the Irish net.

Following the goal, the Irish pushed forward seeking an equaliser and got their just-reward on 68 minutes when Cunningham broke from midfield and found David Cawley on the edge of the box. Cawley held up the ball and teed it up for Paul Murphy who smashed his effort into the top left hand corner.

Ireland thought they had a dramatic lead two minutes later when Aaron Doran was played through on goal and supplied a cool finish, only to see his goal ruled off-side.

Republic of Ireland Under 16 manager, Vincent Butler was buoyant after the extraordinary encounter, “After a relatively tight first half, I thought our lads had plenty of chances in the end the end to scrape a victory for us”

He added, “This match has been ideal for our preparations for the upcoming busy schedule of friendlies and tournaments such as the Montaigu Tournament and the Ballymena Tournament which take place early next year”

Republic of Ireland team v Croatia

16. Mark Connors – Crumlin United
3. Mark Power – Aston Villa
12. Gavin Gunning – Blackburn Rovers
5. John Dunleavy – Ballybofey United
13. Richard Towell – Crumlin United
6. Conor Clifford – Crumlin United
14. Callum O’Shea – Charlton Athletic
15. Gearoid Morrissey – Ringmahon Rangers
18. David O’Brien – Crumlin United
17. Paul Murphy – Ipswich Town
7. Aaron Doran – Blackburn Rovers

1. Harry Lee – Charlton Athletic
2. Niall Byrne – Shelbourne (on for Mark Power, 50 Mins)
4. Kallum Keane – Derby County (on for David O’Brien, 65 Mins)
8. David Cawley – Ballina Town (on for Conor Clifford 14 Mins)
9. Darragh Satelle – Crumlin United (on for Gavin Gunning, 69 Mins)
10. Ronan Murray – Erris United (on for Gearoid Morrissey, 65 Mins)
11. Greg Cunnigham – Mervue United (on for Callum O’ Shea, 50 Mins)
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