11.10.2018 at 15:00 Akko Municipal, Akko
Referee: Lawrence Visser
Ronan Hale (64)
Assaf Tzur (GK),
Yosef Raz Meir,
Yarden Mordehai Cohen,
Idan Nachmias (C),
Shon Zalman Weissman,
Kieran O Hara
Yosef Raz Meir 52 mins,
Assaf Tzar 61 mins,
Idan Nachmias 82 mins,
Shon Weissman 90+6 mins
Ronan Curtis (91)
Republic of Ireland Under 21s qualification hopes ended with a 3-1 defeat to Israel in Akko.
Goals from Gavriel Kanichowsky, Yarden Mordehai Cohen and Jonathan Cohen sealed the victory for the home side despite Ronan Hale's fantastic second-half equaliser.
Ireland struggled to get going in the first-half and went behind with just 14 minutes on the clock. Israel's Neta Levi dug out a low cross from the left which was only half-cleared and Kanichowsky fired home.
Despite a poor first-half showing, Ireland should have gone in level at the break. In the 36th minute, Jordan Shipley's right-sided corner found an unmarked Ryan Sweeney but he placed his header narrowly wide of the left-hand post.
Ireland picked up considerably in the second-half as Shipley fired a 25-yard shot narrowly wide in the 50th minute and four minutes later, Reece Grego-Cox headed wide as Noel King's side looked for the equaliser.
Derry City forward Ronan Hale was introduced and had an immediate impact. He thought he had equalised for Ireland when he bundled home Ronan Curtis' cross but incredibly, the referee ruled it out for handball. However, from the resulting kick-out from goalkeeper Assaf Tzur, Hale collected the poor ball and arrowed his shot past the keeper to equalise in the 63rd minute.
Ireland were in the ascendency and could have took the lead with 20 minutes remaining when Grego-Cox found Curtis on the left but his shot was well blocked.
The away side continued to charge forward looking for the winner but were dealt a huge blow when Israel retook the lead in unfortunate circumstances. Mordehai Cohen's right-sided cross somehow found it's way past everyone to go straight in with 14 minutes remaining.
In the six additional minutes, Danny Kane's close-range header was well saved before Sweeney's header from a Jake Mulraney cross was also held. Israel completed the scoring in the final minute on the break as Cohen slid the ball past goalkeeper Kieran O'Hara.
"It was a strange game. We weren't really at it in the first-half and they've created a number of chances. Despite that, we should go in level if we take our chances," said U21 Head Coach Noel King.
"I thought we were much better in the second-half and we looked like we were the team which would go on to win the game. It's a fantastic finish from Ronan who did really well when he came on and we continued to create chances.
"It's a really unfortunate goal to concede at a crucial time. It's a tough defeat for the players to take but they'll learn from this experience as we look towards the Germany on Tuesday."
Israel: Assaf Tzur (GK), Yosef Raz Meir, Yarden Mordehai Cohen, Idan Nachmias (C), Amit Bitton, Neta Lavi, Yonatan Cohen, Shon Zalman Weissman, Or Dasa, Gavriel Kanichowsky (Maxim Plakushchenko 74), Moti Barshazky (Shay Golan 84).
Republic of Ireland: Kieran O'Hara (GK), Corey Whelan, Danny Kane, Ryan Delaney (Jamie McGrath 84), Ryan Sweeney, Liam Kinsella, Josh Cullen (C), Harry Charsley, Jordan Shipley (Ronan Hale 58), Reece Grego-Cox (Jake Mulraney 84), Ronan Curtis.