The Republic of Ireland today defeated Japan 5-2 in the 7th place play-off in the Montaigu Tournament in France.
Vincent Butler’s side opened the scoring after 19 minutes, Jason Hughes pressurised the defence to make a rushed clearance straight to Niall Byrne who slipped the ball to Conor Clifford and the Crumlin United midfielder laid the ball up for Aaron Doran inside the box and he blasted the ball past the keeper.
Japan reacted immediately, from the following kick-off the Japanese raced straight through the Irish defence and slotted the ball past Harry Lee in the Irish goal. This passage of play stunned the Irish and they responded a minute later as James Wallace played a cutting through ball to strike partner, Jason Hughes who rounded the and slotted home from an acute angle.
Jason Hughes made it 3-1 six minutes after half time, he coolly brought down a high ball on the edge of the area, and the Geraldine striker played it past his marker and slammed it to the back of the net.
Vincent Butler’s men put the game beyond Japan after 64 minutes, the Irish won a free-kick 20 yards from the Japanese goal, Douglas Hall man, Conor Hourihane placed the ball and superbly curled the ball over the wall which dipped underneath the post, giving the Japanese keeper no chance.
Japan made the score 4-2 with seven minutes remaining when the Irish defence failed to clear a Japanese corner, the defence were helpless to stop a Japan striker picking up the ball in the box and slotting it into the bottom left hand corner.
Substitute, Karl Sheppard wrapped up the scoring with just three minutes remaining; the Shelbourne man controlled the ball at the edge of the box before unleashing an unstoppable shot to the top left hand corner of the net.
The Irish now claim 7th Place in the prestigious Montaigu Tournament and also collected the trophy for being the top scoring nation while Germany ran out champions after defeating England 2-0 in the final.
Republic of Ireland
Harry Lee - Charlton Athletic
Niall Byrne - Home Farm
John Dunleavy - Ballybofey United
Kallum Keane - Derby County
Conor Hourihane - Douglas Hall
Paul Murphy - Crumlin United
Conor Clifford - Crumlin United
Gearoid Morrissey - Ringmahon Rangers
Aaron Doran - Blackburn Rovers
James Wallace - Everton
Jason Hughes – Geraldines
Robbie Gibbons - Lourdes Celtic
Stephen Last - Lourdes Celtic on for Keane, 78 Mins
Mark Connors - Crumlin United on for Lee, 78 Mins
David Heagney - Huddersfield Town on for Murphy, 69 Mins
Richard Towell - Crumlin United
Karl Sheppard – Shelbourne on for Wallace, 45 Mins
Greg Cunningham - Mervue United