Republic of Ireland U16 2 v 1 Czech Republic U16
The Czech’s went ahead against the run of play after 36 minutes but Ireland levelled the game up five minutes later with Aaron Doran’s equaliser before James Wallace rounded off a great night for the Irish by firing the winning goal on 64 minutes.
Ireland were well worth their victory and should have taken the lead by the time they conceded from a corner.
That blow didn’t diminish the Irish spirit and they swept forward with purpose in the dying minutes of the first-half. They made that pressure count with Doran’s headed equaliser from just inside of the box following an expertly supplied delivery by Greg Cunningham from the left wing.
The Czech’s had no answer to Ireland’s swift attacks in the second half and it seemed inevitable that Ireland would gain the lead for the first time in the match.
It was the scorer of Ireland’s first goal, Aaron Doran, who crossed low for Everton striker James Wallace to slot the ball into the net from close range on 64 minutes to make it 2-1.
Tonight’s fixture was the first of four games for Ireland in the space of five days at the Northern Ireland-staged eight nation tournament. Vincent Butler’s team face Scotland on Tuesday followed by their last group match against the USA 24 hours later. They will play the team which completes the other group in the same position on Friday.
The second game played today in Ireland’s group between Scotland and the USA finished 1-1 but the Scots secured victory on a penalty shoot-out.
Ireland U16 v Czech Republic:
Harry Lee - Charlton Atheltic
Niall Byrne - Home Farm
Richie Towell - Crumlin United
John Dunleavy - Ballybofey United
Conor Hourihane - Douglas Hall
Aaron Doran - Blackburn Rovers
Conor Clifford - Crumlin United
Gerard Kinsella - Everton
Greg Cunningham - Mervue United
James Wallace - Everton
Karl Sheppard - Shelbourne
Jason Hughes- Geraldines for Sheppard - 59 mins.
Tuesday 24th April:
Republic of Ireland V Scotland
Ballymena Showgrounds, Kick off: 20.00 hrs
Wednesday 25th April:
Republic of Ireland V USA
Inver Park, Kick off: 19.30 hrs
Friday 27th April
Ballymena Tournament Final