Under-16 Friendly International
Entente Blegnytoise, Liege.
Kick-Off: 6pm (Irish time)
Belgium 1-1 Republic of Ireland
Selcuk Tidim scored his first International goal for Ireland but they were denied victory by an injury-time equaliser by Belgium in the second fixture of this week’s double-header in Liege.
The first match played between the nations on Tuesday finished in a nil-nil draw.
The German-born striker was making his start for Ireland having recently declared through the parentage rule. He plays for the Hamburg based club Fc St. Pauli and made his Irish debut as a substitute in the first game on Tuesday.
He fired Ireland into the lead on 29 minutes but Ireland were hit with a sucker-punch in the dying moments as the Belgians found a leveller against the run of play.
Derrick Williams contributed to Ireland's goal with an excellent pass. Tidim took the ball on and his first shot was parried by the goalkeeper and Tidim drove the rebound into the net.
Ireland lost several chances afterwards; perhaps the best when Robert Brady was played through but pulled his shot wide ten minutes into the second half.
The referee signalled four minutes of extra time and with Ireland leading by Tidim's goal they looked set for an encouraging win. But Belgium snatched a victory from them with an equalising goal three minutes and twenty seconds into added time.
Manager Vincent Butler said: "I was very happy with the performance and disappointed for the boys that they had a win snatched from them.
"We drew in a scoreless game with Belgium on Tuesday and that was a fair result but we were the better team today. We out-played them despite the lashing rain and very heavy pitch. It was a terrific display in the circumstances and the players showed great spirit and determination."
Butler picked a team that included the seven players who started Tuesday's match as substitutes. He brought on five substitutes in the second half as the tough conditions and the exertions of a second game in three days took a toll.
Ireland play France away in two matches next week on Tuesday and Thursday.
Republic of Ireland U16 team:
Matt Doherty – Belvedere
Craig Sexton - Belvedere
Danny Joyce - Belvedere
Anthony O'Connor - Kilreen Celtic
Mark O'Brien - Cherry Orchard (captain)
Sean Stewart - St. Kevin’s Boys
Shane Murray - Arklow Town
Sean Skelly – Belvedere
Derrick Williams - Tramore Athletic
Selcuk Tidim - Fc St. Pauli Von 190 E.V
Robert Brady – St. Kevin’s Boys
Anthony Bolger - St. Kevin’s Boys
Ryan Connolly - Ballyglass
Conor Murphy - St. Kevin’s Boys
Jeffrey Hendrick - St. Kevin’s Boys
Stephen McDonnell - Quay Celtic
Ciaran Gallagher - Castlefin
Leigh Swords - Belvedere
Under-16 Friendly International Results:
Belgium 0-0 Republic of Ireland
FK Moelingen Stadium, Theumissen.
Kick-Off: 6pm (Irish time)