Under-16 International Friendly
France 3-0 Republic of Ireland
France inflicted defeat on Ireland this evening in Paris in the first of this week’s pair of friendly fixtures.
The home side led at half-time courtesy of a penalty kick scored two minutes short of the break. Ireland pressed hard to equalise in the second period but conceded twice more in the space of five minutes midway through the half.
The score-line flattered France who, though clearly technically and physically stronger, were put under the cosh by the Irish during spells of the match.
Ireland spurned the opportunity of getting on the score-sheet late on when they were awarded a penalty three minutes before the end. St. Kevin’s Boys striker Conor Murphy took the spot-kick but it lacked the necessary precision and was blocked by the goalkeeper.
France set up a number of attacks in the early stages but Ireland more than matched them for most of the opening period. The deadlock was eventually broken when the home side won a penalty just inside the box and duly converted the spot-kick past goalkeeper Aaron McCarey.
The Irish midfielders moved the ball with more pace in the second half and threatened to level matters before France made the game safe with a further two goals in quick succession.
Their second goal arrived on 66 minutes when they broke down the right flank and punished Ireland by slotting the ball home. A similar move, created five minutes later, unhinged the visitors once more and the same outcome followed.
Republic of Ireland manager Vincent Butler said: “Without a doubt, France were the better team tonight and we weren’t able to match them in terms of athleticism.
“That said, I don’t feel we were three goals worse than them. At 1-0, we were still well in the game but we lost the ball in poor positions and enabled them to break and score twice.”
The nations meet again on Thursday in Paris (5.30pm, Irish time).
Aaron McCarey - Monaghan United
Leigh Swords - Belvedere
Mark O’Brien – Cherry Orchard (captain)
John Egan - Greenwood
Danny Joyce - Belvedere
Sean Stewart - St. Kevin’s Boys
Jeffrey Hendrick - St. Kevin’s Boys
Stephen McDonnell - Quay Celtic
John Gorman – Manchester United
Conor Murphy - St. Kevin’s Boys
Robert Brady - St. Kevin’s Boys
Ryan Connolly – Ballyglass for Gorman (50 mins)
Danny Fitzsimons – Millwall for Hendrick (64 mins)
Eoin Wearan – St. Kevin’s Boys for McDonnell (70 mins)
Oliver Kelly – Reading for O’Brien (70 mins)
Robert Benson - Athlone Town for Brady (75 mins).