Under-16 International FriendlyIsrael 1- 1 Republic of Ireland
The Republic of Ireland Under-16 side came agonisingly close to recording victory against Israel in a match played this afternoon at the Ness Ziona Stadium.
Vincent Butler’s Irish team recovered from going a goal behind to draw level by half-time and created the best chances in the second 45 minutes with Ryan Connolly unlucky to see his shot rebound back off the post.
The nations will meet again on Wednesday in the second part of the double-header when Butler will give starting places in the team to the seven members of the 18-player squad who were not in today’s line-up.
Ireland fell behind on 26 minutes when a through-ball caught the defence off-guard and goalkeeper Ciaran Gallagher was beaten in a one on one situation.
The concession of the opener prompted Ireland into a higher tempo and they soon got their rewards with an equaliser scored after 37 minutes.
Robert Brady set up the goal by supplying a defence-splitting pass to Selcuk Tidim, who brushed off the attentions of a defender before placing a shot low and hard beyond the goalkeeper’s reach.
German-born Tidim declared for Ireland last year through his mother, who was born in Ireland, and he netted a goal on his first start in an Irish shirt against Belgium last November.
Ireland were, by far, the superior team after the break and Ryan Connolly’s curling shot from the left side almost grabbed the lead. The Derby County striker beat the goalkeeper with the effort but the goal rebounded off the upright and was cleared away to safety.
Sean Stewart also had a shot on goal shortly afterwards when he cut inside from the wing past his marker and tested the Israel net-minder with a powerful drive.
Ireland manager Vincent Butler said afterwards: “Our play was sloppy in the first half but we improved after half-time and could have come away with a win.
“Most of our players hadn’t played any games for about six weeks because of the Christmas break and the bad weather in Ireland. I think that was the reason that they took time to adjust to a very competitive match.”
He added: “It was a game of few chances and, in the end, a draw was probably a fair result.”
Republic of Ireland:
Ciaran Gallagher – Castlefin FC
Leigh Swords – Belvedere FC
Daniel Joyce – Belvedere FC
Mark O’ Brien – Cherry Orchard FC
Anthony O’ Connor – Nufarm Athletic FC
Sean Skelly – Belvedere FC
Sean Stewart – St. Kevin’s Boys
Stephen McDonnell – Quay Celtic FC
Selcuk Tidim – FC Pauli von 1910 e.V
Robert Brady – Manchester United FC
Ryan Connolly – Derby County FC
Eoin Wearen – St. Kevin’s Boys for McDonnell (52 mins)
Anthony Bolger – St. Kevin’s Boys for Brady (62 mins)
Conor Murphy – St. Kevin’s Boys for Connolly (77 mins)
Substitutes not used:
John Egan – Greenwood FC
Danny Fitzsimons – Millwall FC
Jeff Hendrick – St. Kevin’s Boys
Aaron McCarey – Monaghan United FC
Result and Fixture:
Israel 1- 1 Republic of Ireland
Ness Ziona Stadium
Kick-off: 14.00 hrs (local time)
Wednesday, February 6th 2008
Israel v Republic of Ireland
Ness Ziona Stadium
Kick-off: 11.30 hrs (local time).