Russia got off to a very lively start with a number of chances on the Irish goal early on but it was the Irish who made the first real break of the game, Greg Cunningham made a darting run down the left wing and played a neat one-two with Karl Sheppard, Cunningham’s long cross found Murphy on the right wing who slipped it to David Heagney in the box, his shot was narrowly wide of the Russian goal.
The Irish were dealt a blow after only 19 minutes when centre-back, John Dunleavy was withdrawn through injury, Ireland however reacted almost instantly, Ireland made a quick break through keeper, Mark Connors, Conor Clifford picked up the ball in midfield and made a cutting pass to Karl Sheppard on the right wing, Sheppard’s first time cross was blocked but his second effort found Clifford in the box who made no mistake with the finish past the Russian keeper.
Russia were back on level terms six minutes after half time, a cutting cross was sent in from the left hand side and the Russian striker was on hand to turn the ball past Mark Connors in the Irish goal.
The game burst into life after 51 minutes, the referee awarded Russia an in-direct free-kick eight yards from Ireland’s goal when he adjudged that Mark Connors had picked up a back-pass from a defenders sliding tackle in the Irish box. With eleven Irish players on the goal-line, Russia somehow managed to squeeze their effort inside the right-hand post to put them in the lead. To make matters worse for Vincent Butler’s team, two minutes later they were unlucky not to be awarded an in-direct free kick themselves for a blatant back-pass to the Russian keeper.
The game was on level terms after 67 minutes, Cunningham burst through midfield and played a diagonal ball to substitute, Hughes on the left wing, Russia failed to clear Hughes’ cross and Cunningham was on hand to blast home from inside the box. Six minutes later, Cunningham received a yellow card, his second of the tournament, ruling him out of Ireland’s final match on Monday.
At the stroke of full-time, Conor Clifford almost gifted his side a place in the 5th place play-off, his free-kick from the edge of the box was saved by the Russian keeper, instantly Russia make a flowing counterattack up the right wing, the pin-point cross was nodded past Connors to effectively give the Russians the victory.
From the following kick-off, the Irish poured forward to rescue the game, appeals for a penalty were turned down after a Russian defender appeared to handle the ball in the box but Russia stemmed another stinging attack and the Russian striker coolly slotted into the bottom right hand corner to send the Irish into the 7th place play off where they will play Japan on Monday.
Republic of Ireland
Mark Connors - Crumlin United
Niall Byrne - Home Farm
Stephen Last - Lourdes Celtic
John Dunleavy - Ballybofey United
Richard Towell - Crumlin United
Paul Murphy - Crumlin United
Conor Clifford - Crumlin United
Robbie Gibbons - Lourdes Celtic
Greg Cunningham - Mervue United
David Heagney - Huddersfield Town
Karl Sheppard - Shelbourne
Conor Hourihane - Douglas Hall on for John Dunleavy, 19 Mins
James Wallace - Everton on for on for David Heagney, 48 Mins
Aaron Doran - Blackburn Rovers on for Paul Murphy, 48 Mins
Jason Hughes – Geraldines on for Robbie Gibbons, 55 Mins