Republic of Ireland 0-2
Denmark Two goals from Denmark’s Uffe Manich Bech gave his side victory over Vincent Butler’s Republic of Ireland side in the opening game of the Santarem International Tournament in Portugal today (Saturday).
Lyngby attacker, Uffe Manich Bech hit two superb goals in the 17th and 52nd minute to defeat the Irish but Vincent Butler’s side put in a battling performance and were unlucky not to get on the score sheet thanks to the goalkeeping of Storch for Denmark.
Leicester City’s Ellis Tebbutt went close for the Irish after only five minutes when he made a darting run from the left of midfield, his shot from inside the box was well saved by Storch in the Danish goal.
Irish keeper, Sean McDermott was in superb form and he pulled off an unbelievable save after ten minutes when Denmark’s Bech made a surging run through the Irish defence to get on the end of a clever through ball but his shot was well saved by McDermott from point blank range.
Seven minutes later, Bech got the better of McDermott as his spectacular effort found the net. The Lyngby front man took control of the ball at the edge of the Irish box on the left hand side. He unleashed an unstoppable shot with his left foot which curled into the top right-hand corner after 17 minutes.
Belvedere striker, Chris Lyons almost leveled the scores after 33 minutes. He chased down a long ball and with Denmark’s keeper, Storch advancing from his goal, his lobbed shot bounced agonizingly wide.
The in-form, Daniel Purdy came close just after half-time when he was played in on goal by strike partner, Chris Lyons. The Crumlin United striker powered his shot towards goal but Storch once again denied the Irish with a super save.
Bech wrapped up the victory for Denmark after 52 minutes with another spectacular strike. He claimed the ball on the edge of the box and his powerful left-footed effort flew into the bottom right-hand corner.
Republic of Ireland manager, Vincent Butler paid tribute to a strong Denmark team who put his side to the sword, “To be honest, I was not happy with the performance in this game. I felt we were a bit lethargic at times and Denmark took full advantage of that. Without making any excuses, I know the players must be weary following the travelling and the intense heat but I will expect a better performance all round tomorrow against Portugal. We were well beaten today and while we under-performed I am under no illusion that we will have to pick up our game for what will be a real test against the tournament hosts tomorrow,” stated the Republic of Ireland manager.
Today’s later game in the Santarem International Tournament finished with a 1-0 victory to Spain over tournament hosts, Portugal. Vincent Butler’s side will now face Portugal at the Estádio Municipal Torres Novas, tomorrow (Sunday), kick-off, 3pm.
Santarem International Tournament Fixtures and Results
Saturday February 21st
Republic of Ireland 0-2 Denmark
Estádio Municipal Torres Novas
Sunday February 22nd
Portugal v Republic of Ireland
Estádio Municipal Torres Novas
Kick-off: 15.00 hrs
Tuesday February 24th
Spain v Republic of Ireland
Estádio Municipal Abrantes
Kick-off: 09.30 hrs
Republic of Ireland: Sean McDermott, Conor Morrissey, Sean McGinty, Daniel Devine, Robert Moloney, Ellis Tebbutt, John O’Sullivan, Anthony Forde, Adam Pigott, Daniel Purdy, Chris Lyons.
Substitutes: Craig Hanlon, Daniel McGuiness (on for Daniel Purdy, 63 mins), Stephen Jewell, Michael Barker (on for Conor Morrissey, 40 mins), Carl McHugh (on for Adam Pigott, 40 mins), John Mountney, David Murphy – All Blacks (on for John O’Sullivan, 63 mins)