11.09.2009 at 17:30 MFA Trg Grounds
0 - 4
Ireland Under 16
Referee: Ms. AZZOPARDI Esther
S. Arab Edin
Ken Mc Evoy
Carel Tio Fack
John Morling's inaugural U16 season picked up pace on Friday evening when his side defeated the Malta U17's 4-0 with goals from Carel Tiofack, Mark Timlin, Jack Nardiello and Joe O'Brien.
With the Maltese training centre bathing in the spectacular sunshine and temperatures of 27 degrees, the match began at a fast attacking pace set by the Irish side.
Within the first minute Carel Tiofack was brought down in the penalty box but the referee waved play on. Three minutes later, Kealan Dillon had a powerful volley saved by the Maltese keeper. The Irish side kept the pressure on and almost scored the opening goal when an excellent Mark Timlin corner led to a few nervy moments for the Maltese defence. Eight minutes in and another penalty decision was denied to the Irish as Mark Timlin was heavily challenged in the area.
After ten minutes Malta's first chance was shot over the bar after some good build up play from midfield, leading to the ball being played into the left side wingers feet but all he could do was shoot over from close range.
The first glimpse of a Maltese attack led to a swift Irish counter-attack, Kealan Dillon's through ball found Carel Tiofack and he slotted the ball home into the bottom right-hand corner to give Ireland the lead after 11 minutes.
Mark Timlin doubled Ireland's lead in the 38th minute when a momentary lapse of concentration in the Maltese team allowed Carel Tiofack to burst through the defence and he put Mark Timlin through on goal, he kept his composure and slotted past the Maltese keeper from close range.
John Morling's side began the second half as they finished the first, as they enjoyed large periods of sustained pressure in the Maltese half with the Irish holding possession and playing the ball around to find holes within the defence.
In the 47th minute Ryan Coombes and Eoin Hyland where introduced for Shane Griffin and Kenneth McEvoy.
Early chances in this half fell to Shane Griffin and Michael Hyland to which the Maltese keeper, Dimeche was equal to.
The game became a battle of the midfields as each side again tried to force a way through but the Irish substitutes seemed to change the tempo of the game when Jack Nardiello came on for his first cap and within a minute Nardiello marked his first appearance with a stunning 25 yard effort into the top right hand corner to give Ireland a commanding 3-0 lead after 64 minutes.
Nardiello's introduction was an inspirational change and he ran at the Maltese defence time and time again and had various chances saved by the Maltese keeper.
In the 71st minute Joe O'Brien and Jason Keane replaced Captain Jamie Smith and Michael Hyland, for the last few minutes Ireland began to turn the screw and searched for a fourth but Dimech again proved to be a great last line of defence for Malta, by pulling off a fine string of saves.
His last save in the 80th minute led to a last minute corner, from which another first time capped player, Joe O'Brien rose at the front post to nod in Ireland's fourth, much to the delight of the travelling crowd.
Ireland face Malta once again on Sunday September 13th the complete the double international friendly, kick-off is at 17.30 (local time).
Republic of Ireland: Joe Coll, Shane Griffin, Luke Gallagher, Jamie Smith, Michael Hyland, Kenneth McEvoy, Brandon Miele, Carel Tiofack, Kealan Dillon, Colm Horgan, Mark Timlin.
Substitutes: Eoin Hyland, Michael Drennan, Jason Keane, Joe O'Brien, Conor O'Donnell, Ryan Coombes, Jack Nardiello
Manager: John Morling
Friday, September 11th
Malta 0-4 Republic of Ireland
Sunday, September 13th
Malta v Republic of Ireland
Kick-off: 17.30 (local time)
Extract from Malta F A Website
Malta vs. Eire 0-1
A disappointing evening today for the under 17s as in both encounters our young ones went out of the training grounds saddened with the result. Whilst in the first match our lads were very poor, in the second match they went out with more determination and resolve to get a better result. Eire's youngsters were prevailing in the air and their crosses in the box where a constant danger in both matches.
In the match on Friday it was the home team in red who threatened to score first as the first chance of the match fell at the feet of our youngsters who are coming from some positive tests as of late.
Before our goal keeper, Dimech, could save three times in concession Tiofack scored with a low shot from the edge of the box and Eire scored another in the 34th minute for a half time score of 0-2 from Timlin.
In the second half coach Charles Scerri's talk inspired the team who came out hungry to create some goalmouth chances. Ryan Dalli and Christian Briffa both had good chances to score but failed to do so. This inspired the opponents who took the match in their own hands completely and dominated from then on.
Another great shot by Nardiello from outside the box made it 0-3 and then the tall O'Brien sealed the game when he headed in directly from a corner. Final score was 0-4 with the visiting team in control of the match but the Maltese youngsters had their good moments which should have been transformed into goals.