24.11.2009 at 19:30 Rock Celtic, Blackrock
Ireland Under 16
2 - 1
Referee: Paul Mc Laughlin
Friendly / PROG-match
Ken Mc Evoy
Samuel Ade Odobe
REP OF IRELAND 2 CZECH REPUBLIC 1
Philip Roberts capped a superb international debut with the winning goal for the republic of Ireland against the Czech Republic at Sandy Lane, the home of Rock Celtic FC in Blackrock, Dundalk.
On his first appearance in the green jersey, the Norwich City striker was coolness personified ten minutes into the second half when he broke clear of the defence and beat goalkeeper Lukas Brych with a low drive.
Ireland were full value for the victory and the fantastic display by John Morling's side sent the 812 supporters who turned out for game home more than happy.
The Irish were up against a talented Czech side and had to work hard in the opening half to contain their technically gifted visitors.
Goalkeeper Joe Coll had a busy opening, producing a string of superb stops including one from Jarina which required him to dive full-stretch to turn a wicked volley around the post.
Despite their best efforts, Ireland did concede after 30 minutes when captain Jan Filip was first to react in the box from Robert Hruby's corner and managed to nod the ball beyond Coll in the Irish goal.
Ireland didn't lose their purpose and good approach play resulted in an equaliser five minutes later. A surge from the half-way line by Kenny McEvoy saw the winger release the onrushing Kealon Dillon who, in turn, set up up Roberts to shoot in the box. But, just as he was poised to try his luck, he was brought down and Mickey Drennan put the ‘keeper the wrong way with the spot-kick.
Much to the approval of the home support, Ireland upped the pace in the second half and once Roberts handed them the advantage, the lead could have been extended.
Dillon was sent through one-on-one with the goalkeeper in stoppage time but the custodian kept his cool to thwart the midfielder's close-range shot.
The nations will meet again in the second part of the double-header in Kingspan Century Park in Monaghan on Thursday night (7.30pm).
REP OF IRELAND: Joe Coll (Glenea Utd); Eoin Hyland (Belvedere FC), Stephen Smith (Arsenal), Jamie Smith (Cherry Orchard), Shane Griffin (Carrigaline United); Kealan Dillon (Belvedere), Michael Hyland (Milwall), Sami Ade Osobe (Glenmuir Utd); Michael Hehir-Drennan (Evergreen), Kenny McEvoy (Villa, Waterford), Philip Roberts (Norwich City),
Subs: Carel TioFack (Ballincollig AFC) for McEvoy and Brandon Miele (Cherry Orchard) for Hyland (both 70 mins).
CZECH REP: Brych, Soukup (Luftner 46), Filip, Sterba, Cermak, Verner (Shejbal 70), Salasovic (Nerad 70), Hruby, Jarina, Julis (Svoboda 60), Holub.
REFEREE: Mr. Paul McLauglin.