John Morling's Republic of Ireland U16 team today (Monday) drew 2-2 with Israel in Ra'anana, in southern Israel. Ireland came from behind with goals from Michael Drennan and Carel TioFack but they conceded the equaliser in the dying moments of the game as the teams look forward to their next meeting in Tel Aviv on Wednesday.
In a frantic start to Ireland's first international game of 2010, it was Israel who enjoyed a sustained period of pressure in the Irish half and they took a rather fortuitous lead after 11 minutes when a cross from the left wing from Assaf Madar was swung into the Irish box and Glenea United goalkeeper, Joe Coll pushed it over the line despite the best efforts of defender, Shane Griffin.
Ireland drew level in the 22nd minute when Waterford based midfielder, Kenneth McEvoy's cross was handled in the area by an Israeli defender. Evergreen's Michael Drennan stepped up and slotted the penalty past Yarrin Hassan in Israel's goal.
As the first half progressed, John Morling's side grew in confidence with a number of slick attacking moves as Kenneth McEvoy continued to harass the Israeli defence while Reading's James Murphy who was making his debut came close on a number of occasions. Ireland's goalkeeper, Joseph Coll was called into action late in the first half when he made a spectacular save from Rian Ismail when he connected with a corner on the back post.
Coll was again called into action within three minutes of the restart when Zidan Mohammad took advantage of some slack defending as he ran through on goal but the Glenea goalkeeper was again on-hand to make a last ditch tackle at the feet of the on-rushing striker to avert the danger.
Ireland took the lead in the 48th minute through prolific Ballincollig striker, Carel Tiofack who blasted home from close range following a goal mouth scramble in the Israeli box.
In a dramatic ending to the game, Israel claimed a last gasp equaliser following five minutes of extra time when substitute, Orel Horev powerfully headed past Joseph Coll in Ireland's goal giving him no chance.
The two sides will meet again on Wednesday, January 12th at the Yankela Grundman Stadium, Ramat HaSharon, Tel Aviv, Israel, kick-off 11am (9am Irish time).
REPUBLIC OF IRELAND:
Joe Coll (Glenea Utd)
Eoin Hyland (Belvedere FC)
Steven Smith (Arsenal)
Jamie Smith (Cherry Orchard)
Shane Griffin (Carrigaline United)
Kenneth McEvoy (Villa, Waterford)
Luke Gallagher (Cherry Orchard)
Kealan Dillon (Belvedere FC)
Michael Drennan (Evergreen)
James Murphy (Reading)
Carel TioFack (Ballincollig AFC)
Adam Evans (Belvedere FC)
Darragh Lenihan (Belvedere FC)
Brandon Miele (Cherry Orchard) (on for Carel Tiofack, 74 mins)
Rhys Healy (Fairview Rangers)
Conor O'Donnell (Buncranna Harps)
Sami Ade Osobe (Glenmuir Utd) (on for Luke Gallagher, 32 mins)
John Kavanagh (Ringmahon Rangers) (on for Eoin Hyland, 48 mins)