The Republic of Ireland U16 side got off to a flying start in the Victory Shield in Edinburgh this evening with an impressive 4-0 victory over Wales at Oriam.
30th Oct 2016
Paul Osam's side produced a dominant display with Adam Idah scoring twice while Nathan Collins and Ciaran Brennan also found the net to put the Irish top of the table on day one of the four-team tournament.
Ireland went 1-0 up after 74 seconds when Idah headed home at the back post after Collins nodded the ball back across goal from Max Murphy's free-kick from the right flank.
In the 13th minute Ireland had a great chance to increase that lead when Idah's low strike came back off an upright but Barry Coffey could not turn home the loose ball.
Irish keeper Kian Clarke made some routine saves from strikes from distance before Kameron Ledwidge forced a corner with a long range free-kick in the 31st minute.
Ledwidge then fired over the corner and Collins headed home from eight yards out to extend Ireland's lead.
Wales had a big chance to pull one back in the 36th minute when Keenan Patten played in Neco Williams but the striker fired over with the goal at his mercy. Two minutes later Idah had a header held by the keeper following a Ledwidge cross.
Idah then made it 3-0 when he poked home after his header in the 38th minute from a Tyriek Wright cross was only parried by keeper Dan Barden.
Clarke made a decent stop to keep out a strike from Terry Taylor from the edge of the box in the 48th minute then Ireland broke down the other end and after a scramble Idah saw a flicked effort hit an upright.
Ireland went 4-0 up in the 76th minute when Ciaran Brennan showed good pace and rounded the sub keeper Luke Burton before slotting home after a clever pass from Barry Coffey.
Ireland will meet Northern Ireland at the same venue in their second game on Tuesday afternoon. Scotland beat Northern Ireland 2-0 in their opener.
"We were very good. It was a very good performance all across the team. We had our game plan and it worked out well. There are lots of areas we can improve upon but the players applied themselves really well," said Osam.
"We were an attacking threat and our wide players did very well. The players are constantly learning at this level and we're trying to build up their library of knowledge. They've been great all week. We'll turn our heads to the next game against Northern Ireland.
"I felt it was very important to keep the clean sheet. The defence was excellent. We didn't let our concentration levels drop. Scoring four was excellent but keeping a clean sheet was also very pleasing."
REPUBLIC OF IRELAND: K Clarke, Murphy, Collins, Ledwidge (K O'Reilly 71), Knight, Coffey (Connell 76), Idah (C Brennan 71), S Brennan (A O'Reilly 63), Thompson, McEntee, Wright (Cassidy 63).
RESULTS & FIXTURES
Victory Shield U16 Tournament
Sunday, October 30
Scotland 2-0 Northern Ireland, Oriam, Edinburgh
Wales 0-4 Republic of Ireland, Oriam, Edinburgh
Tuesday, November 1
Republic of Ireland v Northern Ireland, Oriam, Edinburgh (1pm)
Scotland v Wales, Oriam, Edinburgh (4pm)
Friday, November 4
Northern Ireland v Wales, Oriam, Edinburgh (12.30pm)
Scotland v Republic of Ireland, Oriam, Edinburgh (3.30pm)