21.09.2017 at 15:00 National Training Centre, Buftea, Bucharest
2 - 1
Ireland Under 16
Ronan Mc Kinley
The Republic of Ireland U16 side went down to a hard fought 2-1 defeat to Romania in Buftea this afternoon.
Paul Osam's side put up a competitive display and led at half-time through a first half Conor Carty goal but the hosts got back in the tie after the break to claim the spoils.
Romania came close to breaking the deadlock in the 13th minute when striker Theodor Corbeanu fired in a powerful shot from the edge of the box but Shamrock Rovers goalkeeper Gavin Bazuna made a top class save.
After a period of consolidation, Ireland took the lead in the 32nd minute with a brilliant goal. Captain Seamus Keogh linked up with Kian Leavy then smashed the ball against the home crossbar and Carty headed home from close range before home keeper Robert Popa could react.
However, Romania levelled matters in the 49th minute when Corbeanu headed home at the back post after a Ianis Stoica corner kick was not fully cleared by the Irish defence and the same player found the striker at the back post from the loose ball.
The home side went ahead in the 57th minute when the impressive Corbeanu pounced on a poor clearance then carved out the space for himself in the Irish penalty area to slot into the bottom corner for a fine finish.
Ireland were unfortunate not to level in the 63rd minute when Conor Power got his head to a left wing free-kick by Brandon Holt but his effort was too high to trouble the keeper.
Despite their best efforts the Irish could not force a leveller. The game had been preceded by an unusual situation when the Irish preparations were impacted as the squad had to change hotels overnight due to weather damage affecting their hotel.
"I though we were good in the first half and the work we'd done showed an improvement on the first game," said Osam.
"Our build up play was good at times and defensively we were good before the break but it was similar to the other day in that we ran out of steam in the second half of the game. Players were reporting that they were fatigued. The conditioning of players is obviously an issue. It's not an excuse but it is a pattern we've identified.
"Overall we've learned a lot about the players in these games and they've learned about us. The players now realise how fast international football is and how they have to match that level.
"Results wise it has not been great but individually there's lots of good things we can take from this. Our goal was very pleasing as we'd worked on getting our full-backs higher up the field and it was very good to get the goal after working on that in training."
Osam said that the issue with their accommodation was not overly disruptive as both sides had to change and is now looking forward to next Wednesday's meeting with Brazil U15s at the AUL Complex.
"There was a problem with the accommodation centre at the national training ground. A lot of rain fell very quickly and a pipe got blocked and there was a very bad leak. The roof collapsed with the amount of water coming through," he explained.
"The Romanian people were very helpful and got both sides got out to a different hotel. It was all done very quickly. We stayed in a nice hotel in Bucharest and it was the same for both teams so there was no issue.
"The Brazil game next week has come up on us very quickly and we were delighted to accept that fixture. Because of the logistics and the lateness of the game being confirmed, we're going to just work with the same squad for that and I'm sure there's improvement in them. They'll have a learned a lot from these two games."
Romania: Popa, Androne, Dicu, Drăgușin, Dumitrașcu (Florică 41), Crivac, Borcea (Pănoiu 57), Stoica (Florescu 75), Bani, Stefanovici (Țenea 41), Corbeanu (Sima 71).
Republic of Ireland: Bazuna, Keogh, Power, Kelly, Furlong, McKinley, Ebosele, Leavy (Moore 67), Healy (Dunne 78), Carty, Holt.