Wednesday 23 August 2017

Mohan's men aim for Belgian upset and final spot

Republic of Ireland U19 head coach Tom Mohan. Photo: Matt Browne/Sportsfile
Republic of Ireland U19 head coach Tom Mohan. Photo: Matt Browne/Sportsfile
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

After their superb victory against Italy was followed up by a disappointing defeat to Sweden, Ireland's U-19s face a must-win clash in their final group game against hosts Belgium.

The home side top the four-team group but a win for Ireland will give them a place in the UEFA U-19 European Championships Finals.

Tom Mohan's side began the Elite Phase with an impressive 2-0 win over Italy last Thursday but suffered a 3-0 loss to Sweden on Saturday which left them a point behind leaders Belgium.

Should Ireland beat the hosts and Sweden fail to beat the Italians, Mohan's side will top the group and go forward to the finals in Georgia in July.

While the Irish boss is well aware of the size of the task ahead of his side, he is confident that they can cause an upset and put themselves within a fighting chance of reaching the finals.

"We've had a good recovery day. We've analysed our own performance against Sweden and we dominated possession for large periods but just weren't clinical enough," said Mohan.

"We were disappointed with what we conceded against the Swedes but the big thing was to be alive on the last day.

"Our first result against Italy gave us that chance.

"We will go into our game against Belgium knowing that we can only look after our own game so whatever happens in the other fixture is out of our control.

"It'll be a case of two teams looking for a win. There are a lot of permutations and we'll just have to get on with it.

"All our players are fit and in good spirits so we're ready for the challenge."

Irish Independent

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