O’Connor and Farrugia on target as Ireland U19s defeat Serbia to top group and qualify for Elite Round
Second-half goals from Lee O'Connor and Neil Farrugia helped the Republic of Ireland Under 19s to a 2-1 win over Serbia in Waterford RSC this afternoon.
Tom Mohan’s side topped the group with seven points from nine thanks to today’s come-from-behind win as Ireland now enter the Elite Round as one of the top seeds.
Serbia took the lead in the 29th minute with a brilliantly taken goal from Luka Ilic who curled his free kick in off the underside of the crossbar after Jayson Molumby was penalised for a tackle on the edge of the area.
Ireland came out flying after the break and got their reward within 15 minutes of the restart as Lee O’Connor headed Tom Mohan’s side level.
The comeback was completed in the 70th minute when UCD attacker Neil Farrugia nipped in to put Lee O’Connor’s knockdown past Aleksandar Popovic in the Serbia goal.
Speaking after the game, Ireland Head Coach Tom Mohan was delighted with his team’s performance.
“Serbia are always a top side in underage European football,” he said. “For our boys to go 1-0 down and come back show the spirit and the character in the group. We dominated the second half, our boys dug in, kept the ball well and converted our chances when we created them. We’re very pleased.
“There is great ability in the group. We are producing good players, no matter what anybody says, and there are plenty of positives to take from the campaign.
“Although we didn’t score in the first game we probably created more chances than any other game. The Cyprus game gave us a massive boost when we needed it and that set us up nicely for today. We are number 1 seeds going into the Elite Round draw and that is hugely positive.”
Ireland: Travers (GK), Carroll, Wilson, O'Shea, T. O'Connor, L. O'Connor, Molumby ©, McKenna, Bolger, Afolabi, Farrugia.
Substitutes: Maher (GK), Flanagan, Obafemi, Doherty, Martin.
Red Card: Aaron Bolger (94')
Serbia: Popovic (GK), Vlalukin, Terzic, Kojic (Zivkovic 82), Vaselinovic, Bosnjak ©, Stanojev (Jovanovic 74), Petrovic, Joveljic, Iiic, Jovanovic (Nikolic 65).
Red Card: Aleksandar Popovic (94')