Saturday 25 February 2017

O'Neill double lifts Ireland to victory over plucky Estonia

IRELAND U-16 3
ESTONIA U-16 2

GARY O'NEILL'S second-half brace gave Ireland an U-16 friendly victory over Estonia at Whitehall last night.

Estonia took the lead in the 12th minute when winger Bogdan Vastsuk burst down the right and cut inside before dinking the ball over goalkeeper Eric Grimes.

Shelbourne's Darragh Walsh was denied a leveller in the 33rd minute when goalkeeper Martin Rimmel saved with his feet after a brilliant through ball from Kingdom Boys midfielder O'Neill.

Estonia wasted a golden chance to extend their lead in the 39th minute when Marten Saarlas somehow headed wide from four yards out with only Grimes to beat.

deflection

O'Neill levelled matters in the 51st minute with a long distance strike that took a significant deflection before finding the back of the net.

Two minutes later O'Neill showed real quality to wriggle into the penalty area before curling home brilliantly from 16 yards.

Ireland's lead did not last long as Estonia equalised in the 57th minute.

Paur split the home defence and Kevin Kauber slotted the ball past the advancing Grimes.

The home side went back in front in the 68th minute when O'Neill's corner found the head of Danny O'Reilly and he headed home from close range.

Ireland -- Grimes; Long, D O'Reilly, McGrath, McConnell, McGlade, Murphy (Coyne 77), Caldwell (Leddy 56), Wixted (Lyons 60 (Hayes 72)), O'Neill, Walsh.

Estonia -- Rimmel; Avilov, Ojamaa, Mikailov, Bereitorov (Aloe 41), Vastsuk, Slein, Valja, Saarlas (Gassimov 77), Paur (Jogl 58), Kauber.

Ref -- P Caschera (Dublin).

Irish Independent

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