Stokes strike sinks Portugal
PORTUGAL U-16 1
REP OF IRELAND U-16 2
A REPUBLIC of Ireland team recorded a rare victory in Portugal yesterday when the U-16s won the first game of this week's double-header friendly.
Sheffield United winger Connor Dimaio fired John Morling's side ahead on 18 minutes with a cracking long-range effort.
Ireland's lively start in Lisbon was rewarded further with a second goal on the half-hour mark. Dean O'Halloran's pace hurtled him past two defenders and his cross was swept home by striker Eoghan Stokes. It would have been three had Stokes been more accurate with his header five minutes later, which was easily saved.
Portugal improved in the second half and halved the deficit within three minutes through Hugo Meira's close-range finish.
The hosts piled on the pressure thereafter, yet Irish goalkeeper Peter Burke produced a series of top saves to preserve the lead.
The sides meet again tomorrow at 11.0am.
IRELAND U-16 -- Burke (Moville Celtic); Rainey (Bonagee Utd), Baba (Castlebar Celtic), Dempsey (Northend United), O'Hanlon (Liverpool); O'Halloran (Southend), Crowley (Aston Villa), C. Donnellan (Corinthians), Dimaio (Sheffield United); Moseley (Birmingham City), Stokes (St Kevin's Boys). Subs: Mulhall (Stella Maris) for Dimaio (53), Traynor (St. Joseph's Boys) for Rainey (58).