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Ireland hero in defiant mood

IRISH football's newest hero, Cork-born defender Anthony O'Connor, believes that Ireland's U19s already have the semi-finals of the European Championships in their sights after last night's stunning 2-1 win over Greece in Romania.

Against a bizarre backdrop of stormy conditions in Bucharest, which almost caused the postponement of the game, O'Connor found the net in each half to extend the U19 side's stunning run.

Now, a positive result in their next game against the Czech Republic on Saturday would put the Irish boys within touching distance of the last four.

"It was a brilliant win for us. I thought every single player in the green shirt last night did Ireland proud, it was some night," Blackburn Rovers man O'Connor told the Herald.

"The first group game is crucial, if you win there you set yourself up for a great chance of making the semi-finals. We still have a bit to do but it's a great start.

"We have great confidence and belief in this side. We're not cocky or arrogant, but we have belief in ourselves and on our day we can beat any team in Europe," added O'Connor.

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