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U19s' hopes dashed by Portuguese


Aaron Connolly

Aaron Connolly

Aaron Connolly

Ireland Under-19s' hopes of reaching the UEFA Under-19 European Championships were ended by Portugal after Tom Mohan's side suffered a 4-0 defeat in Bercelos yesterday.

Two goals either side of half-time saw Portugal book their place in Finland later this year, as the team look to add to the UEFA Under-17 European Championship they won two years ago.

Portugal took the lead after ten minutes, as Gedson Fernandes saw his deflected shot beat goalkeeper Mark Travers. Captain Diogo Queirós doubled Portugal's lead just before half-time heading home an attacking free-kick.

Ireland played the last 30-minutes with ten men after Aaron Connolly was sent off for two bookable offences and Portugal took advantage with two further goals.

Substitute Pedro Correia saw his shot find the bottom left corner of the net with 20-minutes to go, before Fernandes scored a fourth from the penalty spot to ensure qualification.

Under-19 head coach Mohan said: "The team had chances early on but weren't able to take them. Portugal's movement and slickness of passing was excellent. It's a disappointing result."

Kosovo's 2-1 win over Slovakia in Group 5's other game, meant Ireland finished the Elite Round in second place.