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Sunday 24 February 2019

Reilly features for ROI in friendly tournament

Youth: soccer focus

Sligo Rovers' Darragh Reilly started for the Republic of Ireland U15s as they drew 1-1 with Spain on Wednesday.

This was their opening match of an International Tournament in Spain, before the hosts won a developmental penalty shootout 4-1.

In the first match of 2019 for Jason Donohue's side, the Head Coach gave international debuts to goalkeeper Aaron Maguire in the starting lineup, with Edwin Agbaje coming on as a second-half substitute.

Ireland took the lead on the stroke of half-time. A brilliant counter-attack saw Cian Kelly score past Spanish goalkeeper Cesar Fernandez to give the team the lead at the break.

Spain equalised through David Pecellin in the 50th-minute and neither team were able to break down the opposition's defence before full-time.

Under tournament rules, all drawn matches conclude with a penalty shootout, as the home side scored all four of their efforts to win 4-1. Tommy Fogarty scored Ireland's only penalty.

Speaking after the game, Donohue said his team impressed against a strong Spanish side.

"Our game plan worked well. We played compactly in the first half, and deserved to go in at the break in the lead. Our back four and holding players were excellent. I think all the players were, especially in our off-season."

With two more games to come, Donohue hopes the team will be able to cope with the demands, especially as the home-based players are in pre-season.

"We have brought a squad of 20 with us."

Sligo Rovers congratuled Reilly on his achievement. The club said: "Our under 15 player Darragh Reilly started this afternoon's draw with Spain. Well played Darragh."

SPAIN: Cesar Fernandez; Sergio Bernardez, Cristian Mosquera, Diego Almeida, Juan Larios; Tomas Mendes, Aitor Gismera (capt), Marcio Vidal; Robert Carril, Angel Alarcon, Marcos Denia

REPUBLIC OF IRELAND: Aaron Maguire; Tommy Fogarty, Ben Curtis (C), Darragh Reilly, John Ryan; Glory Nzingo, Luke McGlynn (Jamie Mullins 50), John Joe Power (Evan Ferguson 44); Conor Campbell (Ben Quinn 36), Michael Leddy (Aaron O'Reilly 54), Cian Kelly (Edwin Agbaje 44)

Referee: Jose Joaquin Gallego Gambin (ESP).

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