Azimi curler seals Ireland triumph
IRELAND'S U-18 schools team got their season off to a winning start by beating their Australian counterparts at the Oscar Traynor Centre in Coolock yesterday.
First-half goals from Daragh Walshe and Darly Horgan and a brilliant second-half strike from substitute Marwan Azimi secured the win.
After a scrappy start, Ireland took the lead in the 22nd minute. Sean Skelly's cross-field pass found winger Daryl Horgan, whose cross was expertly headed home by Walshe.
Irish winger Tom O'Halloran's tempting cross evaded everyone shortly afterwards before Australia, who were playing the better football, equalised just before the half-hour mark.
Midfielder Tom McNeish finished the ball neatly into the bottom corner from inside the box after being set up by Mitchell Robinson's pass.
Ireland's game became predictable, with the ball being played long on most occasions with little success. Skelly and Walshe both shot over before Ireland regained their lead three minutes before the break.
An excellent run and cross from O'Halloran found Horgan and his left-footed shot from 15 yards flew into the top corner.
The impressive Skelly almost made it three in the 46th minute. He played a nice one-two with Walshe but shot wide of the far post.
Azimi was one of five half-time Ireland substitutes and he made it 3-1 in the 64th minute with an excellent curling shot from just outside the box.