Ireland U-19 suffer opening day defeat to Slovakia in Euro qualifiers

Alex Murphy in action against Šimon Micuda of Slovakia. Image: Sportsfile.

Aidan Fitzmaurice

The Republic of Ireland U-19 side are facing a battle to qualify for the European Championship finals after they began their Elite round of qualification with a 2-1 loss to Slovakia.

Tom Mohan's U-19 side were hoping to follow the example of the U-17 team by getting to the Euro finals, to be held in Malta later this year, but defeat on the opening day of the tournament in Wexford leaves them with a stiff task.

The sides were level at half time but Slovakia stormed into a 2-0 lead with a late flourish, Artur Gaudos with a goal on 81 minutes with more heartbreak for Ireland in added time as Ada Griger made it 2-0.

St Patrick's Athletic man Tommy Lonergan scored six minutes into added time but that was all Ireland had to offer as they now await Saturday's game against Estonia, also in Wexford.