Ireland U19s go down to narrow Czech defeat
The Republic of Ireland U19 side suffered a narrow defeat by Czech Republic in their opening game of the UEFA Championships Elite Qualifying Round in Mannheim today.
Paul Doolin's side went down to a 66th minute goal by substitute Patrik Schick after a tense affair that had produced few chances. Germany and Slovakia drew 1-1 in the other game in the group.
The game's first chance of note came in the 13th minute when Czech keeper Jindřich Staněk made a brilliant save to keep out an Eoghan Stokes header following a Ryan Manning corner.
Stokes had an effort just off target in the 33rd minute after connecting with another Manning corner.
Irish keeper Liam Bossin had his first test in the 41st minute when he kept out an attempt by Miloš Kratochvíl and the sides went in scoreless at the break.
Harry Charsley had another effort on goal in the 59th minute but once more Staněk was equal to the task.
Schick put the Czechs ahead in the 66th minute with a brilliant individual goal after turning defender Kevin Toner and curling the ball into the far corner.
The Czechs defended resolutely from there on in with Grego-Cox unfortunate not to level in extra-time.
Ireland meet Germany in their second game on Saturday needing a victory to get back into this tense group and retain their hopes of reaching the finals in Greece this summer.
“In the first half we had a couple of chances and I felt we’d played well. The keeper made a great save from Eoghan Stokes header which was a big moment,” said Doolin.
“We felt we were the better team in the first half and had more possession but the Czechs are strong and were hard to break down.
“Their goal was a very good goal. It was a good finish. There wasn’t a lot of chances afterwards. They’re a strong team and their subs were strong too. We gave what we could not a lot in it.
“It’ll be tough to progress to the finals now but if we can get a win on Saturday it can pull us back into it.”
REPUBLIC OF IRELAND: Bossin, Moseley, Kelleher, Toner, Dimaio, Grego-Cox, Charsley, Manning, Stokes (Hallahan 67), Coustrain (Goldsmith 86), Mulhall,
CZECH REPUBLIC: Staněk, Matějů, Toml, Trubač, Kulhánek, Yunis (Schick 60), Černý (Buchvaldek 74), Rys, Šural, Kratochvíl, Jankto (Matěj 90+1).