Sport Soccer

Saturday 25 November 2017

Nine-man Ireland get lifeline

DESPITE losing heavily to Georgia, Ireland still have a chance of qualifying for U-17 European Championship finals in May.

A shock 1-0 win by hosts Austria over Serbia in the other Group 2 tie leaves all four nations on three points heading into Saturday's final round of games in the elite stage qualifiers.

Once Ireland achieve a better result against Serbia than Georgia do against Austria, they'll top the group and advance to the finals in Slovakia.

It all went horribly wrong for Tom Mohan's charges in a three-minute spell early in the second half.

Luka Zarandia intercepted a short kick-out to fire Georgia ahead on 54 minutes. Pierce Mitchell was sent off a minute later for a second yellow-card offence and 60 seconds later goalkeeper Peter Burke was sent off for taking down Roman Tchanturia.

Substitute keeper Harry Doherty saved the resultant penalty, but the Georgians went on to make the most of their advantage with two more goals.

IRELAND – P Burke (Sunderland); P Mitchell (Bristol City), D Cleary (Liverpool), R Dempsey (Aston Villa), B Mosely (Birmingham City); C Mulhall (Stella Maris), J Byrne (Manchester City), C Donnellan (College Corinthians); D O'Halloran (Fulham), E Stokes (Leeds United), R Grego-Cox (QPR). Subs: C Dimaio (Sheff Utd) for Donnellan (50), H Doherty (Charlton Ath) for Grego-Cox (57), H Charsley (Everton) for Mulhall (72).

Irish Independent

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