O'Halloran red mars celebrations
Ireland 2 Romania 0
DEAN O'HALLORAN'S joy at helping Ireland beat Romania and clinch a place in the elite phase of the UEFA U-17 Championship qualifiers was lessened somewhat when he received a late red card.
The Fulham winger will be suspended for the first of Ireland's three matches in the final stage of the qualifiers next March.
All had gone to plan for Tom Mohan's side up until O'Halloran's dismissal seven minutes from time.
Their 1-1 draw with top seeds Sweden and 4-1 win over mini-group hosts Macedonia earlier in the week left Ireland requiring only a draw to secure one of the two places on offer for a place in the next round.
They went even better than that by outclassing the Romanians to advance along with the Swedes.
Waterford native O'Halloran fired Ireland ahead on 11 minutes following a well-worked move. Ireland continued to dominate in the second half and Jack Byrne set up Cody Mulhall to double the lead with a 58th-minute strike.
The downside of an otherwise excellent performance came when O'Halloran was given his marching orders after being shown the yellow card twice within three minutes in the closing stages.
IRELAND -- Burke (Sunderland); Dempsey (Aston Villa), Baba (Castlebar Celtic), Cleary (Liverpool), Moseley (Birmingham City); Donnellan (College Corinthians), Byrne (Manchester City), Mulhall (Stella Maris); O'Halloran (Fulham), Confrey (St Kevin's Boys) Mulraney (Nottingham Forest). Subs: Stokes (Leeds) for Confrey (48), Galvin (Ipswich) for Mulraney (58), Kavanagh (St Kevin's Boys) for Byrne (80).