Ireland youths

Republic of Irelands U17 team impress in victory over Italy in Dublin
Date: Tuesday, 23 January 2007
Section: Underage Football

Republic of Ireland U17 1 0 Italy U17
Gareth Matthews 22

Ireland deservedly beat Italy on Tuesday courtesy of a first-half winning goal from defender Gareth Matthews at Home Farm’s ground in Whitehall.

The crucial goal came when Matthews, of Norwich City, headed home a free kick that was curled in from the right by from Liverpool winger Shane O’Connor after 22 minutes of play.

Ireland were worthy winners and had numerous chances to add to their lead. Shane O’Connor came close to making it 2-0 on the half-hour mark with a free-kick that was tipped over by Italy goalkeeper Viotti.

Two more chances fell to the Liverpool midfielder in the second half but on both occasions, his shots angled over the crossbar.

It was a good all-round performance by the Irish squad, as they stepped up their preparations for the upcoming UEFA Elite stage qualifiers, which take place in Germany from 21st 26th March.

James McCarthy made his debut for Ireland and the Hamilton Academical midfielder contributed to the victory with his array of passing. His central- midfield partner, Conor McCormack, was also influential as he set up plenty of Irish attacks.

Italy did have the ball in the net in injury time but Albertazzi’s header was ruled out for off-side.

The nations meet again on Thursday at Tolka Park (7pm) in the second fixture of the double-header.

Ireland: Kieron Thorp - Crystal Palace, Gareth Matthews Norwich City, Mark Nolan - Glasgow Celtic, David Joyce - Birmingham City, Paul Honohan Wilton, Kurtis Byrne - Norwich City, Conor McCormack - Manchester United, James McCarthy - Hamilton Academical, Shane O’Connor Liverpool, Craig Duggan - Kilreen, Cork, Sean Scannell - Crystal Palace.

SUBS: Ian Daly - Manchester City for Scannell, Conor Kavanagh - Blackburn Rovers for Nolan & Eric Foley - Glasgow Celtic for Byrne (All half-time), Ian Byrne Bohemians for O’Connor (64 mins), James Cronesberry - Middlesborough for Duggan (75 mins), Niall McArdle Sunderland for Matthews (77 mins).

Italy: Viotti, Grea, Albertazzi, Tuia, Marrone, Marco, Fernando, Paloschi, Pasquale, Masi, Ciano.

REFEREE: Conor Fitzgerald.

Anyone go to this last night?

Didn’t go to it - actually thought long and hard about it but decided it was too cold. Might go next week.

Decent win for the Under 21s - I’ve only ever heard of Jim O’Brien and Billy Clarke out of that lot.

Irish Under 21s Make a Winning Start in Madeira

Republic of Ireland U21 1-0 Slovakia
Kieran Murphy produced a brilliant header to grab all three points for the Republic of Irelands under-21 side in their opening fixture in the Madeira tournament tonight.
The MK Dons defender smashed home from a Jim OBrien corner in the 61st
minute to maintain Irelands excellent record in this competition.

Ireland are unbeaten in their travels to Madeira over the year and won the competition in 2004 and 2006.

Don Givenss side face the host side in their second fixture at 4.00pm
tomorrow. Madeira drew 0-0 with Portugal in the opening game of the event.

Slovakia passed up a great chance after just 30 seconds after Stephen
OHalloran was robbed by Jakub Petovsky, who squared to Tomas Zapotoka and he shot over from four yards.

Petovsky broke through in the 22nd minute after dispossessing Ian Morris in the Irish box but he fired over from a tight angle.

John-Paul Kelly was unlucky three minutes later when he got onto a David Bracken lay-off only to see keeper Lukas Hrosso save his low strike. Kelly fired the rebound over.

Kelly then hit the bar in the 28th minute after connecting with Brackens nod down from Jim OBriens looping cross.

Goalkeeper James Russell, making his Irish debut, produced a pair of stops to deny Peter Maslo and Tomas Marcek in the final minutes of the opening half to leave it scoreless at half-time.

Good work by Jon Hayes won the corner that decided the game in the 61st
minute and Murphy deserved the plaudits for a brilliant finish from
OBriens corner.

OBrien broke through in the 78th minute after a clever Ian Morris pass but
he pulled his strike across the face of the Slovak goal.

Billy Clarke also had a chance 60 seconds later but keeper Hrosso saved at
his feet.

The Irish did enough to hold on and Givens was delighted with their start to
the tournament.

He said: I thought we were the better side throughout.

Ian Morris was immense in midfield. Thats as good a performance as Ive
seen from him.

Billy Clarkes pace caused them real problems but he is going home after
this game so weve got to cope without him now.

At 1-0 anything could happen so it would have been nice settle it with
another goal but overall I was very happy.

Republic of Ireland Russell (Chelsea); Kane (Blackburn), Powell
(Bohemians), OCearuill (Arsenal), OHalloran (Aston Villa), Kelly
(Bohemians), Chambers (Shelbourne), Morris (Scunthorpe), OBrien (Celtic),
Bracken (Glenavon), Clarke (Ipswich). Subs Hayes (Reading) for Bracken 45
mins; Murphy (MK Dons) for OCearuill 45; Curran (Sligo Rovers) for Chambers
56; Simmonds (Chelsea) for Kelly 75; Dennehy (Sunderland) for Clarke 89.

Nice to see Jim O’Brien with another assist. Is our keeper’s first name Rene? Is that pronounced Renay?

Gaynor Grabs a Brace to Earn Irish a Draw Against Madeira

Madeira 2 2 Republic of Ireland U21

The Millwall strikers excellent finishes helped secure a 2-2 draw for Don Givenss youngsters against the host nation in the Madeira Invitational Tournament.

Ireland has never been beaten in this competition and Gaynors double maintained that record.

The Irish will meet Portugal on Friday (12.00 noon) in a game that will decide the destination of the trophy. The Portuguese beat Slovakia 4-0 in the other game of the day.

Madeira took the lead in the 15th minute through Jose Costa, who produced a prodigious lob over Irish keeper Rene Gilmartin from 30 yards.

Ireland equalised four minutes later after Jim OBrien made a brilliant left-wing run before pulling the ball back for Gaynor to fire home via a deflection.

Madeira regained the lead in the 44th minute after a left-wing free-kick by Carlos Moniz was headed home by Ricardo Sousa.

Madeira kept things tight after the break but James Simmonds came close to equalising in the 51st minute only to be denied by keeper Jose Silva.

It was not until the 75th minute that either side next threatened with UCD midfielder Ronan Finn shooting narrowly across goal.

Gaynor was the Irish hero in the 83rd minute when he was cleverly set-up by Michael Synnott and smashed past the exposed Silva for a beautiful equaliser.

Ardee native Gaynor was unlucky not to get a hat-trick in injury time effort with a shot just over from the edge of the box.

Madeira Silva; Freitas, Moniz, Graca, R Sousa, Gouveia, So, Faria, Ramos, Costa, Rodrigues. Subs M Sousa for Gouveia 46 mins; Pereira for Ramos 46; Vissimo for So 46; D Goncalves for Rodrigues 76; L Sousa for Costa 81.

Republic of Ireland Gilmartin (Walsall); Kane (Blackburn), Powell (Bohemians), Murphy (MK Dons), OHalloran (Aston Villa), Kelly (Bohemians), Simmonds (Chelsea), Morris (Scunthorpe), OBrien (Celtic), Gaynor (Millwall), Hayes (Reading). Subs Chambers (Shelbourne) for OBrien 46; Finn (UCD) for Powell 46; Dennehy (Sunderland) for Hayes 52; Synnott (Ipswich) for Kane 67.

Referee P Paraty (Portugal).

Are we actually proud to have managed a draw against a country(?) that has the same population as Stoke-on-Trent? In fairness they managed a draw against Portugal too, but I’m just impressed they could find 11 guys aged under 21 to play against us.

Yeah, most of those players would be more used to making cakes than playing football.

Not sure about Madeira’s nation status Law and whille I’m not suggesting we should be proud of a draw with them, I believe it’s their senior team we are playing and not their Under 21 side.

Republic of Ireland 3 1 Georgia

Carey (2)

Celtic pair Graham Carey and Paul Cahillane shared the goal-scoring as the Republic of Ireland beat 3-1 in an U18 international today in Mafra, Lisbon.

Ireland are taking part in a quadrangular invitation tournament along with hosts Portugal and Belgium as all four teams prepare for next seasons UEFA Championship qualifiers at U19 level.

Portugal won the other match today, beating Belgium 3-0. Now Ireland will play Belgium tomorrow (Friday) and if the succeed in winning there then their final match against Portugal on Sunday will be a tournament decider.

Ireland led 1-0 at half-time after Celtics Carey had opened the scoring in the 20th minute. Georgia fought back to regain equality early in the second half but a second goal for Carey and another from his club-mate Cahillane saw Ireland open their tournament on an encouraging note.

This match afforded Irelands manager, Sean McCaffrey, an opportunity of bringing a new selection together. He will continue to look at all of those players who are eligible for next seasons UEFA Championship between now and September.

The only downside to todays win was a red card for goal-scorer Carey late in the game as Ireland finished with ten men.

Must leave a message on Paul Cahillane’s bebo page to congratulate him!

My mistake, & I see the FAI (website) supports you in that; though in my defence both the Herald AM and Irish Indo said it was Madeira U21, and the Irish Times very obviously hedged its bets.

Portugal U18 0 v 1 Republic of Ireland U18
Spillane 85

Republic of Ireland captain Michael Spillane scored a late winner to defeat hosts Portugal and clinch the four-nations invitational tournament trophy in Lisbon on Sunday.

Ireland needed victory to be sure of winning the Lisbon international crown after Georgia had beaten Belgium 3-0 in the other group game played this morning.

Ireland finished the tournament with seven points. Georgia beat Belgium today and finished with six, Portugal had three from their win over Belgium and the Belgians accrued one from their draw with Ireland.

Spillanes crucial goal arrived following a three-man move which started with centre-back Brendan Maloney winning the ball in his own half. The Nottingham Forest defender exchanged passes with Paul Cahillane on the half-way line and fed Spillane who then dribbled the ball around the advancing goalkeeper before shooting into an empty net.

Sean McCaffreys team beat Georgia 3-1 on Thursday in their opener and the following day staged a remarkable late recovery to salvage a 2-2 draw against Belgium. Two goals in the final four minutes of the match by David Hutton and Michael Spillane cancelled out goals by Belgium on either side of half-time.

Ireland produced another late rally to claim the result they needed. Manager Sean McCaffrey chose to push Spillane up into attack from midfield for the final ten minutes and the tactical move paid dividends shortly afterwards.

McCaffrey is preparing for the UEFA U19 Championship qualifiers which will kick-off next September and paid tribute to his squads resilience in challenging circumstances.

I felt that it was only a matter of time before we scored, he said. We put a lot of pressure on their defence in the final stages and I was confident that the goal would come.

It was a very similar situation to the Belgium game on Friday where we went for broke near the end. Theres very little point playing these games without taking risks and we played the final 12 minutes with three at the back and four attackers up front.

He added: There is a lot of character amongst this group of players but they also like to play attractive football. We went into this tournament without five of our first-choice players but the replacements showed they can come in and contribute.

Ireland dominated the first-half and Daniel Corcoran was unlucky not to fire Ireland ahead when he broke free on goal only to see his shot blocked by the hosts goalkeeper.

Portugal improved in the second half and Ireland were forced to endure some nervous moments as Carvalhas and Taz worked their magic around the penalty area.

In the end, Spillane played the skippers part by coming up with his second goal in as many matches.

Manager Sean McCaffrey was delighted to use all the members of his squad over the three games as he assessed the potential of players who will constitute the Republic of Irelands squad in next seasons UEFA U19 qualifying ties. The triumphant Ireland squad return home on Monday afternoon.

Shane Redmond Notts Forest
Cian Hughton Tottenham Hotspur
Brendan Maloney Notts Forest
Michael Spillane Norwich City
Mark O`Toole Norwich City
David Hutton Tottenham Hotspur
Ryan Carolan Crystal Palace
Graham Carey Glasgow Celtic
Paul Cahillane Glasgow Celtic
Daniel Corcoran Belvedere
Karl Byrne Plymouth Argyle
Corie Treacy Notts Forest for Hutton (78 mins)
Michael Liddle Sunderland for Byrne (46 mins)
Ian Bermingham Lourdes Celtic for OToole (63 mins)
Ruairi Harkin Charlton Athletic for Corcoran (46 mins)
Craig Mahon Wigan Athletic for Carey (85 mins)

That’s Chris Hughton’s son playing right back for them. Good win against that opposition.