04.04.2007 at 19:00 Complex Desportivo SC Freamunde
1 - 1
Rep of Ireland Under 19
Referee: Vasco Santos (POR)
Tournament / T/S-match
Irish Under 19’s Denied Victory After Last Gasp Germany Goal in Oporto Tournament
April 4, 2007
Republic of Ireland 1 Germany 1
Rooney 21 Fetsch 86
The Republic of Ireland Under-19 team were denied what would have been a deserved victory Today against Germany at the Oporto Under 19 Tournament in Portugal by a late equaliser scored four minutes from the end.
The nations will meet again in competitive action at the UEFA Championship second, Elite stage of qualifiers next month in Dublin and the standard of performance produced by Ireland today will instill a belief that they have enough quality in their ranks to have the edge over their counterparts.
Ireland meet hosts Portugal tomorrow (kick-off 6pm), who beat Ukraine 1-0 in the other match of the tournament played today.
Ireland took control in the friendly match thanks to a 21st minute opener from this season’s top scorer, Adam Rooney, and spurned a couple of good chances to add more goals.
They were left to rue those missed opportunities on 86 minutes when Mathias Fetsch from Karlsruher FC found the equaliser with a close-range shot following a scramble in the penalty box.
The first half was full of attractive play from Ireland with Keith Treacy, Stephen Gleeson and Robert Bayly having the upper-hand in the midfield area.
Stoke City striker Rooney, currently on loan at Yeovil Town, put the Irish in front with a powerful header from eight yards after 21 minutes. Bayly fed Keith Treacy with a short-corner before the Blackburn Rovers winger delivered an inch-perfect cross for Rooney to nod home.
Ireland defenders Michael Spillane and Darren Dennehy each went near to doubling that advantage with headers but they looked capable of causing more danger to Germany in the second-half.
Sean McCaffrey’s side remained dominant after the break but tired in the latter stages, allowing the Germans to funnel players up front in numbers.
Germany looked at their strongest once their equaliser arrived but Ireland had three tremendous opportunities of clinching a late victory.
Wolves midfielder Gleeson was first to go close only to see his shot saved. Substitute Aiden Downes then could have won the game moments later but it was Shane Lowry to whom the best of the chances fell to but again, the goalkeeper had the measure of the Aston Villa centre-back.
Ireland manager Sean McCaffrey was full of praise for his team: “Both teams put out their strongest line-ups today and I was satisfied that we were the better team for almost the entire game.
“We let them back into the game near the end - mainly through tiredness - and conceded a sloppy goal form our point of view. That said, our team won’t be daunted by Germany when they come to play us in Dublin in May during the UEFA qualifiers.”
The involvement of Eddie Nolan, Adam Rooney and Stephen Gleeson at this week’s Oporto tournament for Ireland ended after the game because of requests made by their clubs for their return ahead of this weekend’s busy Easter fixture programme in England.
Nolan and Rooney who are currently on loan spells at Stockport County and Yeovil Town respectively while midfielder Stephen Gleeson has been a regular on the substitute’s bench recently for Coca-Cola Championship side Wolverhampton Wanderers.
McCaffrey said: “I’m glad that the three lads were here with us today for the one game because it will give them an idea of Germany’s strengths and weaknesses.
“Any of the squad that didn’t play against Germany will start tomorrow when we play Portugal. UCD pair Darren Forsyth and Greg Bolger, who is from Wexford, will make their international debuts for us.”
The Second Elite qualifying stage of the UEFA Championship in Dublin will be played from May 14 to 19.
Ireland and Germany will be joined in that qualifying group by Hungary and Bulgaria. Only the top team after a round robin series will go forward to the UEFA finals in Austria. The finals will run from July 16 to 27.
IRELAND TEAM V GERMANY:
Stephen Henderson - Aston Villa
Eddie Nolan - Blackburn Rovers
Michael Spillane - Norwich City
Shane Lowry - Aston Villa
Darren Dennehy - Everton
Matthew Cassidy - Bolton Wanderers
Alan Judge - Blackburn Rovers
Stephen Gleeson - Wolverhampton Wanderers
Robert Bayly - Leeds United
Adam Rooney - Stoke City
Keith Treacy - Blackburn Rovers
Aidan Downes - Everton for Treacy - Half-Time
Mark Salmon - Wolverhampton Wanderers for Judge - 70 mins
Ireland’s remaining Fixtures:
Thursday, 5th April, 2007
Portugal v Rep. of Ireland
Vila Nova - Kick-off 6pm
Saturday, 7th April, 2007
Ukraine v Rep of Ireland
Leca Palmeira - Kick-off 9am