Brian Kerr's Republic of Ireland Under-19 team have won the UEFA Qualifying tournament after beating Croatia 3-1 in a cracker of a game at St Coleman's Park this evening. This final tie between the two top teams in the group would decide who would go through to a play-off clash with possibly France or Holland. Both Ireland and Croatia had won their opening two matches but Ireland had a superior goal difference so a draw would have been enough to see the Irish through.
However, Kerr's boys ensured their qualification with an emphatic victory. The Irish went ahead in the first minute, thanks to a goal from Stockport centre-forward Jonathan Daly who slotted home from the edge of the box. He increased Ireland's advantage to two goals immediately after half-time when firing home from ten yards out. Two minutes later, the Croatians pulled a goal back thanks to a header from Luboevic but their fightback proved short-lived. They were reduced to ten men when Plaic was sent off for dissent before the Irish regained their two-goal cushion thanks to a strike from subsititute Raineer Moor.
Earlier this afternoon Austria finished third in the group after a 2-0 win over Latvia at the Mardyke.