Rep of Ireland 1-0 Belarus
The Republic of Ireland under-17 side did their chances of qualifying for the second phase of the Uefa Championships no harm at all with a hard-fought victory over a dogged Belarus side in appalling conditions in Lyss on Saturday.
The Irish lost the first game against Austria, but this victory gives them a chance of taking one of the top two places – and a victory against hosts Switzerland in Grenchen in Saturday would seal qualification to the second qualification phase.
In a game played in dreadful conditions, with snow and icy sleet falling throughout, the only goal came in the fourth minute of the second half from the head of Ipswich striker Billy Clarke.
Clarke, who was promoted to the starting line-up on this occasion after impressing as a substitute in the defeat to Austria, finished to the net after good work from Arsenal youngster Anthony Stokes and Celtic’s Diarmuid O’Carroll.
With Austria topping the group on six points after their victory over Switzerland on the same afternoon, Ireland need to become the third team to beat the Swiss when they meet the hosts tomorrow (Saturday).
Republic of Ireland under-17: Randolph (Charlton Athletic), S. Kelly (Kingdom Boys), O’Dea (Celtic), O’Leary (Aberdeen), Reilly (Shelbourne), J.P. Kelly (Liverpool), Morris (Leeds United), Fitzgerald (Lourdes Celtic), Stokes (Arsenal), O’Carroll (Celtic), Clarke (Ipswich Town). Sub: Chambers (Shelbourne) for Morris (9).
Belarus: Shysheya, Charnov, Liutsko, Snapko, Pinchuk, Palaznik, Putsila, Hihevich, Naumavets, Kisliak, Malashka. Sub: Bombechko for Pinchuk (55), Marholenka for Hihevich (77).