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19.03.2010 at 11:30 Municipal, Kato Achaia Attendance:
Greece 3 - 0 Rep of Ireland
Referee: Dawid Piasecki (POL) EC Elite Round-match

Katidis 55, 69 mins,
Diamantakos 78 mins,
Opening squads
Stefanos Kapino,
Charalampos Lykogiannis,
Konstaninos Rougalas,
Mavroudis Bougaidis,
Ioannis Polychronakis,
Spyridon Fourlanos,
Dimitrios Diamantakos,
Nikalaos Kousidis,
Nikolaos Marinakis,
Christos Provatidis,
Georgios Katidis
Sean Mc Dermott
Michael Barker
Derrick Williams
Sean Mc Ginty
Richard Bryan
Kevin Knight
Shane Byrne
Carl Mc Hugh
David Murphy
George Smith
Daniel Purdy
Serafeim Giannikoglou Vasileios Karagkounis
Ioannis Gianniotas
Christos Panagiotis Arianoutsos
Christos Provatidis
Fotios Kaimakoudis
Konstantinos Stafylidis
Alan Smith
Neil Yadolahi
Michael(ml) Keane
Anton Rodgers
Frankie Sutherland
Sean Murray
Aidan O'Brien
Fotios Kaimakoudis for Nikolaos Kousidis 61 mins,
Konstantinos Stafylidis for Georgios Katidis 74 mins,
Christos Panagiotis Arianoutsos for Spyridon Fourlanos 78 mins,
Frankie Sutherland -> Carl Mc Hugh (46)
Anton Rodgers -> George Smith (46)
Aidan O'Brien -> David Murphy (62)
Yellow cards
Ioannis Polychronakis 57 mins,
Ioannis Gianniotas 71 mins,
Carl Mc Hugh (30)
Shane Byrne (36)
Derrick Williams (41)
Red cards
None None.
Other statistics
0 Shots 0
0 Shots on goal 0
0 Offsides 0
0 Corner kicks 0
0 Free kicks 0
0 Penalties 0
Match report | Preview
Greece 3 Republic of Ireland 0
Katidis 55, 69
Diamantakos 78

The Republic of Ireland Under-17s opened their UEFA elite phase qualifying campaign with a disappointing defeat to mini-group hosts Greece in Patras this morning. After a close first-half when both sides missed chances to take the lead, Greece took control in the 20 degree heat and fired home three second half goals to see off the Boys in Green.

The Irish will regroup to regain their qualifying ambitions for this summer's European Championship finals when they take on Finland on Sunday, three days before concluding the group against Austria.

Ireland's defence held firm in the opening half in the face of Greece's swift counter-attacking play. They were seldom threatened with the home side having just Spyridon Fourlanos' shot that blasted over to show for their endeavours inside the first quarter of an hour.

At the other end, Daniel Purdy was always lurking for an opening and, when the Greece rearguard failed to clear on 21 minutes, David Murphy set up the West Ham United striker whose shot whistled just wide.

A free-kick by Ireland captain Sean McGinty seven minutes short of the break found Murphy in space but ‘keeper Stefanos Kapino dealt comfortably with his effort.

Ireland midfielder Anton Rodgers, on as a half-time substitute along with Frankie Sutherland, tried his luck with a free-kick five minutes into the second half only to see the Greek wall do its job and repel the danger.

But Greece were beginning to click in the final third, especially through Georgios Katidis who kept McGinty busy with his array of skills.

Ireland goalkeeper Sean McDermott did well to save Fourlanos' shot from the edge of the area on 53 minutes but he was helpless to prevent the lead goal sweeping past him two minutes later when Katidis rose to head home an inviting free-kick by Fourlanos.

On 63 minutes, a good interchange of passing between Derrick Williams and Rodgers tried to release Kevin Knight but the pass into the box just eluded the winger.

Greece made sure of the points with two late goals in the space of nine minutes. Katidis capitalised upon a rare error in the Irish defence to convert from close range on 69 minutes and, after Sutherland was unlucky not to reduce the arrears four minutes from time, captain Dimitrios Diamantakos punished Ireland further with a neat finish past McDermott.

Manager Sean McCaffrey said, "Today's performance was disappointing. We played poorly and with little energy. Despite loads of effort and industry, we lacked sparkle. I think the heat might have been a factor in the defeat and Greece were strong after gelling together as a team over the past month. It was our worst performance this season, I know we can do better. The players have what it takes and are good enough to do better in the next two matches. There is still a lot of football to be played over the coming days and we have to focus on the next game and look towards beating Finland on Sunday."

Republic of Ireland: Sean McDermott (Arsenal); Derrick Williams (Aston Villa), Sean McGinty (Manchester United), Richard Bryan (Aston Villa), Michael Barker (Belvedere); George Smith (Southend United), Carl McHugh (Reading), Shane Byrne (Leicester City), Kevin Knight (Leicester City); David Murphy (Reading), Daniel Purdy (West Ham United).
Subs: Frankie Sutherland (QPR) for McHugh, Anton Rodgers (Chelsea) for Smith (both h/t), Aiden O'Brien (Millwall) for Murphy (62 mins)

Greece: Stefanos Kapino, Charalampos Lykogiannis, Konstaninos Rougalas, Mavroudis Bougaidis, Ioannis Polychronakis, Spyridon Fourlanos, Dimitrios Diamantakos, Nikalaos Kousidis, Nikolaos Marinakis, Christos Provatidis, Georgios Katidis.

Referee: Dawid Piasecki (POL)
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