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24.03.2010 at 09:30 Pampeloponnisiako, Patras (GRE) Attendance:
Austria 0 - 3 Rep of Ireland
Referee: Sébastien Delferiere (BEL) EC Elite Round-match

None Aidan O'Brien (20)
Kevin Knight (44)
Aidan O'Brien (72)
Opening squads
Richard Strebinger,
Dominik Traunmuller,
Tony Vastic,
Raphael Holzhauser,
Alexander Rother,
Kevin Stoger,
Dominik Burustic,
Patrick Haas,
Florian Neuhold,
Stefan Petrovic,
Lukas Schnegg.
Sean Mc Dermott
Derrick Williams
Michael(ml) Keane
Sean Mc Ginty
Neil Yadolahi
Kevin Knight
Sean Murray
Frankie Sutherland
Shane Byrne
Aidan O'Brien
Daniel Purdy
Lukas Waltl
Alexander Staudecker
Markus Keusch
Seifedin Chabbi
Marvin Potzmann
Alan Smith
Michael Barker
Richard Bryan
Anton Rodgers
George Smith
Seifedin Chabbi for Rother 41 mins,
Marvin Potzmann for Vastic 47 mins,
Markus Keusch for Schnegg 61 mins
George Smith -> Daniel Purdy (25)
Anton Rodgers -> Sean Murray (41)
Richard Bryan -> Aidan O'Brien (73)
Yellow cards
Kevin Stöger for 52 Mins, George Smith (30)
George Smith (48)
Frankie Sutherland (80)
Red cards
None George Smith (48)
Match report

Pictures from the match
UEFA Under-17 Championship Elite Stage Qualifier

Republic of Ireland 3-0 Austria
Aiden O Brien 20, 71
Kevin Knight 43

The Republic of Ireland Under-17s got the win they needed against Austria in their final UEFA Championship Elite qualifier on Wednesday in Greece but missed out on top spot to the mini-group hosts.

Greece had to drop points in the other game against Finland for Ireland to claim the one automatic qualifying spot into the showpiece and that scenario looked likely to unfold when the Finns led 1-0 with eight minutes remaining.

But despite Aiden O Brien s brace sealing a 3-0 victory for Ireland, the resolute Greeks staged a late turnaround to score twice and nick the group with a 2-1 win. They topped the table on seven points, one ahead of second-placed Ireland.

It was harsh on an Irish side who completely dominated Austria in Patras, wrapping up their second successive triumph in the group.

However, the odds of Ireland clinching top spot were against them when they lost their opener 3-0 to Greece on Friday.

Sean McCaffrey was uplifted by the manner in which his charges bounced back from that early set-back.

He said: "To be within one minute of the reaching the European Championships is very disappointing for the boys. They can be extremely proud of their performance, not just today against Austria but over the week."

"They showed great character and skill and it is a pity that they will not get the opportunity to showcase their talents off in the finals."

He added: "Our slow start to the elite phase was our undoing. We came into this match needing a win and beat good side 3-0. When word came through that Finland were leading 1-0, it looked like we had made it to the finals but it was not to be.

"We have only lost one match this whole season which unfortunately was against Greece last Friday."

Irelands two-goal hero Aiden O Brien of Millwall spoke of the disappointment within the squad at coming so close to featuring at the eight-nation finals Liechtenstein

He said: "The entire squad are devastated at how things played out today. Based on the great team performance today, we deserved to go to the finals.

"The first game against Greece messed us up but following great victories against Finland and Austria it unfortunately did not go for us.

"We were all up for the game when we leaving for the stadium this morning. We decided to put everything we had into this match against Austria and we came out on top

"I was playing up front on my own for a lot of the game but I just put my all into causing problems for the Austrian defenders and working with midfield to get the ball up the field. All four midfielders were terrific today, supporting me throughout."

Ireland had to survive an early scare when Dominik Burusic shot rebounded off the post on 17 but McCaffrey s boys soon took control and asserted their dominance with the opener three minutes later.

Daniel Purdy engineered the chance by floating a ball across the six-yard box, allowing Aiden O Brien to slide in and guide a first-time shot past Richard Strebinger.

Ireland lost star striker Daniel Purdy on 25 minutes with a suspected broken metatarsal and his replacement, George Smith, soon collected a booking that would later cost him.

Kevin Knight, the supplier of Ireland s winner against Finland, flashed a shot narrowly wide in first-half injury time but the Leicester City man did not have long into the second half to wait for a goal.

Three minutes after the restart, the inspirational Frankie Sutherland released George Smith, who beat numerous Austrian defenders to create space and his cross was nodded home by Knight.

On 47 minutes, Ireland were reduced to ten men as Smith incurred his second yellow card but the avalanche of attacks continued with Austria dazzled by the movement of the Irish midfield.

O Brien was close to adding his second on 66 minutes after he chipped Strebinger only for the ball to drift inches the wrong side of the post.

But another darting passage of play involving Shane Byrne and Frankie Sutherland who weaved in and out of the Austrians to slot in O Brien for an easy tap in for Ireland.

At that stage, Ireland were primed for the finals but a dramatic turn of events at nearby Panahaiki conspired against the brave troops as Dimitrios Diamantakos‘ double sent Greece through.

Republic of Ireland: Sean McDermott (Arsenal); Michael Keane (Manchester United), Neil Yadolahi (Burnley), Sean McGinty (Manchester United), Derek Williams (Aston Villa); Sean Murray (Watford), Frankie Sutherland (QPR), Shane Byrne (Leicester City), Kevin Knight (Leicester City); Daniel Purdy (West Ham United), Aiden O Brien (Millwall).
Subs: George Smith (Southend United) for Purdy (25 mins), 15 Anton Rodgers (Chelsea) for Murray (h/t), 5 Richard Bryan (Aston Villa) for O Brien (72 mins)

Austria: Richard Strebinger, Dominik Traunmuller, Tony Vastic, Raphael Holzhauser, Alexander Rother, Kevin Stoger, Dominik Burustic, Patrick Haas, Florian Neuhold, Stefan Petrovic, Lukas Schnegg.

Referee: Sébastien Delferiere (BEL)

UEFA Under-17 Elite Stage qualifiers - Group 3:

Friday March 19 2010
Republic of Ireland 0-3 Greece
Austria 3-3 Finland

Sunday March 21 2010
Finland 0-1 Republic of Ireland
Greece 2-2 Austria

Wednesday March 24 2010
Republic of Ireland 3-0 Austria
Greece 2-1 Finland.
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