21.10.2011 at 19:00 Tsentralniy, Almaty (KAZ)
1 - 1
Rep of Ireland
Referee: Sergejus Slyva
UEFA U-17 Championship first phase qualifier
Kazakhstan U-17 1-1 Republic of Ireland U-17
The Republic of Ireland Under-17 failed to make their dominance count against Kazakhstan in Almaty today as they needed a late equaliser to grab a point in this UEFA Championship first phase qualifier.
Ireland enjoyed the vast majority of possession and scoring chances without showing the required clinical edge. In total, the Irish had 22 attempts on goals while Kazakhstan fashioned six.
The host nation led at the break through Ivan Antipovs 14th minute opener. Incessant pressure from Ireland finally yielded an equaliser three minutes from time when Jack Grealish struck home from the edge of the box.
The results puts Ireland in second place of the group on four points after two games, two behind leaders Czech Republic who beat Liechtenstein 6-0 in the other game in the pool contested. Ireland can only be edged out for the second qualifying berth into the elite phase on goal difference should Czech Republic defeat Ireland in Tuesdays concluding fixture.
Ireland started brightly only to concede from a free-kick. Much to the delight of strong support inside the Tsentralniy Stadium, Ivan Antipov managed to angle his curling free-kick around the Ireland wall and into the back of the net.
John Morlings Ireland continued to hold the upper-hand in the territorial stakes. Thomas Mulroney saw his effort rebound off the crossbar and Millwalls Conor Wilkinson could not keep the rebound on target.
In the second half, Ryan O Reilly and Sam Byrne both came close to levelling but, at the other end, Irish keeper Shane Fagan kept his side in the contest by smothering the ball from Adil Belgabayev as the attacker tried to round him following a swift counter-attack.
Byrne and substitute Gary O Neill each sent shots into the side-netting as the Irish pressure increased and the equaliser finally arrived.
Substitute Dylan McGlade raided down the flank past a couple of defender and found Grealish twenty yards out. The Aston Villa flanker still had work to do but cut inside his marker before drilling a low shot inside the post.
REPUBLIC OF IRELAND: S. Fagan (Coventry City); S. Long (Cherry Orchard), K. McFadden (Norwich City), R. O Reilly (Stoke City), S. Coyne (Cherry Orchard); T. Mulroney (Crumlin United), J. Leddy (Ipswich Town), Hayes (Derby County); S. Byrne (Manchester United), C. Wilkinson (Millwall), J. Grealish (Aston Villa).
Subs: D. McGlade (Middlesboro) for Wilkinson (h/t), G. O Neill (Wolves) for Hayes (67 mins)