10.11.2021 at 15:00 Druzhba, Dobrich
2 - 3
Rep of Ireland Under 19
Referee: Kai Erik Steen (NOR)
Anselmo Garcia-Mc Nulty
Ed Mc Jannett
The Republic of Ireland survived a late scare to begin their Group 6 campaign of the UEFA Under-19 Championship Qualifiers with a win as they overcame Montenegro 3-2 in Druzhba, Dobrich, Bulgaria on Tuesday afternoon.
10th Nov 2021
A superb brace from Sinclair Armstrong and a neat finish from Johnny Kenny all in the second half saw Ireland lead 3-0 heading into the closing stages with Montenegro scoring two goals in injury time.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this was the first competitive action for Tom Mohan’s side’s in almost two years, although they did face Sweden in two friendlies games in Marbella, Spain last month where they were held to 2-2 and 1-1 draws.
Ireland started brightly but despite forcing a number of corners early on, it was their goalkeeper Dan Rose that was forced into making the first save to deny Dinovic Ognjen.
Sinclair Armstrong impressed throughout and he had the Boys in Green’s two best sights at goal in the first half but he failed to hit the target with either of his efforts.
But it would prove to be a case of third time lucky as the forward, who is currently with Torquay United on loan from Queens Park Rangers, gave the Irish the lead with 52 minutes on the clock with a composed left foot finish at the end of a surging run.
They would double their lead just four minutes later when Sligo Rovers' Johnny Kenny fired home after Bosun Lawal knocked a well worked free kick across the goal and into his path before Armstrong grabbed his second and his side’s third after 77 minutes.
But Montenegro, to their credit, battled until the final whistle and a Sam Curis own goal followed swiftly by Dasic finding the net - both in injury time - just wasn't enough to snatch them a point.
Ireland’s next game sees them take on Bosnia & Herzegovina on Saturday (November 13) before they finish up their qualification group against hosts Bulgaria on Tuesday (November 16).
Republic of Ireland: Dan Rose, James Abankwah (David Okagbue 90), Tayo Adaramola, Bosun Lawal, Anselmo Garcia MacNulty (Sam Curtis 86), Ed McJannet, Johnny Kenny, Jack Henry-Francis (Kian Corbally 86), Sinclair Armstrong (Kevin Zefi 86), Evan Caffrey (Aidomo Emakhu 72), Andrew Moran.
Montenegro: Ivezi Nikola, Adzic Bojan, Dinovic Ognjen, Bozovic Nemanja, Vukotic Nikola, Dukanovic Viktor (Aleksi Cetkovic 90), Bajovic Andrej, Krivokapic Matija (Eldin Rastoder 61), Bakic Ognjen (Damjan Mugosa 82), Mijovic Lazar, Vukovic Dusan (Jovan Dasic 90).
Kai Erik Steen (Norway)
UEFA European Under-19 Championship qualifiers, Group 6 – all kick-offs are Irish time
Saturday, November 13 | Republic of Ireland MU19 v Bosnia & Herzegovina MU19, Druzhba, Dobrich, Bulgaria, KO 12.30pm
Tuesday, November 16 | Bulgaria MU19 v Republic of Ireland MU19, Albena 1, Albena, Bulgaria, KO 12.30pm