18.10.2005 at 19:30 Cobh
Rep of Ireland Under 19
3 - 0
Referee: Mr. E. Laursen (Denmark)
European Qualifier / TICKET-match
Vadim Cemirtan 57 mins,
Ireland 3 — 0 Moldova
Morris pen 50
Ireland ensured the advanced to the second qualifying phase of the UEFA Cup U19 Championship with another hugely impressive performance against Moldova at St. Colman’s Park.
Ireland were full value for their three goals win and they lost a great chance of enhancing their goals tally still further when Anthony Stokes had a penalty attempt saved by goalkeeper Gaiduchevici in the final minute of the match.
The pity of it was that Stokes had an outstanding match and his leadership of the forward line helped set the standard for a team performance that was smooth and effective.
The quality of football produced by Ireland was marvellous for they were strong and forceful in defence, neat and accurate in their distribution from midfield and swift and persistent in attack.
There was little an ultra defensive Moldova could do to contain them. Once Jonathan Hayes opened the scoring in the 30th minute Ireland, dominated the game and processed their game plan with accurate, compelling football.
Hayes’ opening goal was a beauty. Stokes was lucky to be left free when a Moldova defender slipped as he attempted to intercept a throw from Darren Stapleton. His slick pass sent Hayes disco-dancing his way past a couple of defenders before he clipped the ball past the goalkeeper.
The second goal came from the penalty spot in the 50th minute. Moldova captain Casian was guilty of hand-ball and Ian Morris’ finish was emphatic.
Morris and Darron Gibson again formed an effective partnership in central midfield and they drove Ireland on for a third in the 87th minute. The goalkeeper did well to parry a shot from Stokes but then had no defence when substitute Diarmuid O’Carroll knocked in the loose ball.
Republic of Ireland; Randolph (Charlton Athletic); S. Kelly (Arsenal), Nolan (Blackburn Rovers), O Dea (Celtic), Stapleton (Reading); J. P. Kelly (Bohemians), Gibson (Manchester Utd), Morris (Leeds Utd), Hayes (Reading); Stokes (Arsenal), Clarke (Ipswich Town).
Subs: Chambers (Shelbourne) for Hayes 65; O Brien (Celtic) for Clarke 70; O Carroll (Celtic) for Morris 82.
Moldova: Gaiduchevici; Nosenco, Bulat, S. Cojocari, Berbinschi; Patras, A. Cojocari, Racu, Casian; Stginga, Suvorov. Subs; Cemirtan for Stinga 46; Zacon for Patras 75; Livandovschii for Cemirtan 78.
The other match in this group between Northern Ireland and Italy ended 0-0 in Midleton.
IRISH U19 manager Sean McCaffrey was eager for his victorious players to take the credit after securing their progress to the UEFA Championships elite phase this week.McCaffrey’s talented teenagers completed their campaign unbeaten in the four-team qualifying group in Cork, beating Northern Ireland, Moldova and, most notably, Italy.
The Italians were crushed 4-1 at Turners Cross on Thursday as Ireland put on an outstanding display of skilful, passing football which belied atrocious weather and pitch conditions.
Yet McCaffrey, who has also guided the U17s to the UEFA Championship elite phase in the last few weeks, refuses to accept the plaudits.
“It’s not all about tactics,” the Monaghan man said.
“Now people are giving me a lot of the credit and that’s what happens ... managers and coaches get too much credit when teams are playing really well and too much of the blame when they’re not.
“We’ve a great coaching staff but 90% of what happened here this week was down to the players’ ability, their enthusiasm to listen, their enthusiasm to learn, their enthusiasm to work, the team spirit that was built up, and I think they deserve all the credit and hopefully they will get their reward as the season goes on.”
Having won their group Ireland go into the draw as seeds and will come out of the hat with one fellow group winner and two runners-up. Only one team will progress from that group for the finals in Poland next summer but McCaffrey was understandably bouyant after his side’s defeat of Italy.
Two goals from Ipswich forward Billy Clarke and one apiece from defenders Darron Gibson and Edward Nolan were complemented by great work in midfield from Ian Morris, captain John Paul Kelly and Jonathan Hayes while Arsenal striker Anthony Stokes led the line brilliantly and unselfishly.
“We scored four very good goals, created lots of chances and played lots of attacking football,” McCaffrey said.
“It’s a great approach and philosophy when you have the goods to back it up and those players did.”