27.02.2006 at 16:00 La Manga
1 - 1
Rep of Ireland Under 19
Referee: Kari Petteri (Finland)
Tournament / T/S-match
Andrw Mc Neill,
Michael Mc Glinchy,
James Mc Cluskey,
Jon P Kelly
Sean mc Caffrey’s Under 19 squad started their Tournament in La Manga with a creditable 1- 1 against Scotland. In beautiful surroundings the team under the stewardship of Tony Mc Guirk (Sean Mc Caffrey will join up with the squad after the Under 17’s final game in Algarve) fell behind to an early Graham Dorrans goal.
The team fought back magnificently to earn a draw after a John Hayes penalty was superbly saved by Scottish keeper Andrew Mc Neil only for the ball to fall to the feet of James O’Brien who was the quickest to react and scored his first goal for Ireland.
Ireland had started with a strong breeze but fell behind after four minutes when Dorrans was allowed plenty of time and space in the box and he made the Irish pay for their hesitancy with a good shot that beat Stephen Henderson.
Scotland were relying on long balls but in one fell swoop Ireland were unfortunate not to equalise when from a throw out by Stephen Henderson “Jockser” Kelly and Jon Hayes between them tore the entire Scotish team apart and were unlucky not to score.
This was to be a feature of the game as Kelly and Hayes gave the Scottish team a torrid time.
Ireland eventually equalised after thirty minutes as James Graham upended James O’Brien in the box and the referee Karl Petteri had no hesitation in awarding a penalty. Jon Hayes placed his spot kick well to the keeper’s left but Mc Neil brought off a great diving save to push the ball out. James O’Brien was the first to react and crashed it home to bring the sides level.
Ireland attacked again and after the Scot Cuthbert had cleared the ball for a corner the Scots were unlucky not to fall behind as Jon Hayes corner floated in over the tall defenders heads and Mc Neill in the Scottish goal did well to get his hand to the ball and push it on to the post.
Half Time 0-0
The second half started with the Irish now facing the strong breeze and as can sometimes happen Ireland lifted their game and appeared to play better football.
Jon Hayes who mesmerised both full backs was terrific in this half and the introduction of Shane Long after brought added pace to the forward line.
Tony Mc Guirk nearly made the change of the season as Shane Long put over a great ball with his first kick which should have been finished off but unfortunately Jon Hayes placed his header wide.
Tony Mc Guirk was delighted at the finish of the game “ Considering the number of players that were unavailable I thought we did extremely well. The players held a fancied Scottish side and outplayed them at times”
Ireland next match in the Tournament is against Norway on Wednesday at 16.00.
Footnote: The Scottish team was managed by Archie Gemmill former Nottingham Forest, Derby County midfielder and probabaly more famous for his goal for Scotland against Holland many years ago.
Ireland: Henderson,Murphy, O'Dea,Mukendi,Powell,Hayes, Kelly,Gleeson,Dennehy, Gaynor, O'Brien Subs: Long for Gaynor(77),Reilly for Murphi (86)
Scotland: Mc Neil, Cuthbert, Grant, Cave- Brown, Ferry,Mc Glinchey,Lowwing, Kenneth, Snodgrass, Mc Cluskey, Dorrans.