Brian Kerr's Republic of Ireland U-19s have lost 3-0 to Germany in the second game of their European Championship campaign in Norway. They went behind to an excellent Riether goal just before the half-hour mark. He latched on to a long back-post ball to volley past Brian Murphy in the Irish goal.
Ireland threatened shortly after when Stephen Paisley sent a looping header just past the upright but that was the only time they came close during a first half where the exertions in their victory over Belgium two days ago looked to be taking it's toll.
Germany, looking more composed, made it 2-0 on 55 mins when Piotir Trochowski's shot from the edge of the area took a wicked deflection to give Murphy no chance. And Mike Hanke wrapped it up on 78 mins with an excellent turn and shot into the roof of the Irish net.
Their next game is on Friday against England who drew 1-1 with Belgium this afternoon.
Germany 3-0 Rep. Of Ireland
A composed Germany side beat the Republic of Ireland 3-0 in the Melløs stadium in Moss tonight as Group B of the UEFA European Under-19 Championship remained too close to call.
Germany lead the way
Germany now lead the group with four points, one ahead of Ireland and two and three ahead of England and Belgium respectively. A win against the Belgians on Friday will definitely take Ulrich Stielike's side into Sunday's final at the Ullevaal stadium. If they draw or lose, however, the result of Ireland's game against England could see some complicated mathematics come into play.
Stielike rotates side
Germany coach Stielike had promised to rotate his side for today's game and he stuck to his word, withdrawing Moritz Volz, Janis Crone, Piotr Trochowski, Matthias Lehmann, Sebastian Kneissel and Mike Hanke from the side that drew 3-3 with England and bringing in Philipp Lahm, Sascha Riether, David Odonkor, Marcel Schied, Sofian Chahed and Emmanuel Krontiris.
Ireland coach Brian Kerr made three changes, bringing in Stephen Kelly, Keith Gilroy and Stephen Elliot for Michael Foley-Sheridan, Adrian Deane and Liam Kearney, and within two minutes of the start his side had an excellent chance to open the scoring. Stephen Brennan got forward well from the right to collect a lofted pass only to blast his shot wide as German goalkeeper Daniel Haas stood up well.
After that initial scare Germany settled into a solid, patient pattern, moving the ball well and denying the Irish possession in midfield. Soon they carved out an opening of their own, Brian Murphy having to block efforts from Krontiris and then Odonkor with his body.
Odonkor went close again after 20 minutes, sliding in to shoot low but Murphy held the ball safely. Two minutes later Germany took the lead when a quickly taken free-kick was played out to Odonkor down the left and after some trickery the BV Borussia Dortmund man crossed for Riether whose thumping volley at the far post flew past Murphy.
Ireland tried hard to fashion an equaliser, and went close when Stephen Paisley got forward from defence and produced a powerful header which just looped wide of the target. Elliot also drove a shot past the post as the Irish enjoyed their best spell of the game just before the whistle brought to a close a largely low-key first half.
At half-time, Germany brought on Volz and Trochowski, withdrawing Krontiris and Ioannis Masmanidis. Trochowksi's trickery caused the Irish huge problems and he found space wonderfully well in the penalty area in the 59th minute to direct a cunning shot past Murphy and double Germany's lead.
Gilroy almost burst through on goal three minutes later but Haas was alert to the danger and from then on the game slipped away from the Irish. Germany maintained their shape and tempo and never looked like conceding a goal. Indeed they added a third nine minutes before the end when Hanke drove the ball past Murphy.
Germany coach Stielike was a satisfied man after the game. "The result was a compliment to the team," he said. "We played as a unit, we played soccer and they weren't just fortunate chances we scored from - we worked hard to make them and combined very well."
Ireland coach Kerr was honest in his assessment of the match. "We weren't good enough today," he said. "We had a very good chance early on when Stephen Brennan blasted wide in the first two minutes of the game which maybe would have given us the start and the boost we needed playing such a quality team as Germany. But overall on the pitch they were just too quick for us and too inventive and physically stronger as well."