26.07.2002 at 00:00 Hønefoss - Honefoss
2 - 3
Rep of Ireland Under 19
Referee: Paulo Costa (POR)
Patrick Mc Carthy
Michael Foley- Sheridan
Ireland came from behind to defeat England today at the Under-19 Championships in Norway. Two goals in the first half looked to end Irelands hopes before Jonathan Daly, Steven Paisley and Steven Kelly hit back to give Ireland victory and a place in the 3rd and 4th place play-offs.
Republic of Ireland 3-2 England
The Republic of Ireland came from two goals down to beat England 3-2 and seal a place in Sundays third-place play-off by coming second in Group B of the UEFA European Under-19 Championship.
Germany slip needed
Both sides took to the sun-drenched pitch of the Hønefoss stadium knowing that they were reliant on Germany slipping up against Belgium to have any chance of reaching Sunday’s final against Spain.
Bragging rights at stake
However with local bragging rights at stake, to say nothing of a place in Sundays bronze medal match and FIFA World Youth Cup qualification, it was always going to be a fiercely contested game whatever happened in Lillestrøm.
Both sides attacked the game from the off, with Ireland creating the better chances early on as a Liam Kearney shot forced Lee Grant to save well low down while Jonathan Daly headed into the side-netting after getting on the end of a high cross. A slip in defence by Englands Stephen Capper then gave Sean Thornton an opening but Grant saved again.
England take the lead
Against the run of play England took the lead on eleven minutes, as Darren Carter ran on to Michael Chopras through ball and poked it past Brian Murphy. The goal gave the English added confidence and they began to find their rhythm in midfield, with the lively Stephen Cooke coordinating many of their best moves.
Ashton doubles lead
Clear-cut chances at either end were few and far between. However in added time of the first half, England doubled their lead after goalkeeper Murphy, who had picked up a knock earlier in the half, got to the ball second and brought down Englands John Welsh in the area. Dean Ashton duly stroked his third goal of the tournament from the penalty spot.
Murphy makes way
Murphy made way at half-time for Wayne Henderson, as England, mindful of the fact that Germany were drawing 1-1, looked to go in search of the goal that would put them into the final if the score stayed the same in Lillestrøm.
Instead they found themselves on the receiving end of a dramatic comeback by the Irish. On 54 minutes Ryan Garry committed a foul in the penalty box and Daly sent Grant the wrong way from the spot to register his third goal of the tournament.
Ireland boss the midfield
Ireland were increasingly bossing the midfield exchanges by now, and they drew level in the 73rd minute when Paisley powered a header into the net from a free-kick. Now fully in command, the green shirts poured forward in numbers and took the lead within a minute of the restart when a header from Stephen Kelly looped over Grant.
Irish in party mood
England made a rash of substitutions but there was no denying the resurgent Irish, who chased every lost cause, and sucked the life out of any England attack. On the final whistle the sizeable Irish contingent in the crowd went into party mood, despite the news that Germanys 2-1 victory against Belgium had denied them a place in the final.
Nevertheless Ireland will still be a part of Sundays showpiece at the Ullevaal, as they square off with Slovakia for third place. Meanwhile for England there is the consolation of knowing that they have secured third place in the group, and with it qualification for the FIFA World Youth Championship.
"That was the main aim," England coach Martin Hunter said after the game. "If we could have got to the final that also would have been great but I thought the Irish played well in the second half and once again we have surrendered a cushion of a two-goal lead so I am very disappointed about that."
England 2-3 Republic of Ireland
UEFA Under 19 Championship, Group B Match
Friday 26th July , Honefoss
A second half fight back from Ireland sent England out of the UEFA Under 19 championships in Norway on Friday evening.
So England bow out of the European Under-19 Championship Final tournament with a 3-2 defeat by Ireland that encapsulated both the positives and negatives of our Norwegian campaign.
Stunning attacking football saw England storm to a two-goal first half lead before callous defending and a sterling Irish fightback saw us concede a trio of second half strikes to slip to a disappointing reverse.
On the positive side, our third place finish in Group B is enough to earn qualification for next year’s World Championships and that platform may yet bring the best of the huge talents in this party who failed to make the impact that their gifts suggested they might.
And it had all started so well for Martin Hunters side. With Carter, Thomas, Ashton, Welsh and Cooke all coming into the side, our hunger looked to be back and, after Lee Grant had kept us in the game with an excellent early save, we quickly imposed ourselves on the game.
It was a wonderfully crafted England goal which broke the deadlock on ten minutes. Stephen Cooke, who turned in an excellent first half performance, was the instigator dashing forward past two men before releasing the ball to his captain, Jermaine Jenas. In a flash JJ had spotted and found Chopra with an immaculately struck crossfield ball. The Newcastle man kept the momentum going playing an intelligent ball in behind the back four with the perfect weighting to both find Carter and draw the goalkeeper from his line. It was Darren who won the race, bravely and skilfully clipping the ball home with his favourite left foot.
This was the Birmingham mans first start of these finals and his strike and overall performance was ample evidence that he has what it takes to make an impact at international level.
With news coming through that Belgium had taken a shock lead against group leaders Germany, suddenly a spot in the final looked on. Our hopes were raised still further when Ashton notched a second on the stroke of half-time.
John Welsh dashed into the area and flicked the ball to the byline before being upended by the Irish goalkeeper Brian Murphy. With a touch of the Shearers, Ashton was straight over to pick the ball up and despatch it to the keepers right with the minimum of fuss. Three goals in three games is a fine return for our number nine.
At that stage England were rampant and another slalom and strike from Cooke came close to adding a third only seconds later. This was what this England team are capable of and it had the enthusiastic Norwegian crowd in raptures.
All of which makes what happened in the second half more difficult to understand. Credit Ireland too - their spirit and desire shone out as they produced a comeback of heroic proportions.
First, Jonathan Daly, a Niall Quinn look-alike upfront, made no mistake with a penalty awarded for a push by Ryan Garry.
Then Stephen Paisley towered above the English defence to power home a header from Liam Kearneys sweetly struck centre.
With confidence high and their amazing travelling support behind them, Ireland then struck a third with the high ball into the box once again causing problems for our defence. This time it was Stephen Kelly who looped the ball home to send his team-mates into ecstatic celebrations.
Martin Hunter responded by introducing both Carlton Cole and Jermaine Pennant and, though we laid siege to the Irish goal, it was to no avail. Indeed, Ireland might have even snatched a fourth when Michael Sheridan-Foley blazed over late on.
Our tournament was characterised by sensational attacking and sloppy defending. What can we expect at the World Championships in Spring? On this evidence, goals, goals, goals.
From Daniel Freedman in Oslo
England: Grant, Garry, Jenas (c), Johnson, Clark (Otsemobor 75), Ashton, Cooke, Thomas (Pennant 76), Chopra (Cole 76), Welsh, Carter
Subs not used: Bowditch, Hoyte, Lonerghan, O Neil
England Goals: Carter 11, Ashton 44 (pen)
Republic of Ireland Goals: Daly 54 (pen), Paisley 73, Kelly 74