Ireland lose tepid affair in Antalya

Nineteen year old debutant Declan Rice was Ireland’s ‘man of the match’ as they went down to a one nil defeat by hosts Turkey in Antalya this evening. Manager Martin O’Neill experimented with a three five two formation, the merits of which remain in question. Rice, starting in the back three, before switching to midfield for the final quarter of the match, was calmness personified throughout and in essence the only real positive to emerge from proceedings. Fellow debutant Scott Hogan did have an early half chance for glory but was unable to convert while Matt Doherty became the third debutant when he replaced skipper Seamus Coleman on sixty two minutes. The winning goal came courtesy of home skipper Mehmet Topal on fifty three minutes, following a poorly defended corner kick. Rice and unused goalkeeper Kieran O’Hara will link up with our U21 squad for their European qualifier against Azerbaijan when they return to Dublin tomorrow morning.