Our U19 side suffered bitter disappointment with the concession of an 83rd minute goal to Tournament favourites France in their second European Championship Finals Group B contest in Yerevan early this Thursday evening.
Ireland gave a valiant defensive performance against their much vaunted opponents with goalkeeper Brian Maher in excellent form. France, with several first team regulars in their side, dominated possession and had much the greater number of goal scoring chances but were unable to make the breakthrough against a resolute Ireland defence until that fateful 83rd minute.
Head Coach Tom Mohan made just one change to his starting eleven from the Norway match with sixteen year old Matt Everitt replacing Jack James on the left flank with Kameron Ledwidge reverting to his normal left back position.
The Irish back four stayed resolute in front of the outstanding Maher while sixteen year old Joe Hodge was again prominent in midfield. There was also another industrious performance from striker Jonathan Afolabi.
The result means France top the Group and are through to the semi-finals while Ireland together with the Czech Republic and Norway who played out a scoreless draw earlier this afternoon, all remain in contention for second position and a place in the semi-finals.
Ireland will face the Czech Republic in the FFA Academy Stadium at 5pm on Sunday afternoon with France and Norway in action at the same time.
P W D L F A g/d Pts
France 2 2 0 0 4 0 4 6
Norway 2 0 2 0 1 1 – 2
Ireland 2 0 1 1 1 2 -1 1
Czech Republic 2 0 1 1 0 3 -3 1