Ireland exited the 2018 UEFA U17 Championship Finals in controversial circumstances at the quarter-final stage this evening in Chesterfield. Favourites Holland went through on a 5-4 penalty shoot-out scoreline following a one all draw.
Ireland delivered a disciplined defensive performance breached only by a sixty second minute header following a ‘Dutch’ corner. The response was immediate with Troy Parrott equalising two minutes later with a finely crafted goal.
Adam Idah had his disappointing opening penalty in the shoot-out saved comfortably and thereafter both sides converted their four penalties leaving the drama to unfold with the ‘Dutch’ captain seeing his spot kick saved by goalkeeper Jimmy Corcoran. However the Cherry Orchard man, who is bound for Preston North End, did move off his line and the kick was required to be retaken. The referee then chose to issue a yellow card to Corcoran which given he had been cautioned in normal time resulted in his dismissal.
Newcastle United defender Oisin McEntee donned the goalkeeper shirt but was unable to save the re-taken penalty which ended our interest in the competition. Corcoran’s caution and dismissal seemed disproportionate to the movement offence and Head Coach Colin O’Brien was joined on the pitch at the end by senior manager Martin O’Neill with both clearly furious with the referee.