Republic of Ireland Under 19s qualify for European Championship Finals
Paul Doolin’s Republic of Ireland under-19s have qualified for this summer’s UEFA U19 European Championships after beating Italy 3-0 in Poland this afternoon.
Needing all three points to qualify, Ireland faced a difficult prospect against top seeds Italy who had won both their previous group games and needed just a draw. However, Paul Doolin’s Irish side dominated the match from start to finish, scoring just after the half hour mark through Bray Wanderers striker Connor Murphy.
Kevin Knight was brought on at half-time for Anthony Forde, and an injury forced Declan Walker off, but his replacement was more than adequate. Watford midfielder Sean Murray, who played two league games in the Championship this season, doubled our lead on 61 minutes, and then Blackburn’s John O’Sullivan killed off the game with 9 minutes left.
Frustration crept into the Italian side, defender Cristiano Biraghi picked up two yellows in the last ten minutes and was dismissed, and then in stoppage time Mario Samprisi was sent off for a professional foul. A win for Paul Doolin’s side moved them to the top of the Elite Stage Group 4 table, and sees them qualify for the finals.
The UEFA Euro U19 Championships take place in Romania from 20tth July to 1st August 2011. Belgium, Czech Republic, Greece, Romania, Serbia, and now Ireland have already qualified. England’s Elite Stage campaign kicks off on Tuesday, where they meet Spain, Montenegro and group hosts Switzerland.
Rep of Ireland: Aaron McCarey (Wolves); Matt Doherty (Wolves), John Egan (Sunderland), Derrick Williams (Aston Villa), Joseph Shaugnessey (Aberdeen); Samir Carruthers (Aston Villa), Declan Walker (Wrexham), John O’Sullivan (Blackburn Rovers), Jeff Hendrick (Derby County); Anthony Forde (Wolves), Connor Murphy (Bray Wanderers).
Substitutions: Kevin Knight (Leicester City) for Anthony Forde, Sean Murray (Watford) for Walker 48 mins, Roberto Lopes (Bohemians) for Carruthers 90 mins.