|REPUBLIC OF IRELAND U17S……..1 SWITZERLAND U17S……1|
|Evan Ferguson netted a second-half equaliser for the Republic of Ireland Under-17s team as they drew 1-1 in a friendly with Switzerland in Spain this afternoon.|
Ferguson, who came on as a substitute, headed home from a Sinclair Armstrong cross to earn Ireland the draw.
Ireland were looking to bounce-back from a 3-1 defeat to the same opposition on Wednesday at the Campos De Futbol Oliva Nova in Valencia.
Lincoln City’s Sean Roughan made his international debut for Colin O’Brien’s team with Shamrock Rovers forward Armstrong captaining the side.
But Ireland made life difficult for themselves after going behind in the second minute through a Marvin Bieri goal . From that moment on Ireland grew into the game with Armstrong striking the post in what was their best chance in the first half.
The Boys in Green upped the momentum after the break and could have got back into it through Bohemians’ Robbie Mahon whose effort struck the cross bar.
However they didn’t have to wait too long for the goal. Armstrong whipped in a cross and Ferguson produced a looping header than beat Pascal Loretz in the Switzerland goal.
Speaking after the game Republic of Ireland Under-17 Head Coach Colin O’Brien said: “Today’s game was played at an extremely high tempo and Switzerland were a great test for us.
“We conceded early on and had a shaky 10 minutes after the goal but we controlled large parts of the game. Evan’s goal was just what we deserved and we could had perhaps won it.”It has been a good challenge for us against quality opposition and each player in the squad has started a game this week.
“A lot of those players are in pre-season with their clubs so you anticipate that their training will become more intense now. It’s important now, six weeks away from the Elite Round, that the players get playing time with their clubs.”
Next up for Colin O’Brien’s team is the Elite Round of the UEFA European Under-17 Championship in Scotland.
They face Czech Republic on Wednesday, March 25 followed by the hosts on Saturday, March 28 and Slovakia on Tuesday, March 3.
Ireland: Keely (GK); Coyle (O’Brien 46), Reilly, Roughan (Adaramola 46), Hand; Moran, Barlow, Doyle; Armstrong (C), C. Kavanagh (Ferguson 46), Crowe (O’Neill 46).
Switzerland: Loretz, Shala, Ottiger, Hajdari, Amenda, Williman, Bieri, Reichmuth, Hunziker, Jaiteh, Dantas.
Substitutes: Hubel (GK), Luthel, Vukelic, Carrizo, De Carvalho, Chiappetta, Crescenti