|The Republic of Ireland Under-17 side were edged out by Russia 2-1 in a closely contested game at Club de Fútbol La Nucía, Spain on Monday afternoon.|
Artem Sokolov opened the scoring on 61 minutes before Eduard Bagrintsev gave Russia a two-goal cushion with 80 minutes on the clock.
An 85th minute penalty from Callum Kavanagh gave Colin O’Brien’s side hope to salvage a draw, but it wasn’t enough.
In 26C heat it was a cagey start for both sides with the first chance falling to Russia’s Sergei Pinyaev who drew a great save from Josh Keeley – the keeper tipping the ball around the post for a corner. On 30 minutes Ireland had the ball in the back of the net but Evan Ferguson’s finish was ruled out for offside.
Shortly after, Kailin Barlow had an effort at goal however his attempt ricocheted off a Russian knee for a corner. Daniel Gildea had a great chance to open the scoring but the Finn Harps man’s effort cleared the cross bar in the final opportunity of the half.
The break-through came 15 minutes into the second half when Sokolov finished in the left-hand corner after Ireland were unable to clear the danger. This lead was doubled when Bagrintsev was put through on goal and he made no mistake in finding the corner.
Ireland responded almost immediately when Sinclair Armstrong was brought down in the box on 85 minutes. Kavanagh took the resulting spot kick and fired past Krill Furman for 1-2.
Ireland pushed for an equaliser but nothing came of their late revival.
Republic of Ireland: Josh Keeley (GK), Gavin O’Brien, Anselmo Garcia McNulty, Fionnan Coyle (Colin Conroy, 63), Adam Wells, Olabosun Lawal (Sinclair Armstrong, 63), Andrew Moran, Kailin Barlow, Daniel Gildea (Calum Kavanagh, 63), Evan Ferguson (Robert Mahon, 75), Oran Crowe.
Unused Subs: Daniel Rose (GK), Daragh Reilly, Oisin Hand, Kyle Conway, Ben McCormack.
Russia: Kirill Furman (GK), Sergei Pinyaev, Sergei Varatynov (C), Maksim Laikin, Damir Shaikhtdinov, Maksim Samoilov, Nikita Ianovich, Vladislav Shitov, Magomed Abdusalamov, Aynar Eshba, Lev Akulov.
Substitutes: Danil Odoevskii (GK), Artem Sokolov, Sergei Nikolaev, Garrik Levin, Arsen Zakharian, Vitaly Shitov, Eduard Bagrintsev
September 6: Ireland 2-0 Russia, Club de Fútbol La Nucía, Spain
September 9: Ireland 1-2 Russia, Club de Fútbol La Nucía, Spain