UEFA UNDER 17 CHAMPIONSHIPS
Republic of Ireland 1-1 Czech Republic
Two games down, two games on the board for the Republic of Ireland Under-17s in the 2019 UEFA European Under-17 Championships after they drew with Czech Republic in the RSC, Waterford.
Similar to their previous game in Group A – a 1-1 draw with Greece last Friday – Ireland started brightly with Matt Everitt and Festy Ebosele again proving to be constant attacking threats.
Both players registered shots at goal inside the first period, while Conor Carty had a great opportunity to open the scoring but the Wolverhampton Wanderers player fired wide.
The positive play from Colin O’Brien’s team kept Czech Republic on the blackfoot and goalkeeper Gavin Bazunu had little to do. Yet that opening goal evaded the boys in green when their attacking prowess deserved it.
When the first goal did arrive, it was for the Czechs with substitute Vaclav Sejk scoring with his first touch of the game as he blasted in from close range. It was totally against the run of play.
With Ireland manager Mick McCarthy, Under-21 manager Stephen Kenny, Under-19 Head Coach Tom Mohan, and tournament ambassador John O’Shea amongst the 2,613 spectators in attendance, it was Ireland who looked the more likely to score next.
They had to wait for it, but Omobamidele made no mistake when converting from inside the penalty area after another set-piece from the training ground paid off for O’Brien’s side.
Ebosele was harshly given a second yellow card, and ultimately sent off, but the battling spirit shown by Ireland ensured that they got another point ahead of Thursday’s decider with Belgium.
O’Brien will be hoping that a large crowd turns out in Tallaght Stadium on Thursday – just like they did for the Greece game – as they aim to secure passage through to the quarter-finals.
Republic of Ireland: Bazunu; McEvoy, Omobamidele, MacNulty, Furlong; Hodge, Keogh (Holt 68); Ebosele, McCann (Kennedy 85), Carty (Giurgi 75); Everitt.
Czech Republic: Stejskal; Kozeluh, Stary, Hellebrand, Kurka; Hronik, Hajek; Pech, Ritter (Gedeon 85), Wojatschke (Silhart 84); Toula (Sejk 63).
Referee: Rade Obrenovic (Slovenia).