Republic of Ireland Men’s Under-16s
SPAIN’S Men’s Under-16s overcame a resilient Republic of Ireland MU16s display to win 3-0 in Orihuela in the second of three friendlies in Spain for Paul Osam’s side.
Second-half goals from Mohamed Dahmouni, Hugo Alba and Jorge Castillo were enough to win the game in front of crowd of 400 people in Alicante.
Ireland went close on several occasions with Waterford’s Jason Healy a stand-out performer in goal for the young Boys in Green.
The first half saw Ireland under pressure for large parts of the opening period with Healy denying multiple Spanish efforts.
The Irish rear guard performed superbly throwing their bodies on the line to protect their goal and almost snatched the lead just before half-time.
Taylor Mooney found himself one-on-one with Alvaro Moreno but the St. Pat’s man was unable to find a way past the Atletico Madrid goalkeeper who denied the effort with his feet and ensuring the teams went into the break level at 0-0.
In the 58th minute Healy was called into action again and produced a fine save spreading himself to deny Spain taking the lead after they were put through one-on-one.
But Ireland’s resolve was broken in the 61st minute when Mohamed Dahmouni reacted quickest to an effort that struck the crossbar and the Celta Vigo defender was able to turn the ball home.
Ireland didn’t sit back and Shamrock Rovers’ Naz Razi weaved past three Spanish defenders before seeing his goal-bound effort saved by Moreno as they looked for a way back in the game.
In the 72nd minute it was the turn of Bohemians’ Nickson Okosun to cause problems for Spain. His effort was blocked by a covering defender after a great run down the left.
Spain doubled their through lead in the 76th minute through Barcelona’s Hugo Alba who calmly finished from close range and it was 3-0 two minutes later when Atletico Madrid-man Jorge Castillo found the bottom corner.
Next up for Ireland is Norway on Sunday.
Spain: Moreno, Fortea, Fernandez, Fort, Prim, Yamal, Garcia, Musa, Cortina, Diaz, Martinez. Substitutes: Muñoz, Diaz, Castillo, Ben, Alba, Olmedo, Vergaz, Londoño, Velarde, Dahmouni, Marcos, Montes.
Republic of Ireland: Healy; Mackey (C), O’Sullivan (McCarthy 74), Hayden; Turley, Negry-McGrath, Dodd (Queally 60), Kehir, O’Halloran (Okosun 60) Razi; Mooney (Patton 74)
International friendly fixtures (all kick-off times are Irish time)
Sunday, November 28 | Ireland MU16 v Norway MU16, venue TBC, KO 11am