The Republic of Ireland have won their UEFA European Under-19 Championship group.
Tom Mohan’s side have beaten the Netherlands 2-1 today in Longford to seal top spot – and maintain their 100% record – in the group.
The visitors took an early lead through Ole Romenij in the 15th minute, with what proved to be the Netherlands’ sole shot on target in the game.
Adam Idah drew Ireland level just before the half hour mark.
Lee O’Connor and Troy Parrott linked up well, and Jason Knight’s shot rebounded to saw Jason Knight’s shot parried into Idah’s path, and the Norwich striker made no mistake with his finish.
William Ferry scored a deserved winner in the 70th minute to seal a valuable win for the home side at City Calling Stadium.
— FAIreland ⚽️🇮🇪 (@FAIreland) October 16, 2018
“It was great to win the game,” Mohan said afterwards.
“The boys showed great character and resilience. It’s a great group. They know they can play against the best of teams.”
“We defended really well, right from the front to the back. We limited the Dutch to very few chances. We had numerous chances and could have scored more.”
Both Ireland and the Netherlands have now qualified for the Elite Round, but crucially, the Boys in Green will have a better seeding.
Mohan has some extremely exciting players at his disposal such as Idah and Troy Parrott, who are only 17 and 16 years old respectively.
Parrott has made the step up to the U19 side for the European campaign, and has scored four goals in three games so far, including a hat-trick against the Faroe Islands.
Ireland had already sealed qualification with a game to spare after recent wins over Bosnia & Herzegovina (3-1) and the Faroe Islands (3-0) in Group 10.
Italy, Denmark, Ukraine, Norway, Spain, and Switzerland have also qualified thus far.
Reigning champions Portugal and fellow top seeds Germany have progressed to the Elite Round automatically.
The draw for the Elite Round will take place on December 6th, with the fixtures scheduled for March.
The final tournament will take place in Armenia – who have automatically qualified as hosts – in late July.
It is a talented group of players, and it is encouraging to see the team qualify for the next stage given the recent struggles of Noel King’s U21 side and the controversy around the senior men’s team.
The U21’s lost 2-0 in Germany tonight, failed to qualify from their UEFA European U21 Championship group, finishing 11 points behind leaders Germany and one point behind Norway.
Republic of Ireland: Brian Maher; Andy Lyons, Lee O’Connor (capt), Nathan Collins, Jack James; Conor Coventry, Aaron Bolger; Jason Knight, Troy Parrott, Will Ferry; Adam Idah (Jonathan Afolabi 80).
Netherlands: Jasper Schendelaar; Jurriën Timber, Lutsharel Geertruida, Kik Pierie (capt), Juan Familio-Castillo (Millen Baars 82); Ludovit Reis (Wouter Burger 71), Orkun Kökcü, Ryan Gravenberch (Mohamed Mallahi 60); Mohammed Ihattaren (Jurgen Ekkelenkamp 82), Daishawn Redan, Ole Romenij (Ian Smeulers 71)