It took an 83rd minute header from Monaco forward Wilson Isidor to dash the hopes of Tom Mohan’s Ireland U19 side today against France in Armenia.
On Monday, in Ireland’s opening game, Joe Hodge’s adroit, long-range effort meant Ireland secured a draw against Norway.
If Ireland grew into the game against Norway, France were a different prospect today, and it was more a case of the Irish youngsters holding on for a point.
By the time Pierre Kalulu cut inside and teed up Isidor, it was a crushing blow, but on balance, it was what the French deserved.
In the Banants Stadium in Yerevan, the French illustrated why they are one of the firm favourites to win the tournament outright. Even so, Ireland’s resolve nearly held.
Onto Sunday Mohan’s team will march, and a must win game against the Czech Republic. If Ireland were to defeat their Czech counterparts and France don’t lose to Norway, a semi-final berth will await.
An ask, but not beyond the realms of possibility.