|European Championship Qualifer|
|Republic of Ireland U21||1||-||2||Armenia U21|
|Ian Daly 80||Levon Hairapetian 34, Gevorg Ghazaryan 40|
|Wednesday, 3 March 2010||Tallaght Stadium, Dublin|
Late comeback not enough for Under-21s
The Republic of Ireland staged a late fightback in tonight's UEFA Under-21 Championship qualifier at Tallaght Stadium but succumbed to a classy Armenia side.
Ireland manager Don Givens made six changes from the team which were beaten by Armenia last November in the reverse fixture, with Seamus Coleman (Everton) and captain Owen Garvan (Ipswich Town) among those returning to the line-up.
Garvan, in the side as captain, was influential in the early stages as Ireland began brightly. Cillian Sheridan set up Sean Scannell after four minutes but his effort struck the legs of goalkeeper Edvard Hovhannisyan and went out for a corner.
Coleman then raided down the right and picked out Cillian Sheridan with the cross but the chance was wasted as he failed to get a sight on goal.
Garvan tried his luck with a long range shot that veered wide on the half hour but Armenia pounced to nick the opener four minutes later when Levon Hairapetian strode out of defence and ended his 30 yard run with an angled shot which crept beneath goalkeeper Shane Redmond.
Armenia made it 2-0 on 40 minutes with an exquisite free-kick, Gevorg Ghazaryan firing the 25-yard free over the wall and past the stranded Redmond.
Ian Daly of Aris Thessaloniki was brought on at the break in place of David Meyler for his first cap and made his presence felt in attack.
However, Ireland were caught on the counter on a couple of occasions as they pressed and Redmond had to be alert to deny Armenia's dangerman Hovhannes Goharyan on two separate attacks.
Terry Dixon made his international comeback as a substitute for the last half hour, three years after winning his first Under-21 cap, and was involved in Ireland's goal that arrived ten minutes from time.
Cian Hughton made inroads from the left and worked â€˜keeper Hovhannisyan with a shot but Dixon seized on the rebound and set up Daly to finish off with a shot from eight yards high into the net.
Armenia finished the game with ten men after Masis Voskanian incurred his second yellow card on 78 minutes for time-wasting.
Ireland pushed forward in numbers seeking an equaliser but couldn't find it despite Alan Judge and Daly coming close.
Republic of Ireland: Shane Redmond (Darlington); Seamus Coleman (Everton), Callum Morris (Newcastle United), Darren Dennehy (Gillingham), Cian Hughton (Lincoln City); Conor Clifford (Chelsea), Owen Garvan (Ipswich Town), David Meyler (Sunderland); Alan Judge (Plymouth Argyle), Cillian Sheridan (St. Johnstone), Sean Scannell (Crystal Palace).
Subs: Ian Daly (Aris Thessaloniki) for Meyler (h/t), Terry Dixon (West Ham United) for Scannell.
Armenia: Edvard Hovhannisyan; Artak Yedigaryan, Artur Yuspashyan, Artashes Arakelyan, Levon Hairapetian; Gevorg Ghazaryan, Davit Manakyan, Masis Voskanian, Edgar Malakyan; Artak Dashyan, Hovhannes Goharyan.
Subs: Hirach Yagan for Malakyan (70 mins), Mihran Manasyan for Manakyan (90 mins).
|Referee: Mr. Nerijus Dunauskas (LTU).|
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