Created on Wednesday, 15 May 2013 18:47
Oâ€™Connorâ€™s U16s march home with another victory
Belgium 0-2 Ireland
Wednesday, May 15, 2013
Ireland came into their final UEFA U16 Development tournament game today (Wednesday) against Belgium in the Oscar Traynor Development Centre a little shaken after being defeated by Romania on Monday. Todayâ€™s opposition, Belgium, had previously triumphed a considerable 5-0 over their Romanian counterparts in the opening tournament game on Sunday.
The game, which kicked off at 11am, was initially slow to get moving with strong winds and torrential showers holding both teams back. Belgium were forced to make an early substitution just seven minutes into the game when Dries Wouters limped off after a strong tackle just outside the Belgian box.
Play during the initial minutes was dominated around midfield, with both sides battling hard to overcome the adverse weather conditions they faced. The game finally came to life in the eleventh minute when Ireland number 15, Graham Kelly played a great ball forward down the left wing for Cemal Ramadam, who was narrowly beaten to goalfront by Ilkan Cavus. A play which we were to see for much of the game, with Ramadam grafting hard throughout.
The fruits of Kelly and Ramadamâ€™s strong partnership came to light in the fifteenth minute however, when Graham Kelly bombed down the wing and played a great ball forward to Ramadam who picked Anthony Dolan out after positioning himself well and had a clear shot on goal. Firing in Irelandâ€™s first of the day.
This initial lead energised the boys in green, who then dominated play for the rest of the first half. Belgium responded at times, with Jeff Callebaut firing the ball over the Irish bar with 23 minutes gone. Belgium piled pressure on Ireland however, holding the ball in their half and defending well where necessary.
Graham Kelly proved Irelandâ€™s great playmaker of the first half, creating lots of chances, but Ireland not quite getting there. With 35 mins gone in the first half Cemal Ramadam was taken down in the box for a penalty. Ramadam took the shot himself, confidently curling it into the bottom left hand corner of the Belgian net.
Ramadam, clearly inspired by his appearance on the scoresheet, could have extended Irelandâ€™s lead to three goals with 39 minutes gone lobbing the Belgian goalkeeper, but narrowly missing. Approaching the break, Belgium 0-2 Ireland.
Belgium were clearly keen to turn the game around in the second half, making no less than five substitutions at the interval, introducing a host of fresh legs to rejuvenate play.
Irelandâ€™s first chance of the second half came three minutes into play, when Anthony Breslinâ€™s free kick narrowly skimmed the Belgian post. Cemal Ramadam replied shortly after with a shot on Belgian goal, which was capably saved by sub goalkeeper Quintin Steelant.
Belgium came close five minutes later when a scramble in front of the Irish goal resulted in Jeff Callebautâ€™s header being saved by Evan Moran. Ireland let their heads drop momentarily in the second half, conceding no less than four frees in front of their own goal. However, a strong line of defence cleared any Belgian attempts to narrow the gap.
Belgium looked the stronger team for part of the second half, pressing forward and looking very dangerous in front of Irish goal. Another scramble at the Irish goal with 60 minutes gone resulted in a header from Tony Amrani going narrowly wide.
Ireland responded well, and hung on to the lead without conceding a goal right up to the final whistle, despite a potentially fatal fumble by Evan Moran in the Irish goal with just four minutes to go.
FT Ireland 2-0 Belgium.
Todayâ€™s other result in the UEFA U16 Development tournament saw Germany trounce Romania 10-1 in Shanowen Road, which means that both Ireland and Germany finish the tournament on six points each. Ireland narrowly beating Germany on head to head following Sundayâ€™s 1-0 win.
Ireland: Evan Moran, Colm Deasy, Anthony Breslin,Danny Kane, Dan Casey, George Poynton, Shane Elworthy (Malike Benrougguibi 62â€™), Robbie Duggan (capt), Cemal Ramadan, Anthony Dolan, Graham Kelly (Derek Daly 76â€™)
Belgium: Nordin Jackers (Quintin Steelant 41â€™), Dries Wouters (Nathan Leyder 7â€™), Senna Miangue, Ilkan Cavus (Arno Verschueren 41â€™) , Paolino Bertaccini (Ryan Kabir 41â€™), Youri Tielemans (Capt), Thibault Vlietinck (Holly Tshimanga 41), Benoit Nyssen, Jeff Callebaut (Dylan Damraoui 41â€™), Ayrton Mboko (Tony Amrani 41â€™), Dylan De Bruycker (Amarildo Gsoka 58â€™)