Ireland U19s lose friendly game by a single goal

Republic of Ireland 0 Norway 1

THE Republic of Ireland Under-19 team suffered a disappointing 1-0 loss to Norway in a friendly international at the Carlisle Grounds this evening.

Morien Strand headed the only goal in the 23rd minute when he connected from close range to a free-kick by Zymer Bytyqi.

The Norwegians had produced the only other strike of note in the 19th minute when Mariin Troen fired straight at Eric Grimes from the edge of the box after intercepting a wayward pass from Eoghan O'Connell.

Ireland were more lively after the break and Sam Byrne came close to leveling with a powerful strike from 25 yards out that bulleted narrowly over in the 68th minute.

Substitute Jack Byrne forced a top drawer save from keeper Pal Vesily Heigre with a strike from just outside the box in the 80th minute and despite some added pressure from corners in particular the equalizer never came.

"These games are about looking at players in preparation for the UEFA Championships in October and I felt we learned a lot about what these lads are capable of," said Head Coach Paul Doolin.

"A lot of them are in their first year at this age group and can play again next year so we had a very young squad really. At this age group an extra year can make a difference.

"Having said that I was very pleased with our defending and Dean O'Halloran did very well out wide for us. We used Noe Baba in midfield for the first time to see how that went and you could see that there are things he has to learn about that role but overall I was pleased."

The two sides will meet again in a second friendly at UCD Bowl on Thursday (1.00pm).

REPUBLIC OF IRELAND: Eric Grimes, Se√°n Long, Kyle McFadden, Eoghan O'Connell (Ryan McConnell 79), Evan Finnegan, Dean O'Halloran, Noe Baba, Cody Mulhall (Alan Browne 71), Jake Mulraney (Se√°n Coyne 66), Adam Wixted (Jack Byrne 56), Sam Byrne (C).

NORWAY: Pal Vesily Heigre, Alexander Jones (Kent-Are Antonsen 90), Vergard Bergan, Bjorn Inge Uivik, Marvis Hoibraten, Kasper Skaanes, Sondre Tronstad (Kamer Qaka 56), Morien Strand, Zymer Bytyqi (Frederik Hursnes 79), Mariin Troen (Alexander Sorloth 46), Bard Finne.

Referee: P Brady.

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