Spectacular winner by Shaughnessy gives U15s victory


Aspire Academy (Qatar) U-15                 1-2        Republic of Ireland U-15
Muath 13                                                                   Jack Byrne 51
                                                                                  Conor Shaughnessy 63



A wonder-goal by Conor Shaugnessy earned victory for the Republic of Ireland today (Thursday) in a thrilling game against the Aspire Academy, Qatar played in Doha.



Trailing by a goal at the break, the Irish sprung to life in the second half and wrapped up a well deserved win with strikes from Jack Byrne and Conor Shaughnessy



Having drawn 3-3 against Aspire in Tuesday's first game of this week's double-header, Ireland manager Niall Harrison made seven changes to his team to give each of his 18 squad members a starting place over the two matches.


Defender Fiachra Kelliher had Ireland's first chance of the game on seven minutes when he got his head to a wicked corner only for his effort to be saved.


Aspire forged ahead six minutes later in emphatic fashion as an intricate passing move was finished by striker Muath past goalkeeper Cathal O'Hanlon.


The Irish ‚Äėkeeper saved from Akram on 18 minutes as the home side sought a second to underline their early dominance but Ireland came back into the game and went into the interval confident of turning things around.


They took just two minutes of the second half to assert their authority as Joel Coulstrain almost levelled but Jack Byrne, Ireland's captain today, didn't miss on 51 minutes with a textbook low drive to make it 1-1.


Eoghan Stokes, on a substitute for Ireland, was close to making an immediate impact when he saw his shot cleared off the line.


Ireland's quality up front would yield that second goal though and what a cracker it was as Shaugnessy of Salthill Devon produced the moment of the match by acrobatically turning mid-air to volley home the winner.


Republic Ireland: Cathal O'Hanlon (Springfield Ramblers), Liam Traynor (St Josephs Boys), Robin Dempsey (St Joseph's Boys), Fiachra Kelliher (Avondale Utd), Corey Galvin (Corinthian Boys) Jordan Toland (Swilly Rovers), Jack Byrne (St Kevin's Boys), Conor Shaughnessy (Salthill Devon), Alan Kehoe (St Josephs Boys) Muhamed Bukhatwa (St Josephs Boys), Joel Coustrain (Corbally Utd).
Substitutions: Dean O'Halloran (Southend) for Coustrain, Alex O'Hanlon (St Kevin's Boys) for Keogh (both 47 mins), Noe Baba (Castlebar Celtic) for Dempsey (51 mins), Craig Donnellan (Corinthian Boys) for Bukhatwa, Eoghan Stokes (St Kevin's Boys) for Toland (both 56 mins), Val Feeney (Birr Town) for Byrne (65 mins). 

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