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O'Driscoll on the mark for U16s

Turkey European Regions U-16     1-1    Republic of Ireland U-16
                                                                    Conor O'Driscoll 55

 

The Republic of Ireland Under-16s were held to a draw for their second successive game at the Turkey Under-16 tournament in Kusadasi when the Turkish European Regions side cancelled out Conor O'Driscoll's opener.

 

Following Monday's duel with Azerbaijan, Ireland Head Coach John Morling gave starting roles to seven different players and it took just three minutes for the first chance to be produced.

 

Dylan McGlade had the measure of his marker and his right-wing delivery found Dylan Hayes who saw his header kept out.

 

O'Driscoll, making his first start of the season, proved a handful for the Turkish and on 17 minutes barged past two defenders only to skew a shot off target.

 

Shane Fagan in the Irish goal had to be on his toes twice to thwart the home side's attacks midway through the half.

 

But Ireland continued to press and it was O'Driscoll once more who got on the end of an opportunity after a half an hour, latching onto Conor Crowe's pass and drawing a save from the goalkeeper.

 

Turkey enjoyed a sustained period of pressure in the opening exchanges of the second half, with Bradley Lewis required to scamper back onto his goal-line to head an effort away to safety.

 

However, it was from a Turkey free-kick thirty yards from the Irish box that Morling's side countered to score on 55 minutes.

 

James Mullaney seized on the loose ball to spark a breakaway and his surging run into the opposition half concluded with a floating cross for O'Driscoll to nod home into the net.

 

Five minutes after scoring, Ireland were given a let-off. Tolga Kaymak's curling shot looked a goal all the way but rebounded off the upright and back into the relieved arms of Fagan.

 

The pressure continued on the Irish goal and it yielded a goal on 65 minutes as Kerem Bulbuli popped up amid a goalmouth scramble to steer the ball over the line.

 

Ireland looked the likelier of the sides to win it late on. Leddy had a free-kick superbly palmed away for a corner, from which substitute Dan O'Reilly connected with a header which grazed the crossbar.

 

The final chance of the game arrived two minutes from time through Leddy yet his dipping volley was kept out.

 

Republic of Ireland Head Coach John Morling gave an upbeat assessment. "I was more pleased with this performance than yesterday's display.

 


"This was more of a football game and it was end-to-end for most of the second half.

 

"The new lads that started the game performed well and will only improve from this experience."

 

Ireland head into Thursday's final group game against table-toppers Turkey Western Region knowing that victory would seal them a place in the final of the eight-team tournament.

 

 

REP OF IRELAND: Fagan (Cherry Orchard), Coyne (Cherry Orchard), Lewis (Aston Villa), McFadden (Swilly Rovers), Leddy (Cavan Shamrocks), Crowe (Stella Maris), O'Driscoll (Skibbereen), McGlade (Shelbourne), Mullaney (Portlaoise), Hayes (St. Joseph's Boys), Walsh (Shelbourne).
Substitutions: Dan O'Reilly (Cherry Orchard) for Lewis, Grealish (Aston Villa) for Walsh (both 56 mins), Mulroney (Crumlin United) for Crowe (64 mins).

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