Ireland U19s beat Slovenia in friendly at RSC
Republic of Ireland 2 Slovenia 0
THE Republic of Ireland U19 side recorded their first victory of the season when they produced an impressive display to defeat Slovenia in a friendly game at the RSC today.
Paul Doolin's side had lost 3-0 to the same opponents on Tuesday but were much sharper from the start of this encounter and deserved their win.
The Irish got off to a solid start when they opened the scoring in the 11th minute.
Waterford United's Conor Whittle smashed home via the crossbar after the ball came back off Slovenian keeper Adnan Golubovic after a brilliant burst down the left and strike from Alex O'Hanlon.
Golbuovic was injured in the incident and replaced by Gregor Zabret. The rest of the first half saw the home side produce a more measured display than they had on Tuesday and neither goalkeeper was unduly threatened.
The Slovenians had a chance to level in the 57th minute but Aston Villa defender Kevin Toner made a brave block to charge down a strike from Dino Hotic.
Less than a minute later Alan O'Sullivan produced an excellent through ball to play in Adam Wixted and keeper Zabret had to stand tall to make a strong save from Wixted's powerful shot.
Ireland grabbed a second goal in the 79th minute when O'Hanlon curled over a testing free-kick and Kevin Toner headed home at the back post to mark his U19 debut with a goal.
Sam Byrne was denied a third goal in the 80th minute when he turned brilliantly in the penalty area but his excellent shot from a tight angle was well parried by Zabret.
Ireland's next test at this level is the UEFA U19 Championships qualifiers in October when they travel to Sweden to meet Azerbaijan, Bosnia Herzegovina and the hosts.
REPUBLIC OF IRELAND: Eric Grimes, Kevin Toner, Noe Baba (Dean O'Halloran 74), Kyle McFadden (Seán Long 53), Seán Coyne (Bobby Moseley 67), Colm Crowe (Alan Browne 58), Thomas Mulroney, Conor Whittle, Liam Kelly (Adam Wixted 46), Alan O'Sullivan (Sam Byrne 67), Alex O'Hanlon.
SLOVENIA: Adnan Golubovic (Gregor Zabret 12), Matic Reja (Dino Paljusic 46), Tilen Klemencic, Damjan Vuklisevic (Rok Jazbec 67), Nik Lorbek (Luka Zahovic 58), Marko Krivicic (Jure Curk 58), Jaka Corn (Domen Crnigoj 46), Jan Andrejasic, Petar Stojanovic (Dino Hotic 46), Alen Krajnc (Bian Paul Sauperl 46), Luka Gajic.
REFEREE: Andrew Mulally.