REPORT: U15s suffer loss to Czech Republic
Jason Donohue’s side beat Norway 4-1 in their opening game in the triangular tournament on Tuesday and the extra couple of days rest showed for the hosts as they got off to a lightening start.
Irish keeper Bazunu was tested in the third minute from a shot from distance but in the tenth minute the Czechs took the lead when Pavel Hural headed home after an initial effort hit the Irish crossbar.
Troy Parrott was unlucky not to head Ireland level just 60 seconds later after a testing cross from Josh Guirgi.
The home side went 2-0 up in the 13th minute when Javier Neruda slipped the ball home after good work by Vojtech Wojatskche in the build-up.
Ireland responded well when Cian Kelly turned the ball past keeper Ondrej Mastny after Parrott hit the Czech post with a free-kick.
Parrott then levelled the scores from the penalty spot in the 27th minute after he was fouled for the spot-kick.
In the 32nd minute Ireland were desperately unlucky not to take the lead when Parrott went on a great run and sent in a cross that Ronan McKinley just failed to connect with.
Two minutes later Armstrong Okoflex was unfortunate to shoot narrowly wide then Guirgi and Parrott were both denied by the Czech keeper before the break.
Unfortunately for the Irish they went behind once more two minutes into the second half when Timofej Barkof headed home and it was 4-2 six minutes later when Filip Gedeon found the net.
“We started off looking very leggy and found ourselves 2-0 down quickly. We knew the Czechs were a threat going forward as they have scored 14 goals in their last three games,” said Donohue.
“We adjusted our game plan midway the first half and dominated to get back to 2-2 and missed chances to go ahead. Unfortunately two errors early in the second half left us chasing the game again but the Czechs were able to hold out.
“With the Czech playing Sunday they had two extra recovery days which proved to be a major factor.
“But our group has progressed well all season and with this as our last event and this week included four new debuts and all players started a game each means Paul Osam has plenty of options for next season.
“Can I finish by thanking all the players, staff, the players’ clubs and leagues for their efforts and assistance throughout the year as I feel it has been a very positive experience for all parties.”
Republic of Ireland: Bazunu; Furlong (Holt 41), Kelly, Sobowale, McEvoy (Funge 71); Parrott, McKinley (Healy 61), Okoflex (Kennedy 41), Keogh, O’Callaghan (Dunne 41), Guirgi.
U15 Invitational Tournament
Tuesday, April 18: Republic of Ireland 4-1 Norway, Artima, Prague
Thursday, April 20: Czech Republic 2-4 Republic of Ireland, Brozany nad Ohří