U19s beat Gibraltar select in friendly game
Gibraltar XI 0 Republic of Ireland U19s 1
THE Republic of Ireland U19 Squad tonight recorded a well-earned 1 0 victory over hosts Gibraltar in an exciting match played in front of a partisan home crowd of over 1,500 spectators.
Ireland began the match brightly and in the 10th minute, forward Seán Maguire came close to breaking the deadlock when he shot from a tight angle from the right hand side of the box, only to see his effort well saved by the Gibraltar Goalkeeper.
Sam Byrne then went close in the 15th minute when he saw his effort from the edge of the area narrowly miss the Gibraltar goal.
The remainder of the first half was hard fought between both sides, with Ireland doing most of the attacking only to come up against a resolute Gibraltar team.
Early in the second half however, Ireland broke the deadlock when Luke Gallagher headed home from only a few yards out in the 55th minute after the Gibraltar goalkeeper could only parry Steven Smith’s well struck free-kick from 25yards, which fell nicely for Gallagher to nod home.
Ireland came close to extending their lead in the 72nd minute when substitute Jack Doherty shot over the bar having been set up by Sam Byrne after he’d rounded the goalkeeper.
Ireland continued to press in the closing 15 minutes and were unlucky not to extend their lead in a dominant period.
However, the home side were thrown a lifeline in the 5th minute of injury time when the referee awarded Gibraltar a penalty, when Kealan Dillon was adjudged to have fouled a Gibraltar player inside the area. The home side’s joy was short lived however, when substitute goalkeeper Danny Rogers dived magnificently to his left to palm the penalty to safety, at which point the referee blew the final whistle to ensure Ireland’s victory.
REPUBLIC OF IRELAND U19s: Ian Lawlor, Steven Smith, Pierce Sweeney, Seán Long, Carel Tiofack, Sam Byrne, Paul Mahony, Seán Maguire, Conor Pepper, Luke Gallagher, Adam Evans. Subs: Danny Rogers for Lawlor, Kyle McFadden for Sweeney, Kealan Dillon for Pepper, John Kavanagh for Long, Ryan Coombes for Maguire, Kieran Sadlier for Tiofack (All 46 mins); Shane Griffin for Mahony, Seán Kavanagh for Gallagher, Jack Doherty for Evans (All 60 mins)