U19s draw in Latvia

U19s draw in Latvia

Latvia 1 Republic of Ireland 1The Republic of Ireland came from behind to draw with Latvia in an U19 international friendly at the Arkādija Stadium in Riga this afternoon.
8th Sep 2012

Latvia 1 Republic of Ireland 1

The Republic of Ireland came from behind to draw with Latvia in an U19 international friendly at the Arkādija Stadium in Riga this afternoon.

The match was part of the squad's preparations for next month's UEFA European U19 Championship qualifying tournament against Luxembourg, Macedonia and Germany.

Ireland got off to a bright start with Darragh Lenihan hitting the post in the second minute with a shot from 30 metres and then Michael Drennan headed a Bradley Garmston cross over the bar from close range in the 11th minute.

Ian Lawlor saved a free from outside the box by Latvia's Titeubergs but was beaten in the 38th minute when another Latvian free-kick, this time taken by Sadcius was headed past him by team-mate Shane Griffin for an own goal.

However, Ireland responded quickly to that set-back and equalized almost immediately when Conor Wilkinson's cross was met at the back post by Drennan and he headed the ball past Latvian goalkeeper Potapenko.

Ireland created plenty of chances in the first half but Drennan was the only one to capitalize and in a quieter second half Darragh Lenihan twice headed over from Kieran Sadlier corners and Conor Wilkinson was denied what would have been a late winner by the outstretched foot of Potapenko.

Three players, Ireland's Conor Pepper and Latvia's Slampe and Tefsimious were booked.

Ireland manager Paul Doolin believes the week in Riga has been a big help to the squad's preparations for next month's European Championship qualifying tournament.

"We came out on Monday and decided to go for four days of training with a match at the end of it rather than playing a double header. We did a lot of good work on the training pitch and created a lot of chances in the game. The only disappointment is that we only finished one of them. We used a lot of players on Saturday and there were some very good individual performances so it was good preparation for next month," said Doolin. 

Republic of Ireland: Ian Lawlor (Manchester City); Tommy Hoban (Watford), Shane Griffin (Reading), Bradley Garmston (West Bromwich Albion), Brian Lenihan (Cork City), Darragh Lenihan (Blackburn Rovers), Luke Gallagher (Burnley), Kenneth McEvoy (Tottenham Hotspur), Sean Maguire (Waterford United), Conor Wilkinson (Millwall), Michael Drennan (Aston Villa). Subs: Kieran Sadlier (West Ham United) for Maguire (46), Philip Roberts (Inverness Caledonian Thistle/Arsenal) for Drennan (59), Joe Coll (Unattached) for Lawlor (46), Pierce Sweeney (Reading) for Griffin (46), Conor Pepper (Inverness Caledonian Thistle) for Gallagher (71). Unused Substitute: Colm Horgan (Salthill Devon).

Latvia: Potapenko; Slampe, Flansis, Barinovs, Mikelsous, Vasiljevs, Titeubergs, Resia, Sadcius, Svazups, Balboblius. Subs: Ivauuireks for A Resia (63), Vozobjovs for Titeubergs (73), Tefsimious for Ivauuireks (84).