Republic of Ireland 1 - 0 Andorra | 2017 - Under 21 | 999941604

UEFA Under-21 Championship UEFA U21 Championships Qualifying Round Group 2 | RSC, Waterford
26 Mar 2015 19:45

Republic of Ireland 1 - 0 Andorra

  • Report
  • Preview
  • Lineups
  • Minute by Minute Commentary
  • Statistics

Irish U21s start campaign with win over Andorra

A goal from Dylan Connolly helped the Republic of Ireland Under 21’s get their UEFA Under 21 European Championship qualifying campaign off to a winning start over Andorra at the RSC.
U21s v Andorra action.jpg
26th Mar 2015

Republic of Ireland 1-0 Andorra

Noel King’s team treated the bumper crowd to an entertaining performance as they secured three crucial points in their bid to qualify from Group 2 and secure a place in the 2017 finals in Poland.

Ireland dominated possession from the early stages and kept visiting goalkeeper Victor Silverio Pinto busy as they regularly took aim with shots from distance after spells of positive play.

The first player to try his luck was midfielder Jack Byrne and even though his shot flew wide it was a sign of things to come. Next up was striker Conor Wilkinson who tested the alertness of Pinto.

King’s side played with a fluency in their passing and stretched their opponents with clever runs off the ball. Yet, it was their knack of shooting from distance that allowed them to really threaten.

It was through that approach that Connolly brought the best out of Pinto on 19 minutes with a superb shot from 25 yards out. But the Ipswich Town winger profited from his very next effort.

A clever turn and shot from Wilkinson on 31 minutes saw the Bolton Wanderers forward force Pinto into a save before Waterford native Kenny McEvoy reacted quickest to set up Connolly to fire in.

Andorra struggled to break through Ireland’s backline with captain Marc Ferre Nazzaro going closest with a well-drilled shot. Up the other end, Byrne’s shot was pushed away by Pinto.

The visitors did have the ball in the back of the net on 81 minutes from Aaron Sanchez Alburquerque’s header, but referee Tvetan Krastev ruled it out for offside to ensure Danny Rogers maintained his clean sheet.

Ireland had two late chances to double their lead, but Pinto - who was superb throughout - shot off his line to deny both Callum O'Dowda and substitute Sean Maguire on two different efforts.

One goal proved to be enough for Ireland and with senior team manager Martin O’Neill looking on, there was plenty to be upbeat about. They will now aim to build on this victory going forward.

The two teams will meet again on September 8 when King’s side travel to Andorra for the second game in the group before their back-to-back clashes with Lithuania and Italy in October.

Republic of Ireland: Rogers; Connors, Lenihan, Hoban, Kavanagh; Rea, Byrne; Connolly (Maguire 90+2), McEvoy (Browne 86), O’Dowda; Wilkinson (Goodwin 72).

Andorra: Pinto; Gomez (Alvarez 54), Gonzalez-Adrio, Ruiz, Gresa (Ortega 76); Rodrigues, Nazzaro, Roig, Munoz (Noguera 68); Pena; Alburquerque.

Referee: Tvetan Krastev (Bulgaria).

Maguire drafted into U21s for Andorra game

REPUBLIC of Ireland U21 Head Coach Noel King will be looking for a solid start to the 2017 UEFA U21 Championships qualifying campaign when his side meets Andorra at Waterford RSC tomorrow (7.45pm).
Seanie Maguire.jpg
25th Mar 2015

King will have a new-look outfit on the field as this will mark the beginning of the campaign to qualify for Poland 2017.

The Irish boss has drafted in former Waterford United striker Sean Maguire after Wigan Athletic’s Matt Hamilton was ruled out with a stomach injury.

“Sean is a local from Kilkenny so it’s nice for him. He has an eye for goal and has been in good form on-loan at Accrington Stanley this season,” said King.

“He has scored five times for them in League Two so I hope it goes well for him with us this week.

“Training has gone well. There are doubts about Jack Connors and Shamir Goodwin so we’ll see how they progress after they complete their extensive treatment with our doctor John Chute and physiotherapist Kevin Mulholland. Naturally we hope they’ll be ready for us.”

King has looked at footage of the Andorrans in recent games and anticipates that they will prove durable opposition at the RSC.

“It’s a different pressure than we sometimes can find at this level because we are favourites. We are favourites for a reason and we have to justify that. We have to take that to the pitch,” he said.

“We haven’t too many sessions with the players so we’ve worked on the combination of attack and defence. We work through the units. You hope on match day it clicks  into place.

“We’ve looked at Andorra a couple of games. They’ll be a threat on the counter. They’ll be passionate and hard-working so we’ll have to match that with our own intensity and hopefully prove that we have the better players and go on and win the match.”

REPUBLIC OF IRELAND U21 SQUAD:

Daniel Rogers (Aberdeen FC)

Ian Lawlor (Manchester City FC)

Jack Connors (Dagenham & Redbridge FC)

Darragh Lenihan (Blackburn Rovers FC)

Sean Kavanagh (Fulham FC)

Thomas Hoban (Watford FC)

Glen Rea (Brighton & Hove Albion FC)

Kenneth McEvoy (Tottenham Hotspur FC)

Alan Browne (Preston North End FC)

Shamir Goodwin (Brighton & Hove Albion FC)

Sean Maguire (West Ham United FC)

Callum O’Dowda (Oxford United FC)

Sean Long (Reading FC)

Pierce Sweeney (Reading FC)

Dylan Connolly (Ipswich Town FC)

Conor Wilkinson (Bolton Wanderers FC)

Lee Desmond (St Patrick’s Athletic FC)

Jack Byrne (Manchester City FC)

FIXTURE

Thursday, March 26

UEFA U21 Championships 2017 Qualifying Round Group Two

Republic of Ireland v Andorra, RSC, Waterford (7.45pm).