England 1 - 0 Republic of Ireland
REPORT: Narrow loss to England ends EURO dream
The only goal of the game came 13 minutes in after Steve Cooper’s side put together a sustained period of pressure. Jadon Sancho eventually found space 30 yards out and unleashed a stunning strike that found the top corner of Brian Maher’s net.
In a pulsating encounter in searing heat, Colin O’Brien’s side battling throughout but couldn’t find a crucial equaliser as Ireland’s campaign came to a heartbreaking end.
Speaking to FAI.ie after the game, Head Coach Colin O’Brien heaped praise on his Under 17 squad. “I’m very proud of all the players and staff,” he said. “Everybody played as a team. We knew it was going to be a tough game and we knew we’d have to concede possession for long periods. England are a high quality team that I expect to go far in this competition.
“Defensively we were far better. Our boys are after getting huge experience from these finals. It’s the furthest Ireland have reached in a long time. We had six players in that squad that are underage again next year that have got huge experience. The older guys go onto the Under 18 side now and I’ve no doubt some will push into the Under 19s, that can only be good for our players going forward for European competitions.
Following a heavy defeat to Germany on Wednesday, the performance of O’Brien’s side against England illustrated the quality within this squad particularly when Joe Redmond was denied an equaliser with eight minutes remaining as his volleyed effort was cleared off the line.
“There is great character in this squad, it’s been there all season,” O’Brien continued. “Sometimes players just need a wake up call and that was the game against Germany without a doubt. Today they showed that by working as a team, by understanding how you have to set up as a team defensively against high quality, what you have to sacrifice. They did that to a man today and we stayed in the game right until the death.
The defeat signalled the end of a 10 game campaign, with Ireland winning seven of those matches to get to the quarter final stage. Overall, O’Brien has been pleased with what the squad has achieved this season.
“We’ve got the maximum out of our season. That was one of the objectives at the start of the year. People might not realise that we’ve got to get out of two qualifying campaigns just to get to the finals and they are very tricky assignments.
“For us to get to a European finals, we are a small nation, we don’t have a huge pick, we have to be realistic when we are playing bigger nations. To get the opportunity to play some of the countries we’ve played in the last couple of weeks has been great for our players’ future and that’s really important.”
England: 1. Bursik (GK), 2. Eyoma, 3. Gibson, 4. McEachran, 5. Guehi (C), 6. Panzo, 7. Foden, 8. Oakley-Boothe, 9. Brewster, 10. Hudson-Odoi, 11. Sancho
Republic of Ireland: 1. Maher (GK), 3. Ledwidge, 5. Collins, 7. Nolan, 15. Redmond; 4. Doherty, 6. Bolger, 15. O’Farrell (9. Roache 65’); 8. Thompson, 10. Idah, 11. Connolly
Ireland face England in U17 EURO Quarter Final
Colin O’Brien’s squad come into the game following a second place finish in Group C.
Saturday’s game not only is for a semi-final berth, where Turkey await the winners, but a place in October’s FIFA Under 17 World Cup in India is also secured for the team that advances.
Ireland’s campaign began back in October, with the squad so far winning seven out of nine matches to advance further than any other Irish team has since the turn of the century.
“We have a process with the players whether we win, draw or lose matches.” O’Brien said reflecting on the aftermath of Wednesday’s defeat to Germany. “We’ll always look back to look forward. Our message to the players has been the group stages was about three games. We performed very well in two games and we weren’t at our standards for the third game.
“The players have had the opportunity to look back at certain stages of that game, speak about it and then we got out on the pitch this morning and had a very good session. Everyone realises now we are in a different competition, it’s knockout now and it’s a derby game for us.
Standing in Ireland’s way on Saturday will be Steve Cooper’s England side who topped Group D with a 100% record following wins over Netherlands, Norway and Ukraine.
“England are a very high quality team. The majority of their players are playing category one football in England. They are very strong at the back, have very good ball playing midfielders and their big players are their forwards where they have a lot of creativity, pace and power,” O’Brien said of Ireland's opponents.
“We will have learned a lot from the last game, what we need to do better, and if the players do that earlier tomorrow we’ll be fine.
“The main thing is that our players learn. This is about their future. They are in a quarter final of a European Championships, it’s the furthest we’ve come in 20 years and they are getting loads of experience from it. That can only be good for our players going forward up to 18s, 19s, and Under 21s.”
With the game needing a winner, an experiment changing the order of penalty kicks taken by teams in penalty shoot-outs is to feature in the knockout round of this competition.
In the trial, the penalties in a shoot-out will see the team taking the first penalty in a pair of spot kicks alternate, instead of the teams automatically following each other in a sequence of pairs after the first penalty has been taken.
The trial system will work as follows:
• 1st kick: Team A – 2nd kick: Team B
• 3rd kick: Team B – 4th kick: Team A
• 5th kick: Team A – 6th kick: Team B
• 7th kick: Team B – 8th kick: Team A
• 9th kick: Team A – 10th kick: Team B
This is something that Ireland have had to plan for, with penalties required should the game finish level at the end of normal time due to extra time not being played.
“The players have been briefed on it. It’s a new format to the penalty kicks. If the game finishes level tomorrow at full time it’s just straight into it. No team has any experience of it so if we do end up in that position, it’s no advantage to anyone,” O’Brien concluded.
Live minute-by-minute updates of England v Republic of Ireland will be available on FAI.ie with further updates on Facebook, Twitter & Instagram throughout the day. As it stands the game will not be televised live. Should that change an announcement will be made on our social media channels.
Republic of Ireland Under 17 Squad - UEFA European Under 17 Championship
Goalkeepers: Brian Maher (St Patrick’s Athletic), Kian Clarke (Bohemians)
Defenders: Lee O’Connor (Manchester United), Kameron Ledwidge (St Kevin’s Boys), Nathan Collins (Cherry Orchard), Jordan Doherty (Sheffield United), Daryl Walsh (Waterford FC), Joe Redmond (Birmingham City)
Midfielders: Aaron Bolger (Shamrock Rovers), Luke Nolan (St Patrick’s Athletic), Brandon Kavanagh (Bohemians), Richard O’Farrell (St Patrick’s Athletic), Gavin Kilkenny (Bournemouth), Callum Thompson (Wolverhampton Wanderers)
Forwards: Rowan Roache (Blackpool), Adam Idah (College Corinthians), Aaron Connolly (Brighton & Hove Albion), Tyreik Wright (Lakewood AFC)
Thursday, 4 May: Republic of Ireland 0-1 Serbia, Stadium Kostrena, Kostrena
Sunday 7 May: Republic of Ireland 2-1 Bosnia & Herzegovina, Stadium Kostrena, Kostrena
Wednesday, 10 May: Republic of Ireland 0-7 Germany, Stadium Rujevica, Rijeka
UEFA European Under 17 Championship Quarter Final
Saturday, 13 May: England v Republic of Ireland, SRC Velika Gorika, Velika Gorica. Kick-off 11am Irish time
- Republic of Ireland
Shots on Target
Shots off Target
Republic of Ireland
- 0Yellow Card(s)3
- 0Red Card(s)1
- 14Shots on Goal1
- 11Shots Wide2
- 5Shot(s) Blocked1
- 30Total Shots4
- 6Fouls Committed10