Slovakia 1 - 1 Republic of Ireland
Ireland U19: Connolly penalty earns Slovakia draw
Tom Mohan's side went behind on the hour mark as Michal Tomič headed home from a corner to give Slovakia the lead.
After conceding, Ireland went on the attack and were awarded the penalty after Jonathan Afolabi was fouled by defender Vladimír Majdan. Connolly cooly slotted past Frederik Valach for a well-deserved equaliser.
Despite late chances for Connolly, Afolabi and Daniel McKenna, Ireland were unable to find a winner.
Speaking after the game, Head Coach Tom Mohan said he was happy to earn a valuable point.
"The boys showed great character in coming back into the game after we conceded. We got our rewards with the penalty and could have won. It's a big point though.
"It was very windy conditions today, and the pitch wasn't the best. The venue was changed at short notice which didn't help preparations.
"The boys showed a lot of composure after conceding. It spurred them on, and we look forward now to the second game."
The team return to action on Saturday afternoon, with a game against Kosovo. That game kicks off at 3pm.
Slovakia: Frederik Valach; Vladimír Majdan, Dominik Špiriak (capt), Denis Petro, Samuel Kozlovský; Martin Bednár, Jozef Špyrka (Branislav Sluka 43); Michal Tomič, Adam Brenkus (Adam Kopas 90+1), Matej Grešák (Marián Chobot 86); Róbert Boženík.
Republic of Ireland: Mark Travers; Daniel McKenna, Canice Carroll, Dara O’Shea (capt), Tyreke Wilson; Conor Coventry (Rowan Roache 67), Thomas O’Connor, Kian Flanagan; Lee O’Connor, Jonathan Afolabi, Aaron Connolly
Referee: Kristo Tohver (EST)
Ireland U19: McKenna expects team to perform in Portugal
Tom Mohan’s side will feature in Group 5 against Slovakia, Kosovo and Portugal over the coming week.
Only the group winners will qualify for the 2018 UEFA European Under-19 Championship in Finland, this July.
Defender Daniel McKenna started in all three games in the Qualifying Round and is expected to feature in the upcoming games.
Speaking to FAI TV as part of the Club & Country Series, the Bray Wanderers defender said it’s “everyone’s dream” to represent their country.
McKenna has previously played at Under-17 level. He knows the upcoming games will be tougher with only one team qualifying, compared to two at the younger age grade.
“People might say that Portugal are probably favourites to qualify, but we know we can perform against the big teams. No matter how tough, we will give it our all”.
The side begin their Elite Round phase against Slovakia on Wednesday afternoon. The game will now take place in Fão’s Complexo Desportivo Clube de Futebol de Fão after being originally scheduled to be played in Braga.
2018 UEFA Under-17 Championship Elite Round
Slovakia v Republic of Ireland, Complexo Desportivo Clube de Futebol de Fão, Fão, 3pm (3pm Irish time)
- 12 Adrián Slančík (G)
- 4 Dávid Filinský
- 11 Martin Vician
- 13 Matej Moško
- 15 Marián Chobot
- 17 Martin Koval’
- 18 Adam Kopas
- 19 Branislav Sluka
- 20 Michal Král’ovič
Republic of Ireland
- 16 Brian Maher (G)
- 12 James Finnerty
- 13 Callum Nicell Galbraith
- 14 Rian O'Sullivan
- 15 Jordan Doherty
- 17 Stephen Mallon
- 18 Aaron Dobbs
- 19 Michael Obafemi
- 20 Rowan Roache
- Referee Kristo Tohver
- Assistant Referees Aron Härsing
- UEFA Delegate Manuel Mejuto González
- Assistant Referee Two Alvaro Mesquita
- Fourth Official Rui Filipe Oliveira
- Referee Observer Manuel Mejuto González
- Republic of Ireland
Shots on Target
Shots off Target
Republic of Ireland
3Shots on Goal5
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