Republic of Ireland 0-1 USA
THE Republic of Ireland U21 side lost 1-0 to the USA in a friendly game at Estadio San Pedro in Marbella, Spain, this afternoon.
A 13th minute goal from Dembakwi Yomba was all that separated the sides with US keeper Santiago Castaño making several impressive saves to keep the Irish at bay.
Yomba scored after intercepting a weak back pass and he fired past Irish keeper Danny Rogers.
The Irish had started brightly and could have taken the lead in the 12th minute when Kenny McEvoy cross for Conor Wilkinson but his header bounced into the ground and was held by Castaño.
Castaño denied Ireland again in the 30th minute after Wilkinson set up Liam Kelly for a volleyed effort that was straight into the keeper's hands.
Kelly was frustrated again by Castaño in the 44th minute when McEvoy fired in a low cross from the right that Kelly volley steered goalwards.
In the 64th minute clever play by Jack Byrne saw him loop a pass over the US defence for Wilkinson, who controlled the ball with his back to goal then turned and volleyed just over.
It was Byrne again who turned creator in the 82nd minute with a free from wide that found Tommy Hoban at the back post but his header went into the side-netting.
Byrne had a chance himself 60 second later but shot over after he'd played a one-two with Pierce Sweeney.
In the 88th minute Will Hayhurst's corner found Hoban at the near post but his volleyed effort his the outside of the upright and went wide.
Wilkinson volleyed over the bar in the 90th minute then Irish keeper Danny Rogers almost became an unlikely hero in the 93rd minute when he came up for an Irish corner and when Mason Watkins-Clark knocked the ball back across goal Rogers attempted a 'scorpion kick' that flew narrowly wide.
"We did very well. We created lots of good chances. We conceded a soft goal which turned out to be the winner but I felt we played some decent football against a good side,” said Irish coach Noel King.
“Of course, we would have preferred to win but the performance was very good so I can't be disappointed with that.
"Brian Lenihan did very well, Glen Rea did well in midfield, Conor Wilkinson was good up front. I don't like naming individuals but overall we used 16 players and they all acquitted themselves well. It's been a worthwhile exercise and we look forward to facing Russia on Monday."
USA: Santiago Castaño; Tyler Turner, Tommy Redding, Matt Miazga, John Requejo; Russell Canouse (Lynden Gooch 46), Kellyn Acosta, Emerson Hyndman, Tommy Thompson (Junior Flores 74), Dembakwi Yomba (Romain Gall 56), Amando Moreno (Andrija Novakovich 84).
REPUBLIC OF IRELAND: Danny Rogers; Shane Griffin, Mason Watkins-Clark, Tommy Hoban (c), Sean Long (Brian Lenihan 46); Jack Byrne (Dylan Connolly 90), Glen Rea, Liam Kelly (Matthew Hamilton 46); Jack Connors (William Hayhurst 46), Conor Wilkinson, Kenneth McEvoy (Sam Byrne 46).
FIXTURES & RESULTS
Saturday, November 15
USA 1-0 Republic of Ireland, Estadio San Pedro, Marbella
Monday, November 17
Russia v Republic of Ireland, Marbella Football Center, Marbella (5.00pm Irish)