Republic of Ireland 4 - 1 China PR | 2019 - U21 Mens Friendlies | 999945679

Under-21 Mens Friendlies 2019 Toulon Tournament | Stade de Lattre, Provance / France
Monday, June 3, 2019

Republic of Ireland 4 - 1 China PR

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REPORT: Ireland 4-1 China - Winning start in Toulon

Republic of Ireland started their 2019 Maurice Revello Toulon Tournament campaign with an impressive 4-1 win over China.
3rd Jun 2019

Stephen Kenny's side cruised to victory over the China U-22 side with a brace from Adam Idah, both scored from the spot, and goals from Zach Elbouzedi & Aaron Connolly.

Ireland were ahead within 33 seconds and China's first touch of the ball was to pick it out of the net after Elbouzedi's brilliant finish. Ireland worked it neatly down the left and after fantastic work by Connolly, his low cross was left by Idah for the Waterford attacker, who finished off the bar. 

It got even better for Ireland just seven minutes later. With their second attack of the game, Connor Ronan's free-kick was cleared but recycled back to Dara O'Shea and his header found Connolly to finish. 

Ireland didn't have it all of their own way and China found a way back into the game as Li Yang headed home from a left-sided corner in the 18th minute. 

After the break, Stephen Kenny's side were disciplined and ruthless, as they went on to score two more goals, both from the penalty spot. Ten minutes after the break, Elbouzedi's cross struck the arm of the defender and Idah stepped up to place his penalty into the bottom left-hand corner. 

Ireland sealed the win and completed the scoring with ten minutes remaining. Once again, China were penalised for handball and Idah made no mistake from the spot to clinch his second goal of the game, and complete a fantastic victory. 

"We're delighted to start the tournament with a win, it's huge credit to the players who have worked really hard since coming into camp on Tuesday," said U-21 boss Stephen Kenny.

"This Chinese team have had some good performances and we've watched them play very well, so the goals were at critical times for us and maybe made it look easier than it could have been.

"We've got great Irish players and we really want them to show the potential that they've got, their ability and I think we can take great encouragement from what we've seen today. We've got Mexico next and that will be a really tough match, but we can take a lot of confidence into Tuesday."

Republic of Ireland: Kelleher (GK), O'Connor, Leahy, Masterson, O'Shea, Coventry, Molumby (C) (Lennon 87), Ronan (Knight 62), Elbouzedi, Connolly (Power 77), Idah (Drinan 81). 

China: Guo (GK), Wen (Guo 68), Li, Wu (C), Tong, Yao, Huang (Jiang 79), Lin, Shan, Chen, Lei. 

Ireland U-21: Adam Idah ready for the next level

Republic of Ireland Under-21 striker Adam Idah is ready to take his opportunity as Ireland prepare for their first match of the Toulon Tournament.
2nd Jun 2019

Stephen Kenny's Ireland U-21s side are set to take on China U-22 in their opening Group C fixture at Stade de Lattre de Tassigny, with kick-off at 2.30pm (3.30pm local time).

Idah enjoyed a fantastic start to U-21 life in his first appearance with the group when he notched an impressive brace in March's 3-0 win over Luxembourg at Tallaght Stadium in the UEFA European Championships qualifying. 

The Norwich City forward is set to play an important role in the Toulon Tournament for Ireland and the former College Corinthians man can't wait to represent his country in the prestigious tournament. 

"It's always an honour to represent your country and to be selected for the tournament is incredible, and I'm really looking forward to getting started," said the 18-year old.

"It was a great experience for me to come into the squad in March and I was delighted with the way I started for the team. I'm always confident in my ability and it was great to score the two goals. 

"It's now important I push on and take the chances I've been given. It's going to be a tough game and a tough tournament for us, but it will be a great opportunity for us to show what we can do and bring that into the games in the European Championships qualifying."

China U-22 are currently preparing for their Tokyo 2020 qualifying tournament in January next year and the squad, who are managed by Guus Hiddink, have already played 13 games since September 2018 in preparation for the tournament. 

China are set to be slightly older than the Ireland U-21 squad, with a number of players in the Irish squad promoted from the U-19 side, but Idah doesn't believe the age difference will be a factor in the match. 

"We've got great belief in the group and training has gone really well since we met up on Tuesday. We played the senior team on Thursday and it was good to get those minutes, and we did really well and competed," continued Idah. 

"We're not thinking about them being older than us, we're confident in our abilities and we've got a lot of talent in the group as well so that's what we need to think about. 

"We're really looking forward to it, it'll be difficult with the conditions as well as it will be very hot, but we're ready for the challenge and can't wait to get started."