Czech Republic 3 - 1 Republic of Ireland | 2017 - Under 18 Friendlies | 999943486

Under-18 Mens Friendlies Slovakia Cup Tournament | Modranka, Slovakia
Monday, April 24, 2017

Czech Republic 3 - 1 Republic of Ireland

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VIDEO: U18s beaten by Czechs in Slovakia Cup

The Republic of Ireland Under 18s went down to a 3-1 defeat by Czech Republic in an entertaining encounter in the Slovakia Cup.
Ireland U18s v Czechs 24-04-17.png
24th Apr 2017

Jim Crawford's side produced some decent patches of play but were ultimately undone by sloppy defending in the first half in particular.

The Czechs opened the scoring in the 17th minute when Christian Frydek burst through from midfield and fired in a thumping strike from just outside the box.

Ireland were unlucky not to level within two minutes when St Patrick's Athletic winger Josh Hogan cut in from the left and fired goalwards. His strike was tipped over by keeper Petr Mikulec.

The Irish did level in the 22nd minute when a deep Thomas Byrne corner was nodded down by Aaron O'Driscoll and Bohemians defender Warren O'Hora spun cleverly to finish to the bottom corner.

Unfortunately the Irish defence was caught napping as the Czechs regained the lead within 60 seconds. A break down the left ended with Frydek firing past Mark Travers when the ball was cut back to him in the penalty area. 

Czech captain Antonin Rusek made it 3-1 in the 38th minute when he headed to the net from a well hit corner but it was an avoidable goal which frustrated Irish coach Jim Crawford.

Anthony Scully was unlucky not to pull one back two minutes into the second half when he linked well with Kian Flanagan before producing an excellent strike that thumped off the Czech crossbar.

Five minutes later Shamrock Rovers striker Dean Dillon had a header saved from a cross by the impressive Flanagan. Despite a strong second half display the Irish could not breach the Czech defence again and now turn their attention to tomorrow morning's meeting with Russia. The Russians beat Turkey 5-0 in the other game in Group A.

"Overall the performance had a lot of positives but unfortunately we conceded some sloppy goals and that's an area we will be aiming to improve upon as the tournament progresses," said Irish Head Coach Jim Crawford.

"Some of our attacking play was pleasing and, for many of the players, they are still getting to know what this level is all about so this experience will be invaluable.

"The Under 19 coach Tom Mohan was in attendance today and the players know that they are playing to make an impression upon him for next season. Performances in games such as this can only help their cause."

Republic of Ireland: Travers; McKenna (A Byrne 41), O'Hora, O'Driscoll (McSweeney 67), O'Sullivan (Mollett 41); Keaney, Nicell, Flanagan, Keena (N Byrne 41); T Byrne (Dillon 41), Hogan (Scully 41).

RESULTS & FIXTURES

Monday, April 24: Czech Republic 3-1 Republic of Ireland, Modranka
Tuesday, April 25: Republic of Ireland v Russia, Dunajska Luzna (KO 10:00)
Thursday, April 27: Republic of Ireland v Turkey, Dunajska Luzna (KO 10:00)
Friday, April 28: Classification match, TBC

U18s to meet Czech Republic in Slovakia Cup opener

Republic of Ireland Under 18 Head Coach Jim Crawford has told his squad that they have opportunities to make a mark upon their international futures at the Slovakia Cup this week.
Aidan Keena wide.jpg
23rd Apr 2017

The Irish squad has been stretched by injuries, illness and club commitments but Crawford believes some of the players he has in Slovakia this week can emulate the likes of Alan Browne and Ryan Manning by progressing up the football ladder.

“Alan Browne and Ryan Manning were two players that were on the fringes of the international scene when they were first capped with the U18s a couple of seasons ago and they’ve made great progress since,” said Crawford.

“Playing at international level and being challenged was a real springboard for them in their personal development and their careers. You’d like to think that there may be another Alan Browne or Ryan Manning in this group.

“We’ll know well by the end of the week how far along the players are in their development. When you are playing the likes of Czech Republic, Russia and Turkey that is serious opposition with serious numbers of players to choose from.”

The difficulty in assembling his squad has been a challenge to Crawford but he believes they can make an impact this week as they open their campaign against Czech Republic in Modranka (2:00pm Irish).

“It’s been difficult enough assembling a squad with players getting injured and not being released but we’re happy with the players that we have here,” He said.

“They’ve performed well with their clubs whether it’s been in the SSE Airtricity League or with UK clubs. They are all still getting to know each other but they’ve settled in well.

“Some of them are still learning in regards to how we set up and it’s going to be an interesting week for the players, the staff and also Tom Mohan who is coming over to observe the games and is preparing for next season’s U19 level.

“The players have all worked very hard and will face a huge volume of games in a short period of time so everybody will play and despite being an inexperienced squad they’ve done well up to now.

“I’ve watched five or six games from this Czech side. They have exceptionally good players particularly on the counter attack and commit players to attack but we’ve got a game plan for them.

“It’s going to be a difficult game no matter how well you prepare because of the quality of the opposition but if the lads can produce similar performances to how they did against Netherlands and Germany in November we should be ok.”

Republic of Ireland U18 Squad
Goalkeepers: Mark Travers (Bournemouth), Edward McGinty (Sligo Rovers)
Defenders: Alec Byrne (Cork City), Aaron O’Driscoll (Southampton), Warren O’Hora (Bohemians), James McSweeney (Cobh Ramblers), Rian O’Sullivan (Brighton & Hove Albion), Callum Mollett (Walsall)
Midfielders: Anthony Scully (West Ham United), Dan McKenna (Wolverhampton Wanderers), Jack Keaney (Sligo Rovers), Callum Nicell (Leeds United), Kian Flanagan (Crystal Palace), John Martin (Waterford)
Forwards: Aidan Keena (St Patrick's Athletic), Dean Dillon (Shamrock Rovers), Neil Byrne (St Patrick’s Athletic), Thomas Byrne (Drogheda United), Shola Ayoola (Stoke City), Josh Hogan (St Patrick’s Athletic)

FIXTURES

Monday, April 24: Czech Republic v Republic of Ireland, Modranka (KO 14:00)
Tuesday, April 25: Republic of Ireland v Russia, Dunajska Luzna (KO 10:00)
Thursday, April 27: Republic of Ireland v Turkey, Dunajska Luzna (KO 10:00)
Friday, April 28: Classification match, TBC