A William Andersson goal in the 35th minute and a late Alexandru Ghita finish was enough to condemn Ireland to defeat despite a superb 25-yard free-kick from Luke Kehir.
Ireland had a penalty shout in the 10th minute waved away when it appeared Mason Melia was tripped inside the Swedish box, but the referee wasn’t moved.
The first real chance of the game came in the 20th minute when a throw-in went to the feet of Romeo Akachukwu. He held off his man, laid it off to Nickson Okosun whose curling effort was pushed behind for a corner that came to nothing.
In 35th minute the hosts had the lead against the run of play. Aaron Stoch-Rydell was able to shrug off his man and pick out Andersson who took a touch before finding the bottom corner.
Two minutes later Ireland had a glorious chance. Okosun picked up a loose ball in midfield and drove at the Swedish defence. With the angle against him he fired across goal and it appeared to clip the outside of the post before going out for a goal kick.
And Oksoun was denied again a minute later after an almost identical run. This time his effort at goal forced William Nieroth-Lundgren into a save to keep the Swedes ahead.
In the second half, Ireland started how they ended the first. Great work down the left by Gabriel Kelly saw him cross to Akachukwu who met the ball first time but Nieroth-Lundgren again pulled off a fine save.
Paul Osam’s side looked the more dangerous of the two teams with Okosun and Razi causing the most concern for the hosts.
In the 85th minute, Jason Healy, who’d had a quiet afternoon, denied Ghita when he was put through on goal. But Ghita didn’t have long to wait when he swept home a ball at the far post to make it 2-0 after a great cross behind the Irish defence.
There was a moment of brilliance from Kehir with virtually the last kick of the game. From 25-yards out the St. Patrick’s Athletic midfielder found the top corner to halve the defecit.
Sweden: Nieroth Lundgren, Petersson, Rashidi, Kia-Davoudi, Alemayehu-Mulugeta, Ali Mohudin, Ezeb, Gashi, Steinke Branby, Andersson
Substitutions: Selin, Mahacahi Kallman, Bursic, Bergvall, Reinholdsson, Dos Reis Nikko, Smajic, Ghita
Republic of Ireland: Healy, Mackey (Mulligan, 65), Hayden, Cory O’Sullivan (Nolan, 65), Barry-Mulvey (Ashbee, 84), Akachukwu (Kehir, 65), Negry-McGrath (John O’Sullivan, 72), Kelly (Tracey, 72), Okosun, Razi (Mooney, 65), Melia
Referee: Abdinaser Bashir (Sweden)
International MU16 friendly fixtures (KO is Irish time)
Monday, May 16 | Republic of Ireland MU16 v Iceland MU16, Karlskrona, Sweden, 11am