Spain 2 - 0 Republic of Ireland | 2020 - Boys Under 15 | 999946251

Under-15 Boys Friendlies | Pinatar Arena, Murcia, Spain
Thursday, January 30, 2020

Spain 2 - 0 Republic of Ireland

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Ireland U15: Ireland suffer defeat against Spain

The Republic of Ireland Under-15 team were beaten 2-0 by Spain in a development tournament in Spain this afternoon.
Ireland U15 v Spain U15
30th Jan 2020

Two first half goals by Deportivo La Coruna forward David Mella and Real Madrid's Iker Gil gave the hosts the victory in the first game of the four-team tournament.

It is Ireland's first defeat of the season and they were unlucky not to find the net - creating several great chances throughout the game.

The first opportunity of the contest fell to Ireland after six minutes. Kevin Zefi floated past three players before firing off a shot that was well saved by Aaron Alonso.

Ireland forced Alonso into another save when Zefi cut it back for Alex Nolan whose first-time shot was well saved by the Spanish keeper 

Spain grew into the game with Gil forcing Shay O’Leary into a smart save early on but Ireland felt they should have had a penalty when Caden McLoughlin seemed to be brought down by Alonso. Referee Rafael Sanchez Lopez waved away protests.

Shortly after it was Spain who found the net after 19 minutes. Mella was able to break through the Irish backline and finish neatly into the bottom corner for the opener.

In 22nd minute it was 2-0 to Spain. Mella was involved again when he floated a cross for Gil to head home from six yards out.

Ireland responded well and forced the Spanish backline into two last ditch tackles but Ireland went in at half-time behind..

In the 46th minute Spain could have extended their lead when Jose Adan Arvelo was allowed into the Irish area but O’Leary produced a great save at the near post.

O’Leary was forced into another save shortly after as Spain struggled to extend their lead.

Ireland had a great chance to get back into the game in the 58th minute when McLoughlin found space and crossed for Adam Murphy who unluckily couldn’t find the finish it needed.

Jason Donohue's side continued to push and McLoughlin was involved again when he did well to dribble past two Spanish defenders before firing off a curling effort that was well saved by Alonso.

Unfortunately the Boys in Green couldn't find the goal their play deserved.

Speaking after the game Ireland Under-15 Head Coach Jason Donohue said: “Spain got the two goals in the first half but we could have been one up had we been awarded the penalty. We’ll go again on Saturday and work hard on analysing the game and preparing for the Netherlands.
"I'm delighted with how well the players responded in the second half. They took on the information and we could have scored two goals. Don’t get me wrong, Spain are a very good side and had opportunities too but we responded very well. 
“The players have now been exposed to the level opposition that we want to be playing all the time. As staff we are going to channel this result into how we expect them to bounce back and learn from defeat. It is going to be part of their career going forward and it builds resilience.”

Republic of Ireland: O’Leary (GK); Cowper Gray (Malone 60), O’Brien, Curtis, Heffernan; McManus (Barrett 60), Murphy (Tetteh 75), Ferizaj; McLoughlin, Nolan (O’Brien Whitmarsh 41), Zefi (C) (Murray 50).

Spain: Alonso (GK), Jimenez (Arquellada 56), Bonar (Enriquez 66), Dominguez, Gernandorena; Mas (Otadui 41), Hernandez (Aguilar 66), Arvelo (Bravo 56), Mella (Garcia 41), Herrero (Rivares 56); Gil (C) (Fortuny 41)

February 1: Ireland v Netherlands, Pinatar Arena, Murcia, Spain, KO 3pm (Irish time)
February 3: Ireland v Czech Republic, Pinatar Arena, Murcia, Spain KO 12pm (Irish time)

January 30: Spain 2-0 Ireland

Ireland U15: Donohue names first squad of 2020

Republic of Ireland Under-15s Head Coach Jason Donohue has named a 20-player squad for games against Australia, Spain, Netherlands and Czech Republic.
Jason Donohue
11th Jan 2020

Ireland have a 100% record this season and beat England 3-1 at St George’s Park in their most recent game in December.

They face Australia Under-16s at FAI National Training Centre, Abbotstown on Saturday, January 18 before flying out to Murcia, Spain for a three-game tournament against the host nation, The Netherlands and Czech Republic.

There’s a first call-up for Shamrock Rovers’ defender Alex Malone, while Malaga’s Caden McLoughlin and Celtic’s Rocco Vata will join up with Donohue’s squad for the games in Murcia.

On the squad selection

“I got the top 34 players in last week and they played a game against each other which was really high quality. It was hard to pick a squad because of the high standards and the players who did well against England did well again. Alex Malone is a debutant who has played himself into the final squad with a fine performance and he’s one of a very good group who will play in these next four games.”

On Australia

“Australia will be a physical challenge. They are Under-16s so their players could be between 12 and 20 months older than some of our players. We’ll be applying our principles of play that we applied at the start of the season during our assessment and international games. The decision making and communication process is getting better and we’re not going to change anything. I’ve gone away from worrying what the opposition are going to do, I’m all about us and what we can do.”

On facing Spain, The Netherlands and Czech Republic

“We played Spain last year and they were the best Under-15s team I have ever seen and I expect the same this year. We’ll be organised and we’ll go into the game confidentially as we’ve performed well against the opposition we’ve faced so far.

“Martijn Reuser, who is the Head Coach of the Dutch Under-15 team, said to me last year he would love to have the Irish DNA of the ‘fighting spirit’ in the Dutch teams. I think we’ve moved on, it’s not just fighting spirit, it’s quality football and if you look to our performance against England we started the game with 14 passes and the ball was in the back of the net. We can compete with The Netherlands by playing football.

“Czech Republic have invested in their underage teams and are getting them in more often for games. We played them last year in a double-header and we were lucky to win 1-0 in the first game and in the second game they beat us comfortably – they always have strength in depth. Make no mistake our players will be going out in each game to win it.”

Republic of Ireland squad

Goalkeepers: Conor Walsh (Mayo SL), Shay O’Leary (Shamrock Rovers)

Defenders: Sam Curtis (Shamrock Rovers), Luke O’Brien (Shamrock Rovers), Alex Malone (Shamrock Rovers), Cathal Heffernan (Cork City), Trisden Hughes (Klub Kildare), Finn Cowper Gray (Klub Kildare) Daniel Kelly (Mayo SL)

Midfielders: Adam Murphy (St Patrick’s Athletic), Cian Barrett (Shamrock Rovers), Justin Ferizaj (Shamrock Rovers), James McManus (St Kevin’s Boys), Liam Murray (College Corinthians Cork SL), Joe O’Brien Whitmarsh (Cork City) Rocco Vata (Celtic) Alex Nolan (St Patrick’s Athletic)

Forwards: Caden McLoughlin (Malaga), Gideon Tetteh (Shamrock Rovers), Kevin Zefi (Shamrock Rovers)


January 18 – Ireland v Australia, FAI NTC, Abbotstown, KO 1pm

January 30 – Spain v Ireland, Pinatar Arena, Murcia, Spain KO 12pm (Irish time)

February 1 – Ireland v The Netherlands, Pinatar Arena, Murcia, Spain, KO 3pm (Irish time)

February 3 – Ireland v Czech Republic, Pinatar Arena, Murcia, Spain KO 12pm (Irish time)