FAI-ETB side edge out Ireland Under-18s
Riccardo Duniga of Carrigaline-ETB netted what proved to be the winner in the third minute as they secured the win over Andy Reid’s young side.
His goal came after Cameron Power collected the ball from deep and drove at the Ireland backline before playing a ball wide to Thomas Caffrey. The Clondalkin-ETB forward worked space to fire a shot away, forcing Adam Cantwell into a save which fell to the feet of Duniga who tapped home from close range.
Caffrey could have made it 2-0 in the 26th minute when his curling effort beat Cantwell but not the post and bounced away from danger.
Bohemians’ Thomas Considine was later introduced to the action and had a long-range effort at goal that just cleared the crossbar.
Ireland’s best chance came shortly after when Kyle Robinson forced an excellent close-range save from Colm Cox after he managed to get an effort away following a Luke Desmond corner.
They had another chance late on when Mark Hanratty skipped past the full back and played a ball across the face of goal however there were no Ireland attackers there to convert it.
Next up for Ireland Under-18s is a four-team tournament in England later in the month against the hosts, Italy and Belgium.
Speaking after the game Republic of Ireland Under-18s Head Coach Andy Reid, said: “It’s very important for me to give the lads in the League of Ireland an opportunity to showcase what they can do and this is what today's game was all about.
“The match was all geared towards our games at the end of March. The lads I’ve had in my squad in the past from the League of Ireland have always done really well for me so I wanted to give them that opportunity.
“There were some really good performances which pleased me. There will definitely be players involved today involved in the squad for the tournament in England which is great for the League of Ireland.
“When we got the opportunity to take part in that tournament I bit their hand off. This is a great opportunity for us as a football nation to pit ourselves against some of the best teams in Europe. There’s no reason we can’t go into it and make a good account of ourselves.”
FAI-ETB coach Paddy Carey of Waterford-ETB said: “A lot of the ETB Centres have good programmes and a lot of good players and not all could play today. We’re really pleased with their attitude and performance and hopefully the boys go away with a positive reflection on the day.
“Players always want to win and the good players have that will to win regardless of the opposition. They’ve gone out their today and played against boys who have a real future in the game and they should be very be proud.”
Republic of Ireland: Cantwell (GK); Quinn, Kelly, Dunne, McLaughlin; Verdon, Holt, McEvoy, Kennedy, Lennon, Ferry.
Substitutes: O’Sullivan, (GK) Robinson, Hanratty, Considine, Farrell, Desmond, O’Shea.
FAI-ETB: Lemantovičius (GK); O’Sullivan, O’Shea, Traynor, O’Reilly; O’Keefe, Lyons, Power; McGrath, Caffrey, Duniga.
Substitutes: Cox (GK), Savage, Griffin, Gough, Mashigo, McNamara, Kelly