Ireland U15: Czechs prove too strong in season finale
The Ireland starting XI included 10 SSE Airtricity League players with players from Shamrock Rovers, Bohemians, Sligo Rovers, St. Patrick's Athletic, Bray Wanderers and Wexford FC all featuring. Shamrock Rovers striker Michael Leddy scored the winner in Tuesday's 1-0 victory over Czech Republic, and he was one of six changes made by Head Coach Jason Donohue who looked to utilise his full squad.
Czech Republic were clinical in the opening half and scored three goals in a thirteen-minute period to put Ireland on the back foot. Ireland failed to deal with a shot on the 11th-minute with Lukas Masek able to tap in from close range to put the hosts 1-0 up. Ireland composed themselves and had the better of the play, however, two more first-half goals from Joseph Starek and Matyas Korselt gave the hosts a 3-0 advantage at the interval.
Ireland Head Coach Jason Donohue made three half time changes with Bohemians trio Cian Kelly, Jamie Mullins and Evan Ferguson replacing Sean Fitzpatrick, Sean Grehan and Zayd Abada. However it was the hosts who started the second half brighter and hit Ireland on the break with Josef Starek scoring his second to make it 4-0 to Czech Republic.
Ireland continued to build from the back and Bohemians Jamie Mullins had his goal chalked off for offside in the 53rd-minute. With twenty minutes remaining Michael Leddy’s shot from outside the area rattled the Czech Republic crossbar with Evan Ferguson's subsequent header also coming back off the upright.
Shamrock Rovers Michael Leddy pulled a goal back in the 69th-minute latching onto a through ball from substitute Evan Ferguson. The striker calmly rounded the keeper and slotted into the empty net for his second goal in two games. Czech Republic added a fifth in the final minute of the game as Ireland pilled on the pressure with the game ending 5-1.
Republic of Ireland Under-15 Head Coach Jason Donohue said: "We came up against a really strong Czech Republic side today. They were the better team on the day. It shows how impressive our performance and result was on Tuesday. They scored three goals in 13-minutes which put us on the back-foot early on. Czech Republic were clinical and we hit the crossbar twice in the second half and on a different day, those chances might have gone in.”
"We made six changes with two players missing through injuries which allowed others an opportunity to step in and all players in the squad started one of the two games this week.”
“Overall it has been a great season having played some top nations including Spain, Netherlands and Poland. A big thank you to the backroom staff from who have done great work all season. We had ten of the starting XI from National League Clubs and I want to thank all the clubs and coaches from the League and Schoolboy clubs for working together to assist the players in their continued development.”
Czech Republic: Radek Charvat (GK), Daniel Samek, Ondrej Kukucka, Matyas Korselt, Mikes Cahel, Lukas Ambros, Josef Starek, Lukas Masek, Lukas Levcik, Daniel Michl, David Tomeska.
Republic of Ireland: Jack Ross (GK) (Adam Maguire 55), John Ryan, Darragh Reilly, Sean Grehan (Jamie Mullins 41), Ben Quinn (Tommy Fogarty 55), Glory Nzingo, Michael Leddy, Zayd Abada (Evan Ferguson 41), Conor Barrett, Sean Fitzpatrick (Cian Kelly 41), Aaron O'Reilly.
International Friendly - Results
April 2: Czech Republic 0-1 Republic of Ireland, Stadium Prestice, KO 16:00 (15:00 Irish Time)
April 4: Czech Republic 5-1 Republic of Ireland, Stadium Dobrany, KO 11:00 (10:00 Irish Time)