Ireland's U17s come back to draw 1-1 against Austria
Following Tuesday's 2-1 win in Dalymount, Tom Mohan will have been happy with a win and a draw from this week's encounters against a technically good Austrian side.
In front of an on-looking Martin O'Neill, Ireland were under pressure from kick-off today at Gannon Park. Having kept their shape in the opening minutes, Mohan's charges were soon forced to play deep as Austria's Fabian Gmeiner and Sinan Yilmaz combined well to make a number of penetrating incursions from midfield, requiring full concentration from Ireland's Conor Masterson and Matt Connor in goal.
A heavy challenge from Anthony Dolan gave Austria a free kick in the 14th minute from 25 yards. Stefan Posch sent his shot curling over the wall to find the top corner, putting Austria into a well deserved 1-0 lead.
To their credit, Ireland began to get a grip of midfield, assisted by Shane Elworthy's steadying presence in defence, which nearly paid dividends when Stephen Best got on the end of a well delivered cross to the far post in the 35th minute, forcing the first save from Paul Gartler in the Austrian goal.
However, Austria came dangerously close to extending their lead two minutes later when a David Gugganig free kick from 30 yards had Matt Connor beaten, saved only by the post.
Mohan made five substitutions at half time and although Ireland began to claw back possession in the midfield battle, the real change came in the 58th minute when Austria's danger-men, Yilmaz and Gmeiner were substituted, followed a minute later by the introduction of Steven Kinsella.
Ireland quickly drew level from a free kick just outside the penalty box which Anthony Dolan struck superbly to equalise.
Neither side could make the breakthrough in the period that followed although both rallied for an exciting final ten minutes that saw Austria come close when Gugganig was blocked in the air thanks to courageous defending from Conor Masterson.
In the dying minute, Steven Kinsella almost made his mark on the match when he skilfully found his way past two Austrian defenders to unleash a shot across goal from ten yards, flashing narrowly wide at the far post.
Republic of Ireland 1-1 Austria
Republic of Ireland
Matt Connor, Darragh Markey (Tom Holland 45), Shane Elworthy (c) (Robin Walsh 45), Stephen Best, Conor Masterson, Adam McDonnell, Anthony Dolan (Georgie Poynton 74), Kyron Farrell (Anto Breslin 45), Khius Metz (Jerry McDonagh 45), Sean Byrne (Danny Kane 45), Connor Ellis (Steven Kinsella 59)
Paul Gartler, Stefan Posch, Marco Krainz (c) (Christopher Cvetko 77), Benjamin Kaufmann, Konrad Laimer, Simon Pirkl, Sinan Yilmaz (Albin Gashi 59), Bernhard Fila, Fabian Gmeiner (Phillip Seidl 58), Davin Gugganig (Rami Tekir 81), Patrick Hasenhutti (Marco Hodl 70)