Irish suffer England loss in UEFA U17s Championships qualifiers
Republic of Ireland 0 England 6
THE Republic of Ireland U17 team suffered a disappointing 6-0 defeat to a rampant England side in their final game of the UEFA U17 Championships Qualifying Round in Yerevan today.
Tom Mohan's side knew they faced a tough test against an England side that had bagged 12 goals without reply in its previous two fixtures but ultimately they suffered a painful loss.
The defeat should not take away from the fact that Ireland had already secured their place in the Elite Phase of the competition thanks to a 4-1 win over Gibraltar and a hard-earned 2-0 victory over hosts Armenia.
Ireland had carved out the game's first chance when Corey Whelan failed to hit the target after connecting with a Shane Elworthy corner in the third minute but the tide turned England's way when Isaiah Brown opened the scoring in the 19th minute.
Jesse Devers forced a save from England goalkeeper Dean Henderson in the 31st minute as Ireland pressed for an equaliser but English pressure led to them extending their lead in the 37th minute through Adam Armstrong. Georgie Poynton had a long distance shot saved by Henderson just before the break.
Irish hopes suffered a massive blow just four minutes into the second half when Armstrong made it 3-0. The English tails were up at that point and Brown, who played first team football with West Brom last season before a summer move to Chelsea, made it 4-0 in the 52nd minute.
Patrick Roberts added the fifth goal for the English in the 57th minute and the one-sided scoreline was complete in injury-time when England captain Ryan Ledson found the net for the sixth and final time.
Ireland head coach Tom Mohan admitted that there could be no doubting that the better side had won.
"Sometimes you just have to take your medicine. They were superior all over the pitch and are clearly a very good side," said Mohan. "We have to hold our hands up. There are no excuses. There's hardly a weakness in their side. Our lads gave their all and tried hard.
"It's a sickener to lose any game but the manner of that defeat was disappointing. We reached our objective which was to qualify but this was a very unfortunate end to a good week."
Mohan felt that the timing of the concession of the second goal proved pivotal and gave England the momentum that they never relinquished.
"The second goal was a bad goal to leave it 2-0. After that you leave yourself open when chasing to try get one back," he said.
"We'll have to pick ourselves up and learn from it. The main thing is that our players have the elite phase to look forward to. We'll move on and not dwell on it.
"Tom Holland was outstanding for us in midfield. For a player to play so well and lose by so much was hard on him in particular."
REPUBLIC OF IRELAND: James Talbot, Anthony Breslin, Dan Casey, Georgie Poynton, Shane Elworthy, Robert Duggan (Danny Kane 65), Jesse Devers (Cemal Ramadan 50), Thomas Holland, Corey Whelan, Evan Osam, Alex Mulrooney-Skinner (Nathan Corkery 41).
ENGLAND: Dean Henderson, Jonjoe Kenny, Max Lowe, Ryan Ledson, Joseph Gomez, Tom Brewitt (Isaac Christie-Davies 59), Patrick Roberts, Jordan Rossiter, Isaiah Brown, Adam Armstrong (Oluwaseyi Ojo 48), Dominic Solanke (Callum Cooke 48).
Thursday, October 24
Republic of Ireland 4 Gibraltar 1, Yerevan (ARM).
Saturday, October 26
Republic of Ireland 2 Armenia 0, Yerevan (ARM).
Tuesday, October 29
Republic of Ireland 0 England 6, Yerevan (ARM).