REPORT | MU18 0-1 Sweden
Lukas Björklund’s early goal was enough to decide the game, even though Ireland played well in periods and Head Coach Colin O'Brien will be pleased by the performance of his team.
Earlier in the week, the teams played out a draw. But this time round, the Swedes struck early with Björklund converting after 11 minutes by placing the ball past Irish debutant Stephen McMullan.
Ireland responded brightly to the concession of the goal with Tom Lonergan making his way into the area after getting past the Swedish defence but his effort, however, struck the side netting.
Lonergan would get a sight on goal once again, his effort forced a save from goalkeeper Alexander Sandahl who pushed the Ireland forward's effort around the post for a corner.
Then Lonergan would be denied an equaliser as he put the ball to the back of the net, heading in from a Rocca Vata cross, only for the referee's assistant to rule the effort offside.
In the second half, the first chance following the restart fell to Luke Pierce but his shot struck the Swedish side netting. Sweden had a chance to extend their lead but it sailed over the Irish crossbar.
Clan Coleman went close to an equaliser midway in the second half but his header following a cross from the right just went over.
Ireland continued to put pressure on the Swedish defence earning a series of corners but to no avail. This was a competitive game that will hold the side in good stead going forward this year.
Republic of Ireland: Stephen McMullan, John Ryan, Harry Nevin, Cathal Heffernan, Edwin Albaje ©, Justin Ferizaj, David Toure (Cian Coleman 61), Joshua Ireland (Luke Pearce 46), Tom Lonergan, Ben Quinn (Rocca Vata 27), Rio McEvoy (Harry Vaughan 10).