U19 EURO: Ireland v Czech Republic Preview
Following a draw and a defeat, Tom Mohan knows that a victory is required for Ireland to keep control of their destiny in this tournament.
France are already through to the semi-finals, so it is between Norway, Ireland and Czech Republic to secure the second spot in Group B. Norway sit on two points ahead of facing France, while Ireland and Czech Republic are on a point each.
Republic of Ireland v Czech Republic
Sunday, 21 July
FFA Academy Stadium, Yerevan
Kick-Off: 18:00 (Irish Time)
Live on TV: RTÉ2
Referee: Anastasios Papapetrou (Greece)
Ireland have a full squad available.
Republic of Ireland Head Coach Tom Mohan
"I could not have asked much more of the players in last Thursday's game against France. We produced an excellent defensive performance for long periods of the game against a highly talented team. The effort of our players was phenomenal and we were unlucky not to hang on for a draw.
"We had a day off on Friday where all of the players & staff visited a local orphanage, which was a very humbling experience. I cannot speak highly enough of the players for how they interacted with the kids, signed autographs, posed for photos, and handed out gifts. You could see how much it meant to the kids and the volunteers.
"Now, we are back fully focused on the Czech Republic game. We have watched them play in their qualifying games and both of their Group games. Our coaches & analysts have worked hard to provide us with all of the necessary information. We will have a gameplan in place and the players will be ready for this next challenge.
"We are fully aware of the potential scenarios in the Group, with Norway playing France in the other game, but we must concentrate on what we have to do against Czech Republic. There is still more to come from this team and we want to show that on Sunday night.
"As has been the case throughout this campaign, the staff have been brilliant and helped the players to recover. That is hugely important because we have been faced with a lot of issues, from sickness to fatigue to extreme heat, but the staff and players have been professional throughout and worked hard to be ready for each game.
"We all know what is at stake on Sunday and this group of players are determined to get a victory on the board. We will not be underestimating Czech Republic, who also have everything to play for. It should be a good game and it is one that we are looking forward to."
Sunday, 21 July: Republic of Ireland v Czech Republic, Yerevan Football Academy Stadium, KO 18:00 (Irish Time) - Live on RTÉ2
Monday, 15 July: Republic of Ireland 1-1 Norway, Yerevan Football Academy Stadium
Thursday, 18 July: Republic of Ireland 0-1 France, Banants Stadium, Yerevan
180 - Brian Maher, Andy Lyons, Oisin McEntee, Mark McGuinness, Lee O'Connor, Joe Hodge, Ali Reghba, Jonathan Afolabi
179 - Kameron Ledwidge
154 - Brandon Kavanagh
105 - Matt Everitt
61 - Jack James
26 - Barry Coffey
14 - Tyreik Wright
7 - Andrew Omobamidele
1 - Joe Hodge
1 - Jonathan Afolabi, Joe Hodge, Lee O'Connor
REPUBLIC OF IRELAND SQUAD
Goalkeepers: Brian Maher (St Patrick's Athletic), George McMahon (Burnley)
Defenders: Andy Lyons (Bohemians), Mark McGuinness (Arsenal), Oisin McEntee (Newcastle United), Andrew Omobamidele (Norwich City), Jack James (Unattached), Kameron Ledwidge (Southampton), Ciaran Brennan (Sheffield Wednesday)
Midfielders: Joe Hodge (Manchester City), Lee O'Connor (Manchester United), Barry Coffey (Celtic), Niall Morahan (Sligo Rovers), Brandon Kavanagh (Shamrock Rovers), Conor Grant (Sheffield Wednesday)
Forwards: Jonathan Afolabi (Unattached), Ali Reghba (Leicester City), Tyreik Wright (Aston Villa), Matt Everitt (Brighton & Hove Albion), Festy Ebosele (Derby County)
- Ireland have qualified for this tournament twice since it was regraded to Under-19 level - finishing fourth in 2002 under Brian Kerr and reaching the semi-finals in 2011 with Paul Doolin
- Before it was regraded to Under-19 level, Ireland won the tournament in 1998 when it was called the UEFA European Youth Championship
- Ireland were the only team to qualify having won their six games across the Qualifying Round and Elite Round
- In the last two years, where a number of the current players have been involved, Ireland have won nine, drew twice, and lost just once (to eventual European champions Portugal)
- Czech Republic claimed a 2-1 win over Ireland in the Group Stage of this tournament in 2011, but Ireland still advanced to the semi-finals
- On four occasions Czech Republic have been runners-up in this competition, while they won it outright in 1968 when it was the UEFA Youth Tournament
- In qualification, Czech Republic beat Luxembourg, North Macedonia, Denmark, and Greece, while they drew with Croatia and lost to England (scoring 13 goals and conceding 10 overall)
Game Hashtag: #IRLCZE
Tournament Hashtag: #U19EURO
Ireland Team Hashtag: #IRLU19
- 54 nations entered into qualifying for this year's tournament, plus hosts Armenia
- With 370 goals scored in qualifying, there was an average of 3.08 goals per game
- Each team will be permitted five substitutions (maximum of three stoppages of play)
- Two groups of four teams will compete for the four Semi-Final spots on offer
- Group A consists of Armenia, Italy, Spain, and reigning champions Portugal
- The Semi-Finals will be played on 24 July, with the Final being staged on 27 July
- This is the 18th edition of this tournament (68th if Under-18 & Junior eras included)
HOW IRELAND QUALIFIED
10 October, 2018: Republic of Ireland 3-1 Bosnia & Herzegovina
13 October, 2018: Republic of Ireland 3-0 Faroe Islands
16 October, 2018: Republic of Ireland 2-1 Netherlands
20 March, 2019: Republic of Ireland 5-0 Romania
23 March, 2019: Republic of Ireland 3-1 Azerbaijan
26 March, 2019: Republic of Ireland 2-0 Russia