U19 REPORT: Ireland 1-0 Austria - O'Connor strike seals win

u19_SM.jpg

U19 REPORT: Ireland 1-0 Austria - O'Connor strike seals win

Michael O'Connor's first-half strike sealed a narrow victory for the Republic of Ireland Under 19s over Austria at Tallaght Stadium.
4th Sep 2016

The Dundalk striker scored the only goal of the game to seal the victory in the international friendly as Austria's Dominik Reiter was sent off in the second-half.

Tom Mohan's side dominated the occasion from early on and should have gone ahead with 13 minutes gone. Dundalk's Michael O'Connor was able to thread the ball through to Zach Elbouzedi who tried to round the keeper but Fabian Ehmann smoothered well.

It was the lively and industrious O'Connor who put Ireland ahead. Connor Ronan found the powerful forward in the right side of the area and from 12 yards out, he blasted his shot into the near post to score in the 25th minute.

Just past the half-hour, the home side should have doubled their lead when Ronan timed his pass perfectly to put Corey O'Keeffe in on goal but after rounding the keeper, the Birmingham City man wasn't aware of Paul Sahanek's presence who slid in to clear.

Austria has their best chance of the game five minutes into the second-half when Alexander Kogler's left-sided corner found Sahanek six yards out but his header was straight at Caoimhin Kelleher.

Ireland continued to create chances as Jake Doyle Hayes' set-piece found the on-rushing Declan Rice eight yards out but the West Ham United defender directed his volley over.

Connor Ronan had an impressive evening and should have topped off his performance with a goal when O'Keeffe found the Wolves man through on goal but he curled his effort wide of the left-hand post.

Austria's Dominik Reiter was sent off with 20 minutes for a lunge on JJ Lunney but the ten men almost equalised with six minutes remaining as Albin Ramadani's 25-yard free-kick curled narrowly wide of the left-hand post with goalkeeper Kelleher scrambling.

However, Ireland defended well and kept the clean sheet, and Under 19 manager Tom Mohan was happy with the performance. 

Mohan said: "We were excellent in the first-half and created a lot of chances which we should have taken. 

"We've got a lot of creative talent at the top of the pitch and we were finding spaces in the right areas. We're missing a few players as well due to League of Ireland committments so plenty of competition for places at the moment.

"It was a good clean sheet as well and our defenders are very confident playing out of the back which we've been working on which is good to see.

"We'll be switching the team around for the second game as we want to make sure everyone gets on the pitch during their time with us so we can have a proper look at their development."

Teams 

Republic of Ireland: Kelleher (GK), Carroll (Molumby 67), Lunney (Leahy 86), Masterson (C), Rice, Levingston (T. O'Connor 67), O'Keeffe, Hayes, O'Connor, Ronan (Byrne 86), Elbouzedi (Power 67).

Subs not used: O'Shea, Kane, Travers, Wilson.

Austria: Elmann (GK), Augustin (Basara 71), Friedl (Goic 58), Tuccar (Ramadani 58), Reiter, Filip, Sahanek, Schmidt (Cerny 77), Kogler (Thurnwald 58), Prirsch, Lovric (C) (Hainka 85).

Subs not used: Ponholzer.

Referee: Robert Harvey (IRL)

Yellow card(s): Rice, Levingston. Augustin. 

Red card(s): Reiter.