U19s set up qualification decider against Italy
UEFA Under-19 European Championship Elite Stage Group 4
Republic of Ireland U-19 0-0 Ukraine U-19
The Republic of Ireland kept alive their prospects of reaching July's European Championship finals today by drawing against Ukraine in Koszalin.
The result gives Ireland four points after of their opening pair of elite stage qualifiers, two points behind Italy whom they face in Sunday's final fixture.
Italy's 3-1 victory over mini-group hosts Poland today means that Paul Doolin's Irish side must beat the Italians in Kolobrzeg to leapfrog them and snatch the one qualifying place on offer from the group.
Doolin's startling line-up today showed two changes from the team which beat Poland 1-0, with Declan Walker and Eoin Wearen replacing Sean Murray and Samir Carruthers.
Ukraine, needing victory to remain in qualification contention, started the better and caused the Irish some nervy moments from set-pieces.
But it was a corner kick at the other end which produced the first chance on 18 minutes when Matt Doherty towered above his marker to get a header on target but the effort was cleared off the goal-line by the Ukraine defence.
Kalitintsev whistled a free-kick wide on the half hour as Ukraine looked for the breakthrough but that was as close as they came in the opening 45 minutes.
Anthony Forde almost fired Ireland into the lead on 66 minutes following a lay-off by Anthony O'Connor but they could have behind ten minutes later as Kalitintsev's thunderbolt rattled the crossbar.
Ireland finished strong, though, and the industrious John O'Sullivan was denied the winner six minutes from full-time by a brilliant Maxym Koval stop.
The Irish ended the game with ten men as, in stoppage-time, midfielder Eoin Wearen collected his second yellow card, ruling him out of Sunday's game.
REPUBLIC OF IRELAND: McCarey (Wolves); Doherty (Wolves), O'Connor (Blackburn Rovers), Egan (Sunderland), Williams (Aston Villa); Walker (Wrexham), O'Sullivan (Blackburn Rovers), Hendrick (Derby County), Wearen (West Ham United); Forde (Wolves), Murphy (Bray Wanderers).
Substitutions: Murray (Watford) for Walker (Wrexham) , Burke (Aston Villa) for Murphy [74 mins]