U21s fall to defeat in Armenia

U21s fall to defeat in Armenia

17/11/'09: Armenia 4 - 1 Republic of Ireland U21
17th Nov 2009
European Championship Qualifer
Armenia U214-1Republic of Ireland U21
Mkhitaryan 30, 61, Goharyan 75, Mkrtchyan 78Cillian Sheridan 65
Tuesday, 17 November 2009Yerevan, Armenia

U21s fall to defeat in Armenia

An under-strength Republic of Ireland Under-21 team slipped to a disappointing 4-1 defeat to Armenia in Yerevan.

Without seven first team players through injury and suspension, Ireland had to ring in the changes.

Ireland's first effort on goal came on 18 minutes when Graham Carey's free kick from 20 yards went narrowly over the crossbar.

Cillian Sheridan almost broke the deadlock on 22 minutes. Lanre Oyebanjo played a neat one-two with Jay O'Shea before crossing into the box. However, Sheridan's header went wide.

When the opening goal did arrive, however, it was for the home side. Hovhannes Goharyan received the ball on the left and played in Henrikh Mkitaryan who produced some clever footwork to make space and fire past Shane Redmond from 16 yards.

The hosts almost doubled the lead on 35 minutes. Graham Carey was dispossessed in midfield and a swift counter-attack saw Karlen Mkrtchyan's shot blocked before Redmond produced a good save from Mkhitaryan's rebound.

James Collins almost got Ireland back into the game on 44 minutes after he ran onto Redmond's long clearance, but the striker's effort went over the bar.

Callum Morris was the next Irish player to pose a threat when he connected with Stephen Gleeson's free kick on 59 minutes. However, his glancing header went narrowly wide.

Just one minute later, the hosts doubled their advantage. The lively Mkhitaryan played a one-two with Malakyan before calmly slotting past Redmond from just inside the penalty area.

Ireland pulled one back on 64 minutes - Seamus Conneely crossed into the box and Cillian Sheridan rose highest to head past Hovhannisyan.

Advantage was restored on 73 minutes, however, when Hovhannes Goharyan's brilliant effort from 20 yards sailed into the top corner of the Irish net.

Mkhitaryan secured his hat-trick from the penalty spot on 82 minutes after Oyebanjo was adjudged to have taken Malakyan down.

Armenia: Hovhannisyahn, Edigaryan (Khachatryan, 72 mins.), Yespashyan, Arakelyan, Hayrapetyan, Manoyan, Voskanyan, Mkrtchyan, Malakyan, Mkhitaryan, Goharyan (Badalyan, 90 mins.)

Substitutes not used: Fishyan, Ghazaryan, Andrikyan, Yagan, Tadevosyan.

Republic of Ireland: Shane Redmond, Lanre Oyebanjo, Cian Hughton, Callum Morris, Darren Dennehy, Seamus Conneely, Graham Carey (Conor Clifford h/t), James Collins (Paddy Madden, 65 mins.), Jay O'Shea, Cillian Sheridan, Stephen Gleeson

Substitutes not used: James McKeown, David Meyler, Kevin Long.

Referee: Mr. Radek Phihoda (Czech Republic).