REPORT | MU15 | Ireland beat Serbia on penalties

REPORT | MU15 | Ireland beat Serbia on penalties

Ireland Men’s Under-15s recorded back-to-back wins following a 4-3 penalty shoot-out win over hosts Serbia.

The young Boys in Green followed-up their 3-1 win over Greece on Tuesday with another solid performance after it ended 1-1 with in normal time.

Jason Donohue’s side had gone a goal down but fought back to level it through Desmond Armstrong’s first international goal.

The game went to penalties with Southampton’s George Moloney making a spot-kick save and Galway United’s Jason Spelman scoring the winning kick.

Ireland had started the brighter of the teams and had a great chance in the 12th minute when Samuel Ogungbe got wide and crossed for Armstrong but the Shamrock Rovers forward just couldn’t convert his effort on target as Serbia lived dangerously.

Not long after, the hosts were ahead when in the 18th minute Mihajlo Popovic got on the end of corner to head home from close range.

Ireland continued to play attacking football, despite the set-back, and just before half-time they were rewarded. The pressing of Ogungbe caused a mistake in the backline with a misplaced back pass falling to Armstrong who fired into an empty net.

It was all square at half-time but in the second half Ireland looked the more likely to score.

In the 72nd minute substitute David Dunne went close after a cross from TJ Molloy was spilled and fell to the Cork City man but unfortunately he could only fire over.

Molloy himself had a great chance a minute later when his snapshot was spilled and had to be cleared from underneath the Serbian cross bar.

It was the last clear-cut effort of normal time and the game went to penalties.

Serbia were successful with their first spot-kick but Ireland saw their first penalty saved. Moloney saved Serbia’s second leaving Victor Ozhianvuna a chance to level the shootout which he duly did. Niall Sullivan found the net with his kick but when Serbia struck the post Dunne put Ireland ahead for the first time. Despite Serbia scoring a third Spelman kept his composure to win it for Ireland.

Ireland: Moloney, Cooke (Sattell, 84), Manjor, Spaight (C) (Prizeman, 46), Burke, Quigley, McGrath (Spelman, 62), Ferizaj (Ozhianvuna, 46), Ogungbe (Sullivan, 62), Byrne (Dunne, 62), Armstrong (Molloy, 62)

Serbia: V. Popovic, Tadic, Strika, Sekularac, M. Popovic, Grujic, Pejovic (C), Nikolic, Batak, Cukic, Dragasic. Substitutes: Tamburic, Nikic, Neziri, Rakovic, Anakic, Ðuric, Pecenicic, Milvud, Vajagic, Trailovic, Spicic

International Friendly Results/ Fixture (kick-off Irish Standard Time)

Tuesday, November 21 | Ireland MU15 3-1 Greece MU15

Thursday, November 23 | Serbia MU15 1-1 Ireland MU15 (Ireland won 4-3 on penalties)

Sunday, November 26 | Ireland MU15 v Venezuela MU15, Stara Pazova, Serbia, KO 10am

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