REPORT | MU15 | Ireland beat Venezuela to win UEFA Development Tournament

REPORT | MU15 | Ireland beat Venezuela to win UEFA Development Tournament

Ireland have won the UEFA Development Tournament in Serbia after beating Venezuela 3-1.

Second-half goals from Dundalk’s TJ Molloy, St Patrick’s Athletic’s Kian Quigley and Shamrock Rovers’ Victor Ozhianvuna sealed the win for Jason Donohue’s side amid a snow storm in Stara Pazova.

The conditions and cold temperatures didn’t deter the Irish side who made it three wins from three in the competition having beaten Greece 3-1 and Serbia 4-3 on penalties to top the table. It was Galway United’s Jason Spelman, who scored the decisive penalty in the shootout against Serbia on Thursday, who was selected to captain the team.

Venezuela had the better of the chances in the early stages. In the 7th minute Luis Bonilla went close for the Venezuelans and five minutes later Shamrock Rovers’ Alan Sattel was forced into a last ditch tackle to deny the South Americans from going ahead.

Ireland’s first real chance came just before half time when St. Patrick’s Athletic’s Joe Byrne had a chance to break the deadlock but his attempt just went wide.

But it was just after the break Ireland opened the scoring. Molloy found the net four minutes in the second-half with his second goal of the tournament.

Venezuela were back in it in the 65th minute when Rafael Marin found the net with a free-kick.

It didn’t take long for Ireland to restore their lead when half-time substitute Quigley applied the finish for 2-1 and late on Ozhianvuna wrapped up the win to make it 3-1 to Ireland.

The 20-player squad, which is made up of 19 players from the EA SPORTS LOI Academy, will be back in action in the new year when they take on Australia.

Speaking after the games, MU15 Head Coach Jason Donohue said: “We set ourselves an outcome at the start of the week to top the group and use that target as if we were in a group at a tournament. When you win your first game you know you’ll be in with a chance of topping the group in the final game and it was great experience for our players to have that mentality in these games.

“The players have got exposure to top international football and they competed at the highest level. We’ve dominated possession in the three games and it’s a sign of the upward curve our underage teams are on.

“We had 19 players from the LOI Academy with us and George (Moloney) from Southampton who has been over for every assessment day and training camp and is well integrated into our group. It goes to show the hard work that is going on at schoolboy and academy level and we’re pleased to be coming away with another tournament win at this level.”

Venezuela: Angulo, Hernandez, D. Silva, Pereira, Virguez (C), N.Garcia, Almenar, P. Garcia, Barreto, Bonilla, Molina
Substitutes: Abreu, Lozada, Marin, Araujo, Veloz, Quintero, Savarese, Ramos, Pena

Ireland: Moloney (Brunton, 46), Sattel (Prizeman, 60’), Spaight, Dumigan, McGrath (Quigley, 46’), Spelman (C) (Burke, 60’), Sullivan (Ferizaj, 46), Ozhianvuna (Manjor, 84’), Dunne, Molloy (Armstrong, 60’), Byrne (Ogungbe, 60’)

UEFA Development Tournament Results
Tuesday, November 21 | Ireland MU15 3-1 Greece MU15
Thursday, November 23 | Serbia MU15 1-1 Ireland MU15* (Ireland win 4-3 on penalties)
Sunday, November 26 | Ireland MU15 3-1 Venezuela MU15

Republic of Ireland Men’s Under-15s Squad

Goalkeepers: Darragh Brunton (St. Patrick’s Athletic), George Moloney (Southampton)

Defenders: Danny Burke (Shamrock Rovers), Sam Cooke (Klub Kildare), Ben Dumigan (Cork City), Alan Sattell (Shamrock Rovers), Séan Spaight (Dundalk), Tadhg Prizeman (Shamrock Rovers)

Midfielder: Richard Ferizaj (Shamrock Rovers), Ikechimka Manjor (Treaty United), Tom McGrath (Cork City), Kian Quigley (St. Patrick’s Athletic), Niall Sullivan (St. Patrick’s Athletic), Jason Spelman (Galway United)

Forwards: Desmond Armstrong (Shamrock Rovers), Joe Byrne (St. Patrick’s Athletic), David Dunne (Cork City), TJ Molloy (Dundalk), Samuel Ogungbe (St Patrick’s Athletic), Victor Ozhianvuna (Shamrock Rovers)

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