REPORT | MU15 | Winning start over Greece for Ireland
Nov 21 2023
Republic of Ireland Mens Under-15s kicked off their UEFA Development Tournament with an excellent 3-1 victory over a very tough and stubborn 10-man Greek side.
First half goals from TJ Molloy and David Dunne put the Irish youngsters in a strong position at the break before Dunne added a third in the second half to wrap up the win although Greece added a late consolation from the spot.
Signalling their intent right from the off, Jason Donohue’s talented side went close just three minutes in. Cork City’s star attacker, Dunne, was unlucky not to break the deadlock with just 11-minutes played, only to be brilliantly denied by AEK stopper Dimitris Vazintaris, as the pressure began to ramp up.
Richard Ferizaj, younger brother of another Irish underage star Justin, looked a creative force throughout and was next to go close with an effort from distance narrowly missing the target.
Ireland got their rewards for their bright start midway through the first half when highly rated Dundalk star TJ Molloy got his side deservedly in front with twenty minutes played.
The resilient Greek side responded with a spell of pressure having fallen behind, but Ireland held firm and five minutes before the break doubled their lead when Dunne was on hand at the back post to round off an excellent attacking move.
The half time break failed to take the wind out of the Irish sails and five minutes after the restart, Dunne got his brace with a top-class finish from the edge of the area.
With the win just about secured, Donohue rang the changes to conserve energy ahead of two tough games on the horizon.
To their credit, the Greek opposition kept going and got a goal from the spot that their hard work deserved to take a little gloss off the scoreline.
And frustration got the better of the opposition when Georgios Lamprianidis received a second yellow and his marching orders despite being introduced off the bench.
Jason Donohue's side look forward to a busy week in Serbia when focus quickly turns to facing the hosts on Thursday before rounding off with an exciting clash with Venezuela on Sunday.
Ireland: Darragh Brunton, Tadhg Prizeman (Ike Manjor, 70’), Alan Sattel (Sam Cooke, 87’), Sean Spaight (Danny Burke, 60’), Jason Spelman, Victor Ozhianvuna (Joe Byrne, 70’), Niall Sullivan- (Tom McGrath, 87’), Richard Ferizaj (Kian Quigley, 60’), David Dunne (Samuel Ogungbe, 70’), TJ Molloy (Desmond Armstrong, 70’), Ben Dumigan