The Republic of Ireland Men’s Under-16s got their UEFA Development Tournament in Slovakia off to the perfect start with a 4-2 win over Latvia today.
A brace from Odense BK striker William Martin and goals from Jaden Umeh and Richard Vodo secured the win for Paul Osam's side in Dunajská Streda.
The MU16s headed into what is their final set of games of the 2022/23 campaign having produced some impressive displays this season - including winning the Victory Shield back in October.
Osam handed first Ireland starts to five players – Oisin Cooney, Harry McGlinchey, Matteo Egan, Alife Lynskey and Martin.
Ireland were ahead inside the second minute. Umeh, who had been so impressive for the MU15s this campaign, notched his first goal at MU16 level. The Cork City striker headed home after excellent work from Galway United's Kyle Fitzgerald who delivered the perfect cross for Umeh to head home from close range.
And three minutes later it was 2-0. The goal was almost identical to the first with Ireland able to deliver a cross from the left but this time it was Martin on the end of it to head beyond Latvian goalkeeper Plavinš for a debut goal.
In a frantic first half Latvia struck back to make it 2-1 but in the 16th minute Ireland restored their two-goal cushion with Richard Vodo netting his second international goal of the season. The Shamrock Rovers midfielder played a one-two, getting on the end of the move he started to slot home the finish.
Shortly after half-time Ireland made it 4-1 and it was Martin with his second and another headed goal. Umeh broke down the right wing and caused panic in the Latvian defence, the ball could only be cleared to an Ireland jersey and Martin was on the end of that cross to net from close range.
Latvia were able to score a consultation in the final minute but Ireland will go into their next game against Ukraine on Friday morning full of confidence after today's victory.