REPORT | MU19 | Ireland miss out on EURO finals

REPORT | MU19 | Ireland miss out on EURO finals

Republic of Ireland Men’s Under-19s missed out on qualification for the UEFA European Under-19s Championships following a 1-0 defeat to Greece at Ferrycarrig Park, Wexford tonight.

A goal from substitute Lampros Smyrlis shortly after half-time was enough to end Ireland’s qualification dreams and send the Greeks through to the finals.

Oisin Gallagher and John Ryan started the game coming in for the suspended Ed McJannet and James McManus.

Ireland started with much more of the possession with Kevin Zefi and Rocco Vata looking the brightest for the Young Boys In Green. The first real effort came from St.Pat’s striker Tom Lonergan in the 20th minute who managed to work himself a yard of space before firing over.

Greece responded seven minutes later when Georgious Koutsias angled an effort towards goal which failed to trouble Owen Mason. They came closer in the 32nd minute when they broke quickly and flashed an effort just wide of Mason’s goal as the pressure built up on the Irish backline.

With the rain coming down at Ferrycarrig Park the conditions became more difficult for the players and no further clear chances were made in the first period.

But Greece started the second half on the front foot and were ahead. A mix-up at the back allowed Koutsias to run in on goal before squaring it to Smyrlis to tap home.

Ireland looked to hit back immediately and Zefi had a great chance. Lonergan showed great strength to hold off the Greek defender before playing it to Zefi. The Inter Milan forward struck the ball sweetly but unfortunately it mwas the wrong side of the post.

Zefi had a great chance in the 56th minute but his goal bound volley was blocked from inside the box as Ireland began to control the game.

Greece knew even a slender win would see them through should Slovakia not overturn the goal difference in their game with Estonia and dropped deeper inviting the pressure from Ireland


Sean Moore, making his Ireland debut, had a wonderful chance to equalise late on. He was sent through on goal and managed to get a toe on the ball to get it past Dimitrios Monastirlis in the Greek goal but his attempt couldn’t beat the post and the ball bounced clear.

Knowing their qualification hopes were dwindling Ireland still streamed forward and Franco Umeh was close to getting on the end of Justin Ferizaj cross deep into stoppage time.

It would be the last chance and Ireland players were left dejected at the final whistle.

Speaking after the game, Republic of Ireland Men’s Under-19s Head Coach Tom Mohan said: “I felt in the first half we were the totally dominant team and we just couldn’t take our chances and that first goal is so important at international level. But playing in an Elite Phase of a European Competition, at home and needing to win brings pressure and it’s pressure that will serve the players well in their development. The players have been brilliant all week and they’ve worked really hard, everyone is really disappointed with how it’s turned out but that’s football.

“The pain of defeat you have to stuff it away and use it as motivation for the next year. It’s a big learning curve for the players but I want thank them and my staff for their hard work over the campaign. We dust ourselves off and look forward.”


Ireland: Mason, Curtis, Grehan, Abankwah ©, Murphy, Ryan. Gallagher, Vaughan (Ferizaj, 64), Vata (O’Mahony, 82), Zefi (Moore, 64), Lonergan (Umeh 75)

Greece: Monastirlis, Georgiadis, Keramitsis, Kalogeropoulos (C), Tsikos (Smyrlis, 46), Koutsias (Kyriopoulos 78), Symeonidis (Symenodis 64), Gkoumas, Spyrakos, Tasiouras (Deligiannis, 41), Tzimas.

Referee: Sander Van Der Ejik (The Netherlands)

UEFA European Under-19 Championship Elite Round Qualifier results
Wednesday, March 22 | Ireland MU19 1-2 Slovakia MU19
Saturday, March 25 | Ireland MU19 1-0 Estonia MU19
Tuesday, March 28 | Ireland MU19 0-1 Greece MU19

FAI080-139 WNT Two Match Pack Ireland v Sweden Website 360x275.png
FAI080-139 WNT Two Match Pack Ireland v Sweden Website 360x275.png

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