The Republic of Ireland Men’s Under-19’s finished the second of their friendly double-header with a 3-0 victory over Faroe Islands at the Pinatar Arena in Spain.
With some lovely possession football on display, goals from Darius Lipsuic, Warren Davis and Sean Moore gave the Irish side a comfortable win in the end over a stubborn Faroe Islands side that made life difficult for them at times.
This was the second game in quick succession that Tom Mohan's side played in hot and humid conditions in Murcia and it proved to be the ideal opportunity to cast an eye over the majority of the playing squad - 10 changes were made to the side that beat Scotland 2-0 last Thursday.
The freshened up Irish side, with Shamrock Rovers’ Freddie Turley the lone survivor from three days ago, made a blistering start and wasted no time in grabbing the lead. Exciting Villareal attacker Caden McLoughlin - currently on loan at Spanish side Roda - cleverly fed the ball into the St. Patrick’s Athletic man Darius Lipsuic, whose first touch was impeccable and set himself up nicely to smash the ball across goal to make it 1-0 after just nine minutes.
The Faroes, who shipped six against a top Portugal side a few days previously, were looking to avoid a repeat of that scoreline and began sitting deeper to try and frustrate the young Boys in Green as best they could, but almost fell behind minutes later.
Lipsuic, one of 14 home-based players in the match day squad today, looked in the mood and was unlucky not to grab his second. Following a well-worked corner routine, Tommy Bloxham drilled an excellent ball to Lipsuic, whose header looked destined for the target only to be denied by a brilliant save from Svend Denilsen.
Just after the half hour mark Ireland deservedly doubled their lead when the influential Bloxham opted for a short corner to the impressive Turley, who swung in a pin-point cross to the back post, finding Drogheda United’s Warren Davis who headed in.
Ireland saw out the first half relatively comfortably as the midday heat began to play a part in the slight drop off intensity, with the two-goal cushion also a factor.
As expected, Mohan rang the changes in the second half by introducing a number of players who starred in the Scotland win, including two-goal hero Franco Umeh and midfield talent James McManus.
The introduction of fresh legs paid dividends almost immediately with another two of the substitutes combining well as Ireland grabbed their third goal. Sean Moore showed great determination to get on the end of a Joe O’Brien Whitmarsh ball across goal, before cutting inside onto his left foot to stroke home.
The double header against two sides providing contrasting styles will no doubt prove beneficial for Mohan and his staff, coupled with some top performances, it will no doubt give them plenty to think about ahead of next month's UEFA European Under-19 Championship qualifiers - against Albania, Slovenia and Belgium.
Ireland: Conor Walsh, Luke O’Regan (Jesse Dempsey 72), Daniel Babb (Patrick Baranyai 72), Freddie Turley (Romeo Akachukwu 79), Cathal Heffernan, Senan Mullen, Caden McLoughin (Sean Moore 63), Darius Lipsuic (James McManus 79), Warren Davis (Mark O’Mahony 79), Tommy Bloxham (Joe O’Brien Whitmarsh 63), Trent Kone-Doherty (Franco Umeh 72).
Faroe Islands: Svend Denilsen, Virgar Jonsson, Solvi Johannesen, Ingi Arngrimson, Rokur Kollsker, Arni Noa Atlason, Marius Allanson Arting, Teitur Knudsen, Johan Josephsen, Thomas Bjorn Miezan, Hans Pauli A Bo.
Referee: Garcia Acosta (Spain).
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