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Ireland qualify for U17 Euros quarter-final despite heavy loss to Germany

Colin O’Brien’s side will face England in the last eight.

Ireland's starting line-up today.
Ireland's starting line-up today.
Image: Twitter/FAIreland

Ireland 0
Germany 7

IRELAND’S U17s were handed a 7-0 drubbing by Germany this afternoon but results elsewhere helped them qualify for the quarter-finals of the Uefa European Championship.

Having lost 1-0 to Serbia in their opening C match last week, Colin O’Brien’s side bounced back with a 2-1 victory over Bosnia & Herzegovina on Sunday.

That result gave them a fighting chance of progressing to the last eight heading into this morning’s group finale against the Germans, who sat top of the group with maximum points.

However, the Boys in Green had a disastrous start at Croatia’s HNK Rijeka Stadium — falling three goals behind inside the opening 21 minutes.

RB Leipzig midfielder Elias Abouchabaka stroked home the first and captain Jann-Fiete Arp added a second before Ireland skipper Lee O’Connor put the ball into his own net.

Hamburg striker Arp, who has been linked with a move to Chelsea, then bagged two more and a second hat-trick of these finals early in the second half.

Midfielder Noah Awuku and substitute Eric Hottman finished off the scoring on what appeared to be a miserable day for Ireland.

However, they were all smiles at the final whistle as news came through that Bosnia had beaten Serbia 1-0 in the other game.

Germany won the group thanks to their 100% record with the three other nations all finishing level on three points and goal difference, but Ireland claimed the runner-up spot thanks to more goals scored than Serbia and their head-to-head record with Bosnia.

They will meet either England in the last eight on Saturday.

“We had a tough day today at the office,” said O’Brien afterwards. “There will be a lot to learn for us from that game. We were second best for a lot of it. When you play a team like Germany and you don’t do the right things around your own box, they are clinical and they showed that today.

“However, it (the tournament) was about keeping it alive for the last match. With Bosnia winning it has put us through to the quarter final stage, the furthest we’ve got in 20 years so it’s a good day from that perspective.”

Ireland: Brian Maher, Lee O’Connor (c) (Gavin Kilkenny 54), Kameron Ledwidge, Jordan Doherty, Nathan Collins, Aaron Bolger, Rowan Roache (Callum Thompson 70), Richard O’Farrell, Luke Nolan, Adam Idah, Aaron Connolly.

Germany: Plogmann, Nitzl, Hackethal, Becker (Majetscak 53), Boller, Awuku, Cetin, Arp (c), Abouchabaka (Hottmann 57), Mai (Ledewig 66), Malone.

Source: FAI TV/YouTube

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Ben Blake

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