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Dublin: 0 °C Thursday 17 January, 2019

'I don't think we deserved to lose the game at all'

Colin O’Brien felt Ireland were unlucky as they lost their opening match to Belgium at the Euros.

Source: FAI TV/YouTube

IRELAND BOSS COLIN O’Brien felt his side were unlucky as they were beaten 2-0 by Belgium at Loughborough University Stadium in their European U17 Championship opener.

Goals in either half from Sekou Sidibe and Yorbe Vertessen ensured the Boys in Green got their campaign off to a disappointing start.

Ireland’s highly rated Norwich youngster Adam Idah went close on a number of occasions, while Nathan Collins headed just wide in the second half, before Vertessen pounced on a rebound 12 minutes from time to seal the Belgians’ victory.

The defeat is Ireland’s first of the season, after they came through qualification with a perfect record, and the coach afterwards claimed they were hard done by.

“On immediate reflection, I don’t think we deserved to lose the game at all,” O’Brien said.

“We probably didn’t do enough to win the game. Two tough teams. We were well in the game, had a couple of chances. They had their couple of chances and scored — that was really the difference. But in general play, we played some very good football at times, there were some encouraging signs and a couple of things we need to improve on.”

Ireland now must prepare for a crucial clash with Denmark on Tuesday in St George’s Park, before finishing their group campaign at the same venue against Bosnia & Herzegovina.

O’Brien will be hoping his current team can emulate last year’s Irish side, who managed to progress despite an opening European Championships loss.

Source: FAI TV/YouTube

Republic of Ireland: Corcoran; Murphy, Ledwidge, McEntee, Collins ©; Knight, Coffey, Brennan (Thompson 61); Idah, Parrott, Wright.

Belgium: Shinton; Persyn, Lissens, Vandermeulen, Dendoncker; Raskin ©, Mvom Onana, Suray (Timassi 66); Vertessen, Yayi Mpie (Doku 66), Sidibe.

Referee: Vilhjalmur Thorarinsson (ISL)

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Paul Fennessy

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