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Ireland keep Euro hopes alive with goals from Man United and Southampton prospects

Ireland secured a much-needed win against Kosovo on Saturday to keep alive their chances of reaching the Uefa U19 Championships in Finland.

Michael Obafemi and Lee O'Connor both scored for Ireland.
Michael Obafemi and Lee O'Connor both scored for Ireland.

IRELAND CRUISED TO a comfortable 3-0 victory over Kosovo on Saturday afternoon in Portugal, a result which keeps their hopes alive of qualifying for the Uefa U19 European Championships in Finland later this year.

Highly-rated Southampton midfielder Michael Obafemi  got Ireland up and running after just five minutes with a powerful low finish into the bottom corner.

This before further goals from Manchester United prospect Lee O’Connor and 18-year-old Blackpool forward Rowan Roache made sure of the three points at the Estadio dos Arcos.

Head Coach Tom Mohan described his side’s games against Slovakia and Kosovo this week as “two cup finals” and following on from Wednesday’s 1-1 draw with the Slovaks, Ireland are in a much more comfortable position with the prospect of making the championships still alive.

Obafemi struck first early on, shielding his marker away from the ball before tucking a low right-footed effort beyond the reach of goalkeeper Flamur Gashi.

O’Connor lobbed the goalkeeper eight minutes later following some calamitous defending inside the box, with Roche notching home from close range after a low Obafemi cross into the danger zone after the break to make sure of the win.

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The team return to action on Tuesday evening against Portugal knowing a win could be enough to send them through.

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