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Dublin: 9°C Sunday 7 March 2021

Fine start to the European Championships for Ireland U17s as Dutch left frustrated

Tom Mohan’s men began the tournament with a 0-0 draw against the Dutch in Bulgaria.

The two teams make their way out to start the game Both teams emerge from the tunnel before kick-off. Source: Georgi Dimitrov/INPHO

Ireland 0-0  Netherlands

IRELAND’S U17S HAVE begun the Uefa European Championship finals promisingly today with 0-0 draw against the Netherlands.

Pitted against last year’s champions England, runners-up up Holland and Italy, the Boys in Green were Group D underdogs going into the tournament but can take huge confidence away from a disciplined display in Sozopol, Bulgaria.

The Republic of Ireland team The Ireland starting XI. Source: Georgi Dimitrov/INPHO

The Dutch enjoyed the majority of possession and clocked up eight shots on target compared to Ireland’s two, but goalkeeper Caoimhin Kelleher was up to the task. The Ringmahon Rangers stopper, who joins Liverpool this summer, produced two excellent stops from Carel Elting in the 13th and 58th minutes.

Ireland pushed for a late winner with Trevor Clarke driving the ball across goal and substitute Jamie Aherne seeing his header come back out off the crossbar before the final whistle went.

Connor Ronan with Rick Van Drongelen Ireland's Connor Ronan with Rick Van Drongelen of the Netherlands. Source: Georgi Dimitrov/INPHO

“I’m pleased with a point from our opening game but it could just as easily have been three points as we finished the game very strongly,” said Ireland boss Tom Mohan.

The Dutch are a good side and we had to defend heroically at times but there were several big performances from our goalkeeper and defence and they deserved their clean sheet.

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“A draw is not a bad start but we won’t be getting carried away. Italy are a strong side and will be looking to bounce back from their loss to England so that will represent its own challenge.”

Next up for Mohan’s side is Italy on Sunday (2pm Irish time), then it’s a meeting with England on Wednesday (5pm Irish time). Both games will be shown live on TG4 and Eurosport.

England defeated Italy 1-0 today.

Ireland: Kelleher, Lunney, Masterson (c), Leahy, Agyei-Tabi, Elbouzedi, Levingston (Scully 56′), Barrett (Aherne 70′), Ronan, Clarke, Hanney.

Netherlands: Bijlow, Troupee, Fosu-Mensah (c), Van Drongelen, Fernandes (Grot 70′), Eiting, Robertha (Malen 60′), Dilrosun, De Wit, De Ligt, Peeters (Bijleveld 60′).


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Ben Blake

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