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Disappointment for Ireland's youngsters after 97th-minute winner in Tallaght

Colin O’Brien’s side suffered a narrow loss against Czech Republic.

THERE WAS DISAPPOINTMENT for Ireland U17s, as they were beaten 3-2 by Czech Republic at Tallaght Stadium today.

The manner of the loss was particularly heartbreaking, as David Pech’s 97th-minute winner saw them suffer a second defeat over the course of a few days, after they were beaten by England during the week.

Pech also opened the scoring on 28 minutes, with his clinical finish giving the visitors a half-time lead.

Real Betis centre-back Anselmo Garcia MacNulty brought Ireland level shortly after the break, as he expertly converted Festy Ebosele’s inswinging corner.

Minutes later, Ireland were ahead, as Sean Kennedy finished off a well-worked move, dribbling past his marker, before powering home a shot from the edge of the area.

However, it was the Czechs who finished the stronger. Filip Silhart’s penalty brought them level, before Pech latched on to a cross and finished calmly in the dying minutes. 

“It’s a little bit of a different approach for this tournament. One of the key objectives this week is to make sure everyone gets game-time — and that’s what we’ve done in the first two games,” Irish boss Colin O’Brien said afterwards.

“We were a bit tentative and nervy at times in the first half. Second half was much improved, better quality, we created better opportunities and scored two good goals. The result was very disappointing but there is a bigger picture to this tournament for us.”

Ireland will have a chance to put things right, as they face Germany at Tallaght Stadium on Wednesday.

Republic of Ireland: Halwax; Dunne, Kelly (Turner 63), Garcia-MacNulty, Considine; Keogh (C), Martin-Conway (McKinley 46), Giurgi (Ebosele 46), Healy, Kennedy; Everitt (Carty 46).

Czech Republic: Tuma; Porc, Hellebrand, Sklenar, Stary; Pech, Kopacek, Lukavsky, Hajek (Hronik 90), Silhart(Kozeluh 82); Toula (Sejk 82).

Referee: Ivar Orri Kristjansson (Iceland).

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