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Dublin: 3°C Friday 26 February 2021

Ireland's youngsters suffer late heartache in Euros opener

The Boys in Green kicked off their campaign against Serbia in Croatia today.

Ireland have two remaining group games.
Ireland have two remaining group games.

IRELAND U17S WERE left frustrated, as they were beaten 1-0 in their opening game of the European Championships in Croatia against Serbia this afternoon.

Colin O’Brien’s side went close to opening the scoring on more then one occasion. Substitute Aaron Connolly was unlucky not to win a penalty after seemingly being taken down by Aleksandar Kostić inside the box, with the referee ignoring protests from Irish players.

Brighton starlet Connolly went close thereafter, as his powerful shot from outside the box was tipped wide by Serbia stopper Miloš Gordić.

Željko Gavrić then got the crucial goal with eight minutes to play, as he was allowed to head home unmarked from Mateja Zuvić’s corner.

Ireland will now face Bosnia & Herzegovina on Sunday, before their final group game against Germany next Wednesday.

With the top two teams progressing from the group, the Boys in Green will need to win both remaining matches to be sure of qualification.

It is the first defeat Ireland have suffered in this campaign, having won six from six while qualifying for the tournament.

Ireland team: Brian Maher, Kameron Ledwidge, Jordan Doherty, Nathan Collins, Luke Nolan, Aaron Bolger, Rowan Roache, Richard O’Farrell, Gavin Kilkenny (Aaron Connolly), Adam Idah (Brandon Kavanagh), Callum Thompson (Tyreik Samuel Wright).

Subs not used: Kian Clarke, Lee O’Connor, Darryl Walsh, Joseph Redmond.

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Paul Fennessy

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