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Dublin: 7 °C Friday 13 December, 2019

St Pat's star bags brace and assist as Ireland progress to next stage of Euro U17 qualifiers

Colin O’Brien’s side wrapped up a 3-1 win over Montenegro in Cork.

Ireland U17 boss Colin O'Brien [file pic].
Ireland U17 boss Colin O'Brien [file pic].
Image: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

Republic of Ireland U17s 3

Montenegro U17s 1

Denis Hurley reports at Turner’s Cross 

BEN MCCORMACK WAS the star as the Republic of Ireland U17 side secured their progression to the next stage of the European Championship qualifiers at Turner’s Cross on Friday night.

Before a crowd of 575 in Cork, the St Patrick’s Athletic man scored twice and set up the other for Anselmo Garcia McNulty as Colin O’Brien’s side wrapped up one of the two spots in this first qualification stage ahead of Monday’s final game against Israel.

In a scoreless first half, Ireland had more of the ball without being able to threaten much, though they did go close in the opening five minutes as Sinclair Armstrong almost diverted Omotayo Adaramola’s cross.

Other than that, they were restricted to half-chances but the second half saw Ireland improve and McCormack went close on 50 minutes, his deft chip just over while Robert Mahon headed wide from Armstrong’s cross.

Ireland had the lead on 57, McCormack’s free kick from the left going all the way to the net, but Montenegro had an immediate response as Filip Radojicic set up Ognjen Bakic for a smart finish.

Ireland stayed positive though and Montenegro needed a good Nikola Ivezic save to deny Mahon’s shot from distance just before the second goal came, Garcia McNulty rising to head home McCormack’s corner on 75.

With nine minutes left, McCormack got his second and Ireland’s third, curling a shot home after Colin Conroy had hit the post with a low shot from a tight angle. Coupled with Andorra’s surprise 1-0 win over Israel at St Colman’s Park in Cobh, the victory sends Ireland through.

REPUBLIC OF IRELAND: Daniel Rose (Everton); Gavin O’Brien (Bohemians), Leigh Kavanagh (Bray Wanderers), Anselmo Garcia McNulty (Wolfsburg), Omotayo Adaramola (Crystal Palace); Colin Conroy (Bohemians), Kyle Martin-Conway (St Patrick’s Athletic); Sinclair Armstrong (Shamrock Rovers), Ben McCormack (St Patrick’s Athletic), Robert Mahon (Bohemians); Evan Ferguson (Bohemians).

Subs: O’Neill (Fulham) for Mahon (66).

MONTENEGRO: Nikola Ivezic; Milan Radovic, Nemja Bozovic, Nikola Vukotic, Milun Jokovic; Filip Radojicic, Ognjen Bakic, Andrej Bajovic; Kristijan Ernec, Bogdan Veljic, Dusan Suskavcevic.

Subs: Elvin Rastoder for Suskavcevic (70), Aleksa Cetkovic for Veljic (78), Marko Vujacic for Ernec (83).

Referee: Ferenc Karako (Hungary).

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Denis Hurley

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