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Dublin: 9 °C Wednesday 16 October, 2019
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Ramos hat-trick ends Ireland's Euro campaign with semi-final defeat to champions Portugal

Tom Mohan’s U19 side were beaten 4-0 this afternoon in Yerevan.

Ireland's Joe Hodge (file picture).
Ireland's Joe Hodge (file picture).
Image: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

IRELAND’S U19 EUROPEAN Championship campaign came to an end this afternoon following their comprehensive 4-0 semi-final defeat to Portugal in Yerevan.

Tom Mohan’s side fought valiantly in the sweltering conditions, but were ultimately outclassed by the reigning champions and in particular forward Goncalo Ramos – who notched a hat-trick against the Boys in Green.

It was always going to be a tall ask for Ireland who are back at this stage of the competition for the first time in eight years.

Mohan’s charges were up against a team filled with the underage talent of Benfica and Porto, as well as Félix Correia from Manchester City and Boavista’s Gonçalo Cardoso.

Ireland held out until the 30th minute before Joao Mario went down under the challenge of Joe Hodge in the penalty area and Vitor Ferreira made no mistake from the spot.

The Boys in Green could and probably should been back on level terms just minutes later when Ali Reghba forced an excellent save from Celton Biai, before Barry Coffey’s follow-up effort was cleared off the line by Costinha.

Ireland’s hopes were all but dashed just before the break. Ramos bagged the first of his three goals at the end of first-half stoppage time with a header from close range after the ball came off the top of the cross bar.

The Benfica forward made no mistake from only a yard out. Goalkeeper and captain Brian Maher prevented further damage before the interval, denying Ramos once again.

With the heat starting to impact the players after the break, Portugal’s third came as a gift to the European heavyweights.

Hodge coughed up possession in midfield before and Joao Mario brought his side away on the break. His pass found Ramos again for his second of the afternoon and the remainder of the game was destined to pass by in procession for the Portuguese.

Kameron Ledwidge almost handed Ireland a consolation goal in injury time but his freekick was tipped over the bar by Biai. Ramos sealed the win with his third and Portugal’s fourth in the sixth minute of added time.

Ireland

Brian Maher (St Patrick’s Athletic); Andy Lyons (Bohemians), Oisin McEntee (Newcastle United), Mark McGuinness (Arsenal), Kameron Ledwidge (Southampton); Joe Hodge (Manchester City), Barry Coffey (Celtic); Ali Reghba (Leicester City), Brandon Kavanagh (Shamrock Rovers), Ciaran Brennan (Sheffield Wednesday); Matt Everitt (Brighton & Hove Albion).

Subs:
Festy Ebosele for Ciaran Brennan (’42)
Jack James for Brandon Kavanagh (’46)
Conor Grant for Barry Coffey (’67)
Tyreik Wright for Joe Hodge (’81)
Andrew Omobamidele for Matt Everitt (’81)

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