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Irish U19s finish successful Euro qualifiers with impressive win against Russia

Tom Mohan’s side head to this summer’s tournament in Armenia with a perfect record.

File photo of Irish U19s manager, Tom Mohan.
File photo of Irish U19s manager, Tom Mohan.
Image: James Crombie/INPHO

TOM MOHAN’S IRISH U19s today completed an outstanding European Championships elite round qualifying campaign with a 2-0 win against Russia in Krasnodar today. 

Ireland became the first team to qualify for this summer’s tournament in Armenia with a 3-1 win over Azerbaijan on Saturday, with that result along with Russia’s 0-0 draw with Romania propelling them to a first tournament appearance at this level since 2011. 

Mohan rotated heavily for this afternoon’s game, with only two players – Oisin McEntee and Luca Connell – keeping their places from Saturday’s game, but Ireland made light of the changes and led 1-0 at the break thanks to Mark McGuinness’ goal on the stroke of half-time. 

Ireland then doubled their lead in the second-half through Bohemians’ striker Ali Reghba. 

The win caps a perfect qualifying campaign for Ireland in which they won six games out of six; the only side in the competition to do so. 

Having beaten Bosnia, the Faroe Islands, and Holland in the first qualifying phase, Mohan’s side have this week beaten Romania, Azerbaijan, and Russia on an aggregate score of 10-1. 

That’s an achievement made all the more impressive given a host of their stalwarts from the first phase were instead involved with Stephen Kenny’s U21 squad this week, including Adam Idah, Conor Coventry, and Lee O’Connor.

Troy Parrott, meanwhile, was called up by Kenny but missed out with a toe injury. 

Ireland’s last championship appearance at this level saw a side featuring Matt Doherty, Jeff Hendrick, and John Egan made it all the way to the semi-finals before losing to eventual champions Spain.

The date of the draw had yet to be finalised by Uefa, but the tournament will begin on 14 July. 

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Gavin Cooney

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