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Dublin: 6 °C Friday 14 December, 2018

Watch: Man United starlet helps Ireland's youngsters qualify for Euros Elite Round

Lee O’Connor was on target, as the Boys in Green defeated Serbia.

Lee O'Connor (file pic).
Lee O'Connor (file pic).
Image: EMPICS Sport

MAN UNITED YOUNGSTER Lee O’Connor was on target, as Ireland U19s beat Serbia 2-1 at Waterford RSC this afternoon.

The result means the Boys in Green have qualified for the European Championship Elite Round, after topping their group by securing seven points out of a possible nine.

The visitors went ahead on 29 minutes, as Luka Ilic’s well-executed free kick beat Irish goalkeeper Mark Travers.

Tom Mohan’s side equalised on the hour mark, however, as O’Connor headed home.

The Man United youngster was involved again on 70 minutes, as UCD’s Neil Farrugia latched on to his knockdown to score the winner from close range.

Meanwhile, both sides finished the game with 10 men after Shamrock Rovers youngster Aaron Bolger and Serbia goalkeeper Aleksandar Popovic were sent off in the dying seconds.

“Serbia are always a top side in underage European football,” Mohan said afterwards. “For our boys to go 1-0 down and come back show the spirit and the character in the group. We dominated the second half, our boys dug in, kept the ball well and converted our chances when we created them. We’re very pleased.

“There is great ability in the group. We are producing good players, no matter what anybody says, and there are plenty of positives to take from the campaign.

“Although we didn’t score in the first game we probably created more chances than any other game. The Cyprus game gave us a massive boost when we needed it and that set us up nicely for today. We are number 1 seeds going into the Elite Round draw and that is hugely positive.”

There was good news today as well for the Ireland U17s, as they defeated Azerbaijan 6-0 in their Uefa European Championship Qualifying Round match, with Norwich’s Adam Idah claiming a hat-trick amid a one-sided rout.

Sean Brennan, Max Murphy and Tyriek Wright were also on the scoresheet for Colin O’Brien’s side.

Ireland: Travers (GK), Carroll, Wilson, O’Shea, T. O’Connor, L. O’Connor, Molumby ©, McKenna, Bolger, Afolabi, Farrugia.

Substitutes: Maher (GK), Flanagan, Obafemi, Doherty, Martin.

Red Card: Aaron Bolger (94′)

Serbia: Popovic (GK), Vlalukin, Terzic, Kojic (Zivkovic 82), Vaselinovic, Bosnjak ©, Stanojev (Jovanovic 74), Petrovic, Joveljic, Iiic, Jovanovic (Nikolic 65).

Red Card: Aleksandar Popovic (94′)

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Paul Fennessy

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