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Late drama as Ireland's Group A rivals open U17 Euros at Tolka Park

A stoppage-time equaliser from Thibo Baeten earned Belgium a draw against Czech Republic.

Czech Republic's Josef Koželuh under pressure from Rob Nizet of Belgium.
Czech Republic's Josef Koželuh under pressure from Rob Nizet of Belgium.
Image: Uefa.com

Updated May 3rd 2019, 7:22 PM

CZECH REPUBLIC AND Belgium shared the spoils in the opening game of the 2019 U17 European Championships, which are being held in Ireland.

The two sides — who occupy Group A alongside the Republic of Ireland and Greece — played out a 1-1 draw this afternoon at Tolka Park.

After a scoreless first half at the home of Shelbourne FC, the Czechs hit the front on 53 minutes thanks to an own goal from Ibe Hautikiet.

Belgium’s hopes of salvaging something from the game were rocked in the 86th minute when Francois Xavier Engolo was dismissed after being shown a second yellow card.

However, 89th-minute substitute Thibo Baeten was the Belgian hero. In the fifth minute of additional time, the Club Brugge striker equalised to earn a draw for his team.

Belgium’s next assignment is a meeting with Greece at Longford’s City Calling Stadium on Monday. On the same day, Czech Republic will face Ireland at the RSC in Waterford. 

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Paul Dollery

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