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Dublin: 16 °C Sunday 22 September, 2019
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Welcome along, folks. It’s a huge afternoon out in Armenia for the Republic of Ireland U19s, as they face defending champions Portugal with a place in a European Championship final up for grabs.

Kick-off at Banants Stadium is at 3pm Irish time, so stick with us here and we’ll keep you up-to-date on all the major moments throughout the game.

The prize is a place in Saturday’s final, where the winners of this evening’s second semi-final between Spain and France will await.

Ireland manager Tom Mohan has been forced to make two changes to his team. With midfielder Lee O’Connor and striker Jonathan Afolabi both suspended, Ciaran Brennan and Barry Coffey — who scored the winner against Czech Republic on Sunday — have been drafted in.

St Patrick’s Athletic goalkeeper Brian Maher takes the captain’s armband from O’Connor.

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:

George McMahon (Burnley), Niall Morahan (Sligo Rovers), Tyreik Wright (Aston Villa), Andrew Omobamidele (Norwich City), Jack James (Unattached), Conor Grant (Sheffield Wednesday), Festy Ebosele (Derby County).

Strong representation from Benfica and Porto in the Portuguese starting line-up:

Celton Biai (Benfica); Costinha (Rio Ave), Gonçalo Cardoso (Boavista), Gonçalo Loureiro (Benfica), Tomás Tavares (Benfica); Diogo Capitão (Benfica), Vitor Ferreira (Porto); Félix Correia (Manchester City), Fábio Vieira (Porto), João Mário (Porto); Gonçalo Ramos (Benfica).

Portugal come into this game having topped Group A courtesy of wins against Italy (3-0) and Armenia (4-0). They also played out a draw (1-1) against Spain.

Ireland finished second in Group B after drawing with Norway (1-1), losing to France (0-1) and defeating Czech Republic (2-1).

KICK-OFF

In the 37-degree heat of Yerevan, the game is underway.

IRELAND 0-0 PORTUGAL

2 – Vieira chips one over the top but Maher collects comfortably.

IRELAND 0-0 PORTUGAL

5 – Portugal owning the ball so far but without threatening. 

Having played in a wide role thus far, Ali Reghba is operating as a central striker today.

IRELAND 0-0 PORTUGAL

6 – Ledwidge sends a free-kick long in search of Reghba, only for the ball to run out of play.

 

IRELAND 0-0 PORTUGAL

7 – Correia sends a dangerous low ball into the box from the right, which Maher smothers.

 

IRELAND 0-0 PORTUGAL 

9 – While Portugal have yet to create a decent chance, Ireland are already being worked hard in defence.

IRELAND 0-0 PORTUGAL

12 – Danger for Ireland as Correia’s trickery on the left allows him to send in a cross, which is headed over by Ramos.

IRELAND 0-0 PORTUGAL

13 – A rare jaunt forward for Ireland sees Ledwidge send in a low cross from the left, but it’s hooked clear by the Portuguese defence.

 

IRELAND 0-0 PORTUGAL

16 – The ease with which Portugal can retain possession is impressive to watch, it has to be said. Very patient build-up play. Ireland frustrating them so far, though.

IRELAND 0-0 PORTUGAL

16 – The teams are now having their first cooling break. 

IRELAND 0-0 PORTUGAL

18 – And we’re back.

IRELAND 0-0 PORTUGAL

20 – A thankless task up front for Ali Reghba so far. He’s fairly isolated as the rest of his team-mates are sitting deep in an effort to contain Portugal.

IRELAND 0-0 PORTUGAL

21 – Sniff of a chance for Reghba amid some confusion between the Portuguese goalkeeper and defence, but they manage to recover.

IRELAND 0-0 PORTUGAL

22 – Close! Joao Mario sees a shot blocked by McGuinness. Vieira then follows up and drills his attempt narrowly wide.

IRELAND 0-0 PORTUGAL

25 – Clever play from Kavanagh on the left but he’s crowded out before he can create an opening.

IRELAND 0-0 PORTUGAL

26 – Nice link-up play from Portugal creates an opportunity for Vieira on the edge of the box, which he hits rather tamely at Maher.

 

IRELAND 0-0 PORTUGAL

27 – Still early days but you’d imagine Tom Mohan will be quite satisfied so far. Portugal have dominated and Ireland have had very little possession in the final third, yet they’ve worked hard in defence to minimise openings for the opposition in front of goal.

 

IRELAND 0-0 PORTUGAL

29 – Everitt unhappy as he felt Ireland should have had a corner, but the referee saw it differently.

 

IRELAND 0-0 PORTUGAL

30 – Penalty for Portugal!

 

IRELAND 0-0 PORTUGAL

30 – Joao Mario goes down after being clipped by Joe Hodge.

IRELAND 0-1 PORTUGAL

31 – Portugal have the lead just after the half-hour mark. Disappointment for Ireland as captain Vitor Ferreira sends Maher the wrong way.

 

IRELAND 0-1 PORTUGAL

33 – Joao Mario attacking from the right again but Ledwidge does well to intervene and the ball drifts out of play.

IRELAND 0-1 PORTUGAL

34 – Close TWICE for Ireland! Reghba does brilliantly and forces the goalkeeper to parry his shot. It falls to Coffey who’s denied by a brilliant clearance off the line by Costinha.

Moments later, Ledwidge cuts the ball back from the left for McGuinness, whose shot strikes the crossbar.

 

IRELAND 0-1 PORTUGAL

35 – Another cooling break now but that’s a brilliant response from Ireland and shows that Portugal are definitely susceptible to being opened up.

 

IRELAND 0-1 PORTUGAL

37 – The game has resumed.

 

IRELAND 0-1 PORTUGAL

39 – Ireland have their tails up now after those chances. They’re finally enjoying more possession where it matters.

IRELAND 0-1 PORTUGAL

41 – Reghba does well to earn Ireland a corner. Hodge’s delivery finds McEntee, who’s unable to keep his header down.

 

IRELAND 0-1 PORTUGAL

42 – Ciaran Brennan has picked up a knock and is forced off. Derby County’s Festy Ebosele comes on.

 

IRELAND 0-1 PORTUGAL

44 – Ramos finds the ball at his feet just outside the box, but his shot is easily saved by Maher.

 

IRELAND 0-1 PORTUGAL

45 – Superb stuff again by the hard-working Reghba. He sends the ball in from the right in search of Coffey but Portugal clear the danger.

 

IRELAND 0-1 PORTUGAL

45 – Eight minutes being added on at the end of the first half, four of which are to cover the two cooling breaks.

 

IRELAND 0-2 PORTUGAL

45 + 2 – Disaster for Ireland as half-time approaches. A cross from the left clips the crossbar and falls kindly for Ramos, who heads home to double Portugal’s lead. 

 

IRELAND 0-2 PORTUGAL

45 + 6 – More danger for Ireland as Correia’s cross finds the head of Ramos, but he’s denied by a good save from Maher.

 

 

It’ll be a tall order for Ireland but can they get back into this game? We’ll be back shortly for the second half. 

IRELAND 0-2 PORTUGAL

46 – The second half is underway at Banants Stadium. Jack James is on for Ireland in place of Brandon Kavanagh.

IRELAND 0-2 PORTUGAL

48 – Maher saves a flicked effort from Ramos, who got his foot to Correia’s delivery from the left.

 

IRELAND 0-2 PORTUGAL

50 – Ireland having plenty of possession around the middle third. Portugal have been happy to sit back more with the comfort of a two-goal cushion.

 

IRELAND 0-2 PORTUGAL

52 – Free-kick wide on the right for Portugal following a foul by Ledwidge on Joao Mario. Vieira swings it in but his delivery is too heavy. 

 

IRELAND 0-2 PORTUGAL

55 – Another mix-up between Cardoso and goalkeeper Celton Biai almost results in an own goal, but Portugal breathe a sigh of relief!

IRELAND 0-3 PORTUGAL

59 – Hodge gives the ball away in midfield which allows Portugal to break. Joao Mario then cuts the ball back from the right for Ramos, whose emphatic finish leaves Maher with no chance.

There’s surely no way back for Tom Mohan’s side now.

 

IRELAND 0-3 PORTUGAL

61 – It’s time for another cooling break.

 

IRELAND 0-3 PORTUGAL

63 – Disappointing for Ireland to be effectively out of the running for a place in the final, but being classed as one of the top four teams in Europe — particularly in the context of so many key absentees — is still a very fine achievement.

IRELAND 0-3 PORTUGAL

64 – The action has resumed after that short breather.

 

IRELAND 0-3 PORTUGAL

67 – Conor Grant comes on for Ireland to replace Barry Coffey.

IRELAND 0-3 PORTUGAL

69 – Double substitution for Portugal sees Samuel Costa and Tiago Guivea replace Vitor Ferreira and Joao Mario. 

IRELAND 0-3 PORTUGAL

71 – Great run forward by Ledwidge but Loureiro makes an important intervention at the back for Portugal.

IRELAND 0-3 PORTUGAL

75 – Lyons goes down in the box under a challenge from a Portugal defender, who — in fairness — won the ball.

 

IRELAND 0-3 PORTUGAL

76 – Another couple of substitutions for Portugal, who bring in Rodrigo Fernandes and Daniel Silva for Fabio Vieira and Felix Correia.

IRELAND 0-3 PORTUGAL

78 – The players are now having their final cooling break with 12 minutes of normal time remaining. With the comfort of a three-goal lead, Portugal have taken the sting out of the game in the second half which has been a very uneventful affair in comparison to its predecessor.

 

IRELAND 0-3 PORTUGAL

80 – Levi Faustino replaces Gonçalo Loureiro for Portugal. Double substitution for Ireland sees Tyreik Wright and Andrew Omabamidele introduced in place of Joe Hodge and Matt Everitt.

IRELAND 0-3 PORTUGAL

83 – Ireland free-kick from the left is sent into the box but no one is able to get a touch on it.

 

IRELAND 0-3 PORTUGAL

84 – Ireland’s Festy Ebosele is booked for a late challenge on Daniel Silva.

 

IRELAND 0-3 PORTUGAL

89 – An Ireland attack culminates in a cross from Ledwidge which is gathered by goalkeeper Biai.

 

 

IRELAND 0-3 PORTUGAL

90 – Free-kick for Ireland in a decent possession after a heavy challenge on McEntee by Costa. 

 

IRELAND 0-3 PORTUGAL

90 – Superb strike from Ledwidge is pushed over the crossbar by Biai.

Seven minutes of additional time being played, by the way.

 

IRELAND 0-3 PORTUGAL

90 + 2 – The corner is sent in but it’s gathered by Biai.

 

IRELAND 0-3 PORTUGAL

90 + 5 – Ledwidge drills a low cross in from the left, which Wright is unable to reach.

IRELAND 0-4 PORTUGAL

90 + 6 – Ramos seals the win for Portugal by completing his hat-trick. He found space in the box before drilling the ball home from close range.

A harsh scoreline for Ireland to go out on, but they’ve been beaten by a very, very good team.

 

About the author:

Paul Dollery

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