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Sunday 22 October 2017

Idah spot on to revive Irish U17s' European hopes

Ireland 2 Bosnia-Herzegovina 1

Adam Idah’s converted penalty gave Ireland a crucial win over Bosnia-Herzegovina. Photo: SPORTSFILE
Adam Idah’s converted penalty gave Ireland a crucial win over Bosnia-Herzegovina. Photo: SPORTSFILE

Adam Idah's penalty winner against Bosnia-Herzegovina has revived Ireland's ambitions of reaching the knockout stages of the Under-17 European Championships.

Defeat to Serbia in Thursday's opener left Colin O'Brien's side needing victory in Kostrena yesterday and they duly delivered thanks to first-half goals by Rowan Roache and Cork native Idah.

Bosnia had cancelled out Roache's opener before Idah smashed home a penalty on 29 minutes which proved to be the winner. With Germany beating Serbia 3-1 in the other Group C game played yesterday, it means Ireland will seal a place in the quarter-finals if they better Serbia's result in Wednesday's concluding pair of matches.

It seems likely the Boys in Green will need to at least get a point off Germany, as Serbia face a Bosnian outfit already beaten in both of their fixtures. One of both of the qualifiers from the pool could, however, be decided by goal difference depending on the outcome of the two fixtures.

O'Brien was understandably delighted with how his side bounced back.

"Great game to win. I thought we started the game very well today and took the first goal very well. I felt we dominated for long periods of that first half but we let them back into it with a silly free kick that allowed them to get the ball into the box," he said.

"We came back at them again and deserved the penalty. Second half was a scrappy, very physical game, which tested our defensive principles and organisation to the limit."

"The players have been excellent since the Serbia game. They spoke well at our team meetings and have trained very well."

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