herald

Wednesday 7 December 2016

Irish U18s blown off course by 'very aggressive' Czechs

Ireland 1-3 Czech Republic

Liam Brady, Republic of Ireland, younger brother of Republic of Ireland senior international Robbie Brady, in action against Patrik Haitl, Czech Republic
Liam Brady, Republic of Ireland, younger brother of Republic of Ireland senior international Robbie Brady, in action against Patrik Haitl, Czech Republic

The Republic of Ireland U18 side went down 3-1 in a friendly to the Czech Republic at Home Farm FC's Whitehall ground yesterday afternoon.

Paul Doolin's side had won 4-0 when the sides met on Saturday but the wind and rain led to a scrappy affair and the visitors were more clinical.

The Czechs started well with Patrik Haitl forcing a top save from Irish 'keeper Corey Chambers in the fifth minute.

Libor Holík also drew an impressive stop from Chambers in the 15th minute before Leo Donnellan had Ireland's first decent effort with a long range strike that Jan Plachy did well to push wide.

Haitl hit the base of an Irish upright with a powerful effort in the 22nd minute and six minute later Ondrej Sasinka opened the scoring with a brilliant curled effort from 20 metres out.

Ireland levelled in the 33rd minute when Liam Brady, brother of Irish senior star Robbie, fired home from a penalty kick after Kyle Finn had been fouled following up a Jamie Aherne effort which was parried by the keeper.

Two minutes into the second half Haitl hit the post again with a close range effort after Chambers had saved his initial effort.

The Czechs went ahead in the 55th minute when sub Dominik Breda turned the ball home from close range after connecting with a low delivery from the right.

James Doona had a chance to level matters two minutes later but Plachy got down well to save.

Chambers made another good stop to keep out a Breda effort with his feet in the 61st minute and two minutes later Trevor Clarke had a powerful strike from an angled effort pushed around the post by the keeper.

The scoring was competed in the 64th minute when the Czechs broke from an Irish corner and Inter Milan striker Dominik Smékal slotted past the advancing Chambers.

"It was a different game then Saturday and the wind had a big influence," said manager Doolin afterwards.

"The Czechs probably deserved to win it but we had enough chances to maybe get a draw. They were very aggressive from the start and a foul on Shane Hanney very early on probably set the down. It should have been a red card to be honest."

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