Tuesday, May 23, 2023

A robust performance from the Republic of Ireland Under 17 Men’s team have put them in with a chance of reaching the knockout stages of the UEFA Euro Under 17 Championship Finals after Colin O’Brien’s side recovered superbly after an opening game loss to Poland in recording an empathic win over Wales.
With Waterford FC duo Jason Healy and Romeo Akachukwu included in O’Brien’s squad for the finals in Hungary, Ireland will have a chance to grab a spot into the quarter-finals should they defeat the tournament hosts this evening (Tuesday) in their final group game.
The Young Boys in Green had a tough opening fixture in the four-team group when they lost out 5-1 to Poland despite getting off to a dream start in that game when they took the lead inside five minutes when Naj Razi turned provider down the right for Ike Orazi, who turned home at the second attempt.
This was as good as it got for Ireland, who had Healy between the sticks, as he had to take the ball out of the net on 13 minutes when Mateuzs Skoczylas curled a shot to the back of the net with Poland striking the bar soon afterwards.
Dominik Szala put the Polish in front shortly before the half-time break when he headed home, and when Skoczylas added a third goal four minutes into the second-half, it left Ireland with a mountain to climb before Karol Borys and Szymon Kadziolka adding further goals before the finish. It was a turnaround on Saturday.
With the top two from the four-nation group progressing to the quarter-finals, Ireland knew that they needed a win in the second game against Wales, and they duly delivered the goods with a rampant 3-0 win over Wales with Waterford’s Romeo Akachukwu scoring a goal of sheer quality.
It was Naj Razi that gave Ireland the lead from a rebounded retaken penalty on 23 minutes before he turned provider for his sides second goal 11 minutes later when he set up Ike Orazi for a brilliant finish to the top right-hand corner from the top of the penalty area.
Akachukwu, who was the only change to the side that lost to Poland, scored a screamer of a third goal just past the hour mark when a brilliant passing move that started with goalkeeper Healy ended up at the feet of the former Ferrybank man 25-yards from goal, who rifled an unstoppable effort to the net.
Victory over Hungary will give Ireland a chance of a spot in the quarterfinals with the game against the hosts to kick-off at 7pm, and it will be live on RTE television.

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