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Neil
20/03/2002, 11:42 PM
European Championship, Under-19 play-off, 1st leg

YOU just canít keep a good man down Ė only days after the Irish Under 17ís crashed out of the European Championships, Brian Kerr bounced back to engineer a famous last gasp victory over Holland in Rotterdam.

Sean Thornton, the key man for Ireland throughout the game, came up trumps with a 90th minute winner, much to the delight of his manager.

Now, the Irish teenagers are within touching distance of a place in the finals and need only draw at Turnerís Cross in three weeks time to make it through to Norway in the summer.

Kerr chose his tactics and players perfectly for the occasion and given that Holland were widely tipped as the potential winners of the tournament after dumping France out in their qualifying group, the two away goals Ireland carry into the next leg are precious indeed.

Thoroughly deserved they were too. The Irish lads imposed themselves on Holland from early in the match, no doubt dragging at least some of the glow created by the senior team at Lansdowne Road last year with them.

Pressing hard, they had their first chance with just over ten minutes on the clock Ė an opportunistic interception and shot from Conor Gethins which fizzed wide after a mistake by Dutch goalkeeper Erwin Friebel

The Dutch bounced back and caused some panic in the Irish defence when de Jong fired in a cross which ricocheted off Adrian Deane and was tipped away by Brian Murphy.

Thornton had a couple of half-chances and Gethins likewise but the game never really took off and Kerr was probably pleased enough with half-time score.

The Dutch hit the crossbar in the 66th minute, reward for a spell of pressure in the form of a Nicky Hofs corner which Joos Hooiveld headed against the woodwork.

But that appeared to wake the Irish up and Stephen Elliott, only on the pitch less than a minute for Gethins, made the break through eight minutes later.

Thornton was in the middle of the action for most of the match but most tellingly when he went head to head with Freibel after a through ball from Deane. The ball bounced free and Elliot had simply to remain calm and slot the ball home for the lead goal.

That left the game poised for a grandstand final ten minutes but when it looked like Kerr would be abale to retreat back to home turf with a draw and an away goal.

But then came Thorntonís winner, a snap 25 yard volley which caught Freibel in no manís land and was the perfect reward for a tireless display by the Tranmere midfielder, kicking off noisy celebrations on the Irish bench.

Roll on Turnerís Cross.

[soccercentral.ie]

A face
21/03/2002, 2:11 AM
When was that written Neil or does it say.

Neil
21/03/2002, 9:50 AM
The game was played yesterday. The return leg is in the Box on 10th April.

…anna
21/03/2002, 2:34 PM
any idea of the teams. Any Irish based players in the team- chr!st, its sickening to have to ask that about the U-19s, isn't it! :rolleyes:

pete
21/03/2002, 2:52 PM
From what I remember of the squad last week I don't think there was even 1 player based in Ireland on the squad.

Neil
21/03/2002, 4:43 PM
REPUBLIC OF IRELAND
Murphy (Man C);
Kelly (Spurs),
McCarthy (Man C),
Paisley (Man C),
Capper (Sunderland);
Thornton (Tranmere),
Whelan (Man C),
Ward (Wolves);
Gethins (Ross Co, (Elliot 74),
Daly (Stockport),
Deane (Charlton, (Simpemba 90)

…anna
22/03/2002, 1:37 PM
Paisley for Ireland :D

Pablo
22/03/2002, 3:09 PM
should be a full house at the X for that 2nd leg......

…anna
23/03/2002, 2:00 PM
yeah fingers crossed. If only there was a city player or two in there. :rolleyes:

Colm
26/03/2002, 1:50 PM
As far as I know, Colin P. O'Brien was in the u-19 squad for that tournament that was on in Cork a few months back.

pete
26/03/2002, 3:04 PM
Originally posted by COLM
As far as I know, Colin P. O'Brien was in the u-19 squad for that tournament that was on in Cork a few months back.


Yes that is true. However he was not part of the squad that travelled to Holland so very unlikely he make the home leg except for maybe "training" with the squad..