Ireland Under-19s comfortably beaten by physical Sweden

Tom Mohan’s side brought back to earth with a bang after opening win over Italy

Sweden Under-19s 3 Ireland Under-19s 0

Ireland Under-19s suffered a disappointing 3-0 loss to Sweden in their second game in the Uefa Elite Qualifying Round in Freethiel, Belgium, this afternoon.

Tom Mohan’s side went into the fixture on a high after their 2-0 win over Italy in the opening round of games but had their momentum halted by the physical Swedes, who had lost to the hosts Belgium on day one.

With the Belgians drawing 1-1 with Italy today the Irish can still progress to the finals as group winners with a win over Belgium on Tuesday providing the Swedes fail to beat Italy on the same day.

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Sweden took the lead in the 25th minute when Svante Ingelsson found the net after a Swedish break led to the midfielder drilling home across the face of the Irish goal.

Corey O’Keefe had an effort just off target five minutes later and the Irish had a period of control without fully threatening an equaliser before the break.

The Irish suffered a blow when Canice Carroll was penalised for a challenge on Mattias Svanberg at the edge of the box in the 52th minute and Besard Sabovic blasted to the roof of the Irish net from the resulting free-kick.

Alexander Isak extended that lead to three in the 73rd minute after Ireland failed to clear a free-kick.

Ronan Hale had a couple of attempts to pull one back but couldn’t find the target and now the Irish must regroup and focus on the final series of fixtures against the Belgians.

“Sweden were a strong physical side and direct. They’ve a lot of big players. They got the first goal and we were decent enough before half-time but then conceded a free edge of box that they stuck into top corner,” said Mohan.

“Both their goals in second half came at times when we were on top which was frustrating.

“Sweden were very well organised defensively but our boys showed good spirit and kept trying to get back into it. The last two goals were sucker piunches.

“As good as the result against Italy was this is as disappointing It’s going to go down to the last day and we’re still in the hunt.

“A positive is that we finished the game strongly. Maybe our finishing and final ball didn’t go well for us. We will get over this and prepare for the Belgian game and I’m sure there’ll be plenty of twists to come in the group.”

Sweden: Johansson, Beijmo, Degerlund, Kralj (Hadzikadunic 65), Isherwood, Svanberg (Haksabanovic 88), Ingelsson, Jajic, Sabovic, Gyökeres (Isak 65), Lidberg.

Ireland: Kelleher, O'Keeffe, Masterson, Rice, Wilson, Levingston (McKenna 61), Elbouzedi, Molumby, Hale, Mandroiu (Carroll 36), Clarke (Kane 85).

Ireland U-19 results and fixtures:

Uefa U19 Championships Elite Qualifying Round Group 7

Thursday March 23rd 23: Republic of Ireland 2-0 Italy, Hamme (Bel)

Saturday March 25th: Sweden 3-0 Republic of Ireland, Freethiel, Beveren (Bel)

Tuesday March 28th: Belgium v Republic of Ireland, Freethiel, Beveren (Bel)(6.0 Irish time)