Germany U19 3 Republic of Ireland U19 2
Paul Doolin’s under-19 side suffered a heart-breaking loss to hosts Germany in their Uefa Championships elite qualifying round encounter in Sandhausen on Saturday.
Ireland needed a victory to stay in contention for a place in the finals in Greece this summer and with eight minutes left on the clock they led 2-1. Unfortunately the late concession of two goals handed the three points to the Germans.
Ireland started at a lively pace with St Patrick's Athletic winger Jamie McGrath testing home goalkeeper Marius Funk in the first minute.
Germany knew they needed a win to keep on the tails of group leaders Czech Republic and they threw plenty at Irish goalkeeper Liam Bossin in the first half.
Bossin showed his quality to deny Gianluca Gaudino in the 12th minute, Gianluca Rizzo four minutes later and Max Christiansen in the 23rd minute.
The Irish stopper also denied Nadiem Amiri in the 36th minute and as the first half drew to a close Bossin made comfortable saves to keep out efforts from Lukas Klünter and Boubacar Barry as the sides went in scoreless.
After the break Ireland started to increase the pressure on the German goal and Funk made a save to deny Jack Hallahan in the 52nd minute and from the resulting Ryan Manning corner Jamie Mulhall was denied by a defender's block.
Germany went ahead less than a minute later when Amiri found the net, but Ireland did not take long to get back in the game as Hallahan levelled in the 58th minute.
The drama continued with Funk forced to make another stop to deny Fiacre Kelleher in the 64th minute.
Bossin denied Schalke 04 Champions League starlet Leroy Sané twice, Amiri and Lucas Cueto as the home side piled on the pressure to try and regain the lead.
But it was Ireland who took a shock lead in the 72nd minute when Sheffield United winger Joel Coustrain found the net.
Unfortunately for Doolin’s brave youngsters Cueto turned the ball home following a Devante Parker corner to equalise in the 82nd minute.
In injury-time Bossin denied Amiri again but the winner came in the 92nd minute when defender Jonas Föhrenbach scored to break Irish hearts.
GERMANY: Funk, Klünter, Kijewski (Parker 46), Klostermann, Kehrer (Föhrenbach 20), Amiri, Gaudino, Rizzo, Sané, Christiansen, Barry (Cueto 66).
REPUBLIC OF IRELAND: Bossin, Baba, Kelleher, Grego-Cox (Coustrain 46), Charsley, Manning, McGrath (Stokes 77), Heaney, Cullen, Mulhall, Hallahan (Goldsmith 85).