Finland 0 Republic of Ireland 1
Jayson Molumby's sublime winner against Finland today pushed Ireland halfway towards the next stage of the Uefa Under-17 European Championship qualification series.
The Waterford native, who joined Brighton and Hove Albion in the summer, struck the solitary goal of the opening first phase qualifier with a delightful left-footed curler into the top right corner of the net from 20 yards.
By winning their first of three games in the pool, Tom Mohan’s Boys in Green can secure a top-two finish and a place in the elite phase on Saturday if they overcome Malta, hammered 5-1 by Sweden in yesterday’s other game.
Ireland were much the better side in Helsinki, with goalkeeper Mark Travers untested in the second half as the limited hosts struggled to mount a comeback.
With Stephen Mallon, the latest Northern Ireland teen to defect to the Republic, impressive in attack on his debut, Ireland created a number of chances to settle the tie.
Late on, substitute Glen McAuley almost added a second but the Liverpool striker’s audacious lob from 40 yards veered narrowly wide.
REP OF IRELAND: M Travers (Shamrock Rovers); C Carroll (Oxford Utd), D Rice (West Ham Utd), J Finnerty (Aston Villa), T Wilson (Manchester City); J Molumby (Brighton), L Browning-Lagerfeldt (IF Brommaopojk), D McKenna (Wolves), L O'Connor (Villa, Waterford); S Mallon (Sheffield Utd); M Cregan (Stevenage). Subs: G McAuley (Liverpool) for Cregan (51 mins), K Flanagan (C Palace) for Browning-Lagerfeldt (82 mins).