Qualification now out of Irish U19 hands

Late goal seals Turkish victory at Tallaght


The Euro Under-19 finals destiny is out of Republic of Ireland hands following a late reverse to Turkey in Tallaght Stadium last night.

Defeat for Paul Doolin’s side leaves them needing to beat holders Serbia in Monday’s final elite qualification group to have any chance of reaching the finals in July.

Even that won’t suffice to the top of the pool unless Iceland – hammered 6-0 by Serbia yesterday – take something off the Turks.

Ireland created the best chance of the opening half when Ryan Goldsmith’s 14th-minute free-kick found Seán Long, whose header smacked the inside of the post and rebounded into the hands of goalkeeper Gokhan Akkan.


Enes Unal, who turned 17 just three weeks ago, remained the Turks’ most potent threat in the second half.

Ireland goalkeeper Eric Grimes had to be at his best three minutes after the turnaround to thwart the Bursaspor forward from point-blank range after he'd burst into the box.

There would be no mistake by Unal as he put Turkey ahead from a 25-yard free-kick on 50 minutes. His delightful effort arced over Grimes and into the top left corner of the net.

That concession certainly awoke Ireland, as Byrne flashed a volley wide from eight yards just past the hour mark.

Dylan Connolly’s pace on the right began to trouble the Turks and a rash challenge by Sevki Cinar on the Shelbourne man 20 minutes from the end earned the Irish a penalty.

Up stepped the hosts' best player on the night, Alan Browne, to convert the spot kick 20 minutes from time

A breakaway eight minutes later from Ireland almost gained them the lead but Byrne’s drive clipped defender Ozgur Ozdemir and deflected wide.

That chance wasted, Ireland then conceded a second from an 81st-minute corner. They failed to deal with Demirci's deliveryand conceded a second goal in the 81st minute goalas Ibrahim Aydin converted a free header from six yards out . IRELAND: Grimes (Leeds), Long (Reading), McFadden (Norwich City), Mosley (Birmingham City); Browne (Preston NE), Mulroney (St Patrick's Athletic); Connolly (Shelbourne), Kelly (Reading), Goldsmith (Cobh Ramblers); Byrne (Manchester United). Subs: Crowe (UCD) for Mulroney (46 mins), O'Hanlon (Liverpool) for Kelly (57 mins), O'Sullivan (Aberdeen) for Goldsmith (83 mins).