UEFA U17 European Championships Report: Republic of Ireland 1 - 1 Czech Republic

Mon, May 06 2019

Dylan O’Connell reports from the RSC

A late late equaliser from Andrew Omobamidele earned the Republic of Ireland a draw against the Czech Republic at the RSC on Monday evening. After last week’s 1-1 draw against Greece, Ireland’s hopes of qualifying for the knock out stages of the UEFA Under 17 Championship will go down to the wire in Group A. 

From the earlier of moments, the theme of the night became clear, as both midfield pairings fought for control with  Seamus Keogh and Joe Hodge battling it out with Lukáš Hronik and  Tomáš Hájek. 

This was to set the tone for much of the first half, as both teams remained organised and limited space to their opponents.

Czech Republic were forced wide, as Vojtêch Wotjatschke dogged the left wing on top of Sean McEvoy who, with the added support of Festy Ebosele, easily swept away the danger and prevented little beyond half chances for the visitors. 

Ireland’s attack grew into the game after a defensive opening. Ireland’s first meaningful attempt came from a free kick by Conor Canty. On the right hand side and 25 yards out, it was always going to be an ask for the Wolverhampton Wanderers striker, and the resulting shot deflecting off the wall. 

The visitors had the best of the chances that did arise, as a David Pech chipped it on for Adam Toula to volley it towards goal, but it fly over by centimetres.

However Ireland soon broke as the Czech’s regrouped, creating room for Matt Everitt to run into space. Free on the left wing, the Brighton and Hove Albion forward cut inside to face goal, but the end product was weak and his shot landed safely into the hands of Adam Stejskal. 

The second half saw a change in focus, as Ireland retreated back against a possessive Czech Republic. However after two corners from the visitors just before the hour mark Ireland almost had a clean break as Charlie McCann thundered through with Festy Ebosele in support.

For as good as the run was, the ball ran on ever so slightly and Charlie McCann was left frustrated as Stejskal picked it up. 

The breakthrough game in the 63rdminute, as substitute Václav Sejk met a deflected ball off of Andrew Omobamidele inside of the Irish neatly area, to knock it past Gavin Bazunu and give the Czech’s a 1-0 lead. 

The Boys in Green responded well as a corner from Ebosel met Andrew Omobamidele who nodded it on for Brandon Holt at the face of goal. Unfortunately, his bicycle kick attempt was in vain with the Czech line outwitting an attempt for the spectacular.

It was a similar circumstance moments later as Everitt dribbled into the area, but Petr Kurka and Štêpán Stary choked any space and the ball fell out for a goal kick. 

It was all green in the closing moments as Ireland pushed for an equaliser. Sean Kennedy was unlucky after coming on, as a corner ball by James Furlong narrowly was narrowly pushed away by Tomáš Hájek.

With breath held, the breakthrough came two minute’s from time for the Boys in Green as an unmarked Andrew Omobamidele ran onto a corner from Furlong to shoot across the face of goal and make it 1-1. To a roaring RSC, Ireland rejoiced as they finally forced their way through the tightest of lines.

A controversial red card for Ebosele from a shoulder on Jan Hellenbrand, saw the Irish finish the game with 10 men. The second yellow card seemed very harsh. This did not anger a disciplined Ireland, who only continued to cause problems for the visitors.

Long balls from Sean Kennedy only saw rash clearances by Adam Stejskal, but a late Czech surge proved in vain as the referee’s whistle halted any meaningful attack. 

Everything is left to play for in Group A, as the Irish need a win against Belgium, and a possible draw between the Czech Republic and Belgium for the Boys in Green to make the quarter finals and a possible qualification for the World Cup in June. 

Republic of Ireland: Gavin Bazunu; James Furlong, Anselmo Garcia McNulty, Andrew Omobamidele, Sean McEvoy, Seamus Keogh (Brandon Holt 67), Joe Hodge, Festy Ebosele, Charlie McCann Sean Kennedy 63), Matt Everitt, Conor Carty (Joshua Giurgi 74). 

Subs not used: Jimmy Corcoran, Harry Halwax, Timi Sobowale, Luke Turner, Ronan McKinley, Roland Idowu. 

Booked: Conor Carty (67) Festy Ebosele (52 and 94). 

Sent off: Festy Ebosele (94).

Czech Republic: Adam Stejskal; Josef Ko?eluh, Štêpán Stary, Jan Hellenbrand, Petr Kurka, Lukáš Hronik, Tomáš Hájek,  David Pech, Adam Ritter (Filip Gedeon 63’), Vojtêch Wotjatschke (Filip ?ihart 63’)l, Adam Toula (Václav Sejk 62).  

Subs not used: Lukáš Horni?ek, Jáchym Šip, Petr Nová?ek, František, Matys, Samuel Šimek, Martin Šimek.

Booked: Petr Kurka (46). Vojtêch Wotjatschke (81).

Referee: Rade Obrenovic. 

Attendance: 2,613

Extratime.ie Man of the Match: Andrew Omobamidele.