Ireland bow out in the semi-finals of under-19 Euros following defeat to Portugal

Wed, Jul 24 2019

None Credit: Robert Goggins (ETPhotos)

The Republic of Ireland fell at the penultimate hurdle of the UEFA European Under-19 Championships as they were comprehensively beaten 4-0 by Portugal.

Benfica striker Goncalo Ramos scored a hat-trick, after captain Vitor Ferreira had given the holders the lead from the penalty spot, to book a final against either France or Spain.

Tom Mohan’s side went into the game without the suspended captain Lee O’Connor and Jonathan Afolabi, goalscorer in the win over the Czech Republic that sealed their last four spot.

And those absences – plus those like Troy Parrott and Nathan Collins whose clubs refused to release them – told as a classy Portugal outfit gradually wore down Ireland’s resistance.

Porto midfielder Ferreira put Portugal in front from the spot just after the half-hour after Joe Hodge let his enthusiasm get the better of him to foul Joao Mario in the box.

Ireland had two big chances to equalise but Barry Coffey saw his shot cleared off the line before Mark McGuinness smashed his shot off the bar.

Disaster struck for the Irish in the second of eight injury-time minutes at the end of the half as Ramos notched his first of the game just as the momentum looked to have turned.

Ferreira stood up a cross towards the back post that just eluded Brian Maher’s reach and Ramos’ run wasn’t tracked, leaving him with a simple finish from a yard out.

Portugal ensured their place in the final with the third, killer, goal just before the hour as Hodge’s pass was cut out in midfield and Ramos got on the end of a swift break to fire past Maher.

And he sealed his hat-trick deep in injury time when he was played through by Daniel Silva and showed Maher the eyes before dragging the ball in at the near post.

Full report to follow...

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