Ireland U21s Reach Toulon Semi-Final With Tidy Win Over Bahrain

Ireland secured their place in the semi-finals of the Toulon Tournament after Connor Ronan’s goal gave them a narrow 1-0 win over Bahrain.

Stephen Kenny’s side were going into this game knowing a win would send them to the semi-finals for the first time in their seven Toulon appearances but despite losing to China in midweek their opponents Bahrain proved tricky opposition.

Ireland began to get into their usual flow and even after losing Zak Elbouzedi through injury the Boys in Green started to step up a level and opened the scoring in the 30th minute after Connor Ronan’s free-kick was deflected past the Bahrainian goalkeeper.

That seemed to spring Ireland into life and just five minutes later captain Jayson Molumby had the chance to give his side a two-goal cushion but the Brighton man’s penalty was saved as Josh Barrett fired the rebound wide.

At the start of the second half Kenny brought Conor Coventry on for Jason Knight in a bid to gain more control in midfield but the game became stop-start with neither side able to gain any sustained control.

Midway through the second 45 Bahrain began to grow in belief and arguably should’ve found the equaliser but they were denied by a smart save inside the box from Champions League winner Caoimhin Kelleher.

Photo Credit – FAI on Twitter

Kenny made his final two changes bringing Norwich’s Simon Power and Barnet’s Jack Taylor as the Boys in Green searched for a second goal which would surely seal the win and passage into the tournament’s last four.

Ireland held on to the single goal advantage and booked their place in the semi-finals with either Japan or Brazil awaiting them.

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Author: Oisin McQueirns

Oisin McQueirns is a digital journalist at Pundit Arena. Massive fan of Leeds United, Ric Flair and Trusting The Process. Contact him here