Home Football Ireland U21’s Show Promise But Fall To Impressive Brazil In Toulon Semis

Ireland U21’s Show Promise But Fall To Impressive Brazil In Toulon Semis

Ireland’s U21s will have to settle for a third/fourth place playoffs at the 2019 Toulon Tournament after they were defeated by an impressive Brazilian side in the semi-finals by 2-0.

Brazil’s U22s had been the standout team of this year’s tournament scoring 13 goals and conceding none as they blitzed through their group to reach the semi-finals.

Kenny’s side found themselves up against it early and conceded a penalty after just four minutes as former Liverpool defender Conor Masterson brought down the lively Matheus Cunha in the area.

Manchester City’s Douglas Luiz stepped up, but his effort was poor and went wide of Caoimhin Kelleher’s post as Ireland were let off the hook.

The Brazilians continued to look impressive in the opening exchanges and took a deserved lead after 15 minutes when Matheus Cunha found Paulinho who finished nicely from the edge of the area for his third goal of the tournament.

Ireland had been excellent themselves in their previous three games and grew into the game as the half wore on with Brighton’s Aaron Connolly looking dangerous for the Boys in Green.

They had a wonderful chance to grab an equaliser just before half time as the ball fell to Connor Ronan on the edge of the box but he just couldn’t keep his strike down.

There were plenty of positives to take from the first 45, but Ireland found themselves with a massive mountain to climb in the 47th minute as Cunha wrongfooted Kelleher to grab Brazil’s second of the game.

Ireland continued to battle as their opponents dominated possession and the bulk of the chances with Simon Power and Jack Taylor both being introduced by Kenny in an attempt to get back into the game.

Brazilian goalkeeper Ivan had yet to be beaten in this year’s tournament but he was tested well by the industrious Connolly whose 75th-minute effort stung the stoppers’ palms from just outside the area.

Aaron Drinan and Josh Barrett were introduced with 10 minutes to go but they could do little to change the result as Brazil booked their place in the final against Japan.

For Ireland, it may have been a defeat but it was another promising performance given the quality of this Brazilian side who had won all of their previous games by at least four goals.

The Boys in Green now face a third/fourth-placed playoff against Mexico on Saturday.

About 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 oisin@punditarena.com