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Watch: Ireland U17s outclass Hungary to make Euros quarter-finals

Ireland quarter finals

Ireland U17s make the Euros quarter-finals.

The Ireland under-17s have qualified for the last eight of the Euros after beating hosts Hungary 4-2.

Colin O’Brien’s team were convincing winners with goals coming from St Pat’s duo Luke Kehir (2) and Mason Melia (2).

They can now look forward to a knock-out game this Saturday afternoon, with Spain looking the most likely opponents.

Ireland secure quarter-finals place with Hungary win.

Like the opening game against Poland, Ireland started brightly as Kehir found the back of the net within the first five minutes.

Hungary replied quickly in the 10th minute as Crystal Palace’s Jake Grante turned a cross into his own net, but unlike the 5-1 defeat to Poland, Ireland didn’t let the concession knock their confidence and reclaimed their advantage in the 25th minute through 15-year-old Mason Melia.

Then, still in high spirits from his first, Melia doubled his tally before half-time to make it Ireland 3-1 Hungary. The striker got on the end of an Ike Orazi cross to cap off some slick build up play from the Boys in Green.

The second half continued in similar vein with Ireland’s talented attackers causing stress in the Hungarian defence. The elusive Naj Razi signalled a warning by coming close, and the killer blow came through right-midfielder Kehir who cut inside to rifle a strike into the top left corner.

Ireland seal 4-2 win.

Hungary found a consolation goal in the 71st minute to leave the tie at 4-2, but O’Brien was already making substitutions with one eye on Saturday’s quarter-final at that stage.

Nickson Okosun replaced star striker Melia, and Cork City duo Matthew Moore and Matthew Murray were later introduced to give front-liners Razi and Orazi a well deserved rest. All three substituted players were outstanding and Irish fans should get excited to watch much more of them in the future.

Speaking to reporters after the game, head coach O’Brien explained: “If you look at our metrics in comparison to every other country in Europe and football development, we shouldn’t be here. But we are.

“There is a lot of knowledge in our country and knowledge is power.”

“It’s a great experience for the players and I thought it was a very mature performance. It was a cup game for us basically, and we remained calm under pressure, and some brilliant goals.

“We’re the youngest squad here, I’m so proud of them. Now we go into a cup final and we prepare for that for Saturday.”

Irish football has many fundamental problems, but the underage sides are certainly punching above their weight for now.

Ireland U17s XI: Healy; Babb, Grante, Turley, O’Sullivan; McGrath, Akachukwu; Kehir, Razi, Orazi; Melia

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