The Republic of Ireland under-17 side took something of a hammering in their final group game at the Under-17 European Championships in Croatia – but were still in the mood to celebrate.
Colin O’Brien’s side were always going into Wednesday’s third group match as the underdogs against a strong Germany side, and with a win and a defeat under their belts in their first two matches, they knew that they would almost certainly be needing Bosnia & Herzegovina to do them a favour against Serbia in the other match.
A tough task became even tougher after just eight minutes when RB Leipzig youngster Elias Abouchabaka put Germany up after just eight minutes, followed on the fifteen-minute mark by the first of what would be a hat-trick from Jann-Fiete Arp. A Lee O’Connor own goal put the game pretty much to bed at 3-0 after 20 minutes, before second-half goals from Arp (x2), Noah Awuku and Eric Hottmann gave the Germans a comprehensive 7-0 win against Ireland.
However, while all of that was going on, Bosnia & Herzegovina, having lost their opening two matches and widely expected to lose a third, pulled off a big upset with a 1-0 win against Serbia, Armin Imamovic making himself an Irish hero with an 80th-strike.
Ireland, Bosnia & Herzegovina and Serbia all finished on three points, but rather than it being goal difference that was used to separate them (which was just as well for Ireland after that hammering), head-to-head results were used to determine which side qualified for the next round.
— Owen Cowzer (@OCowzer) May 10, 2017
Either the Netherlands or England await Ireland in the next round, and Colin O’Brien and his side are now just one win away from qualifying for the under-17 World Cup.
On the latest episode of the Mixer Irish Football Podcast, we chat to Cork City’s Conor McCormack as well as the usual review of all of the latest League of Ireland action.