Captain Danny Kane struck in the final minute to earn the Republic of Ireland Under-19s a 1-1 draw in the first of two International friendlies against the Ukraine at the Markets Field on Saturday evening.
(Pictured is midfielder Georgie Poynton, of Dundalk FC, during the match)
Listen to head coach Paul Doolin’s post-match reaction, below.
The game saw a slow start for both teams, but past the quarter-hour Ukraine created the first of their openings when Denys Balanyuk pulled the ball back for Victor Tsygankov in the box but his shot was brilliantly blocked by Kane.
Towards the end of the half, the visitors began to trouble the Ireland defence. Six minutes before the break, Tsygankov found himself through on goal but again a last-ditch tackle denied him.
Ukraine retrieved possession and Bohdan Mykhaylichenko set himself in the ‘D’ but his placed shot was well saved by James Talbot who got down to his right. Then Oleksandr Tymchyk crossed for Tsygankov who turned smartly in the six-yard box but Talbot dealt with the weak effort.
But the deadlock was broken on 44 minutes when Tsygankov supplied the corner to the front post where Sergey Chobotenko met it with a powerful header which found the top corner, leaving Talbot rooted.
After the interval, Ireland looked for a way back into the game but they were struggling to get into a rhythm. They were presented with an opportunity midway through the half with a free-kick 25-yards out but Frankie Mulhern’s effort was comfortable for Vladimir Mahankov.
With nine minutes remaining, Dan Casey was shown a second yellow card, leaving Ireland’s task even more difficult, and Ukraine almost put the game to bed moments later with a fierce strike from distance from substitute Aleksandr Masalov but Talbot did enough to deny him.
And that stop helped to earn ten-man Ireland a draw in the dying seconds. A cross into the box was attacked by Ryan Sweeney with the ball breaking to Kane 12-yards out and he buried an unstoppable strike in the bottom corner.
Ukraine did press to regain their lead, and they almost did so in injury-time but Alexsandr Pykhalionok saw his low shot flash agonisingly just past the upright.
The teams meet again at the Stadium on Monday, kick-off 1pm.
Republic of Ireland: James Talbot, Dan Casey, Anto Breslin (Tom Cadman 67), Danny Kane ©, Georgie Poynton, Olamide Shodipo (Jamie Aherne 67), Dylan Watts (Colm Deasy 84), Daire O’Connor, Ethan Boyle (Connor Ronan 20), Frankie Mulhern, Ryan Sweeney. Unused Subs: Connor Ellis, Trevor Clarke, Colin McCabe, Conor Masterson, Robbie McCourt.
Ukraine: Vladimir Mahankov, Vasyl Kravets (Alexsandr Masalov 63), Oleksandr Tymchyk, Dmytro Shevchenko (Vladimir Senica 71), Sergey Chobotenko, Andriy Korobenko, Bohdan Mykhaylichenko, Victor Tsygankov, Vladimir Shepelev (Alexsandr Pykhalionok 63), Rostyslav Taranukha (Alexsandr Gocylyok HT), Denys Balanyuk (Aleksey Chebetun 63). Unused Subs: Andrey Morcjuk.
Referee: Rob Hennessey (Limerick).
Report Date: Saturday 10 October 2015