Two goals in the space of three second-half minutes saw the Ukraine come from behind to defeat the Republic of Ireland 2-1 in the second of their Under-19 International friendlies at the Markets Field on Monday afternoon.
Ireland head coach Paul Doolin made a number of changes to the team that lined out on Saturday, with Dundalk’s Georgie Poynton carrying the captain’s armband.
The game again started slowly, with the first chance falling to Ireland – wearing white – past the quarter-hour when Frankie Mulhern’s cross from the left was met by Ryan Sweeney who glanced a header wide of the far post.
Then Ukraine fired their first shot as Vladimir Shepelev drove just wide from a central position on the edge of the box. On 26 minutes, Victor Tsygankov’s corner was flicked on by Alexsandr Masalov to Aleksey Chebetun at the back post but he headed off target.
On the half-hour, Tsygankov – who was also lively in the first friendly – tested Colin McCabe who held a clean strike well, and two minutes later the ‘keeper was glad to see the youngster’s 20-yard free-kick curl just past the upright.
Then Bohdan Mykhaylichenko hit a dipping effort which went over, before Ireland took the lead in stunning fashion on 35 minutes when Dan Casey unleashed an unstoppable drive from the right angle of the box to the far corner of the net.
Before the break, they could have been further ahead but Olamide Shodipo’s strike flew over the front post. Doolin then made five changes at half-time.
By the hour mark, Ukraine were ahead after quick-fire goals. They levelled on 56 minutes when Mykhaylichenko’s cross from the left was into the six-yard box where Aleksandr Gocylyok slid in and finished past McCabe.
In their next attack, they were ahead when Gocylyok turned provider from the far side, delivering the perfect cross for Denys Balanyuk to drill in from close range.
They almost increased their advantage on 64 minutes when Shepelev played in substitute Ilya Markovskiy on the left of the area but his strike hit the side-netting.
Ireland looked for a way back into the game and with 12 minutes remaining Ukraine had ‘keeper Andriy Marchuk to thank for keeping them in front as he got down well to turn Mulhern’s low shot around the post.
But that was as close as the Irish came to an equaliser, though Doolin and his squad are sure to be pleased with the two games as preparation for next month’s competitive action.
Republic of Ireland: Colin McCabe, Georgie Poynton (C) (Dylan Watts HT), Olamide Shodipo (Daire O’Connor HT), Connor Ellis (Trevor Clarke 68), Dan Casey, Frankie Mulhern, Jamie Aherne (Anto Breslin HT), Ryan Sweeney (Tom Cadman HT), Conor Masterson (Danny Kane HT), Robbie McCourt, Colm Deasy. Unused Subs: James Talbot (GK), Ethan Boyle, Connor Ronan.
Ukraine: Andriy Marchuk, Oleksandr Tymchyk, Vladimir Senica, Sergey Chobotenko, Alexsandr Masalov (Denys Balanyuk HT), Bohdan Mykhaylichenko, Victor Tsygankov, Alexsandr Gocylyok, Alexsandr Pykhalionok (Ilya Markovskiy 62), Vladimir Shepelev, Aleksey Chebetun (Andriy Korobenko HT). Unused Subs: Vladimir Mahankov (GK), Vasyl Kravets, Dmytro Shevchenko, Rostyslav Taranukha.
Referee: Padraigh Sutton (Clare).
Report Date: Monday 12 October