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A late Cian Kelly-Caprani penalty earned the Republic of Ireland Under-18s a 2-2 draw in their second friendly against Hungary in Budapest.
Derby County’s Kelly-Caprani converted the spot kick in the 82nd minute after Southampton’s Luke Pearce was brought down in the box.
Pearce had scored earlier in the contest in what was his first start in green.
Head Coach Colin O’Brien made eight changes to the line-up that started Tuesday’s 2-0 win.
Owen Mason, David Toure, Tommy Fogarty, Darragh Reilly, Justin Ferizaj, Billy Brooks, Jad Hakiki-Filloche and Pearce all made their first starts as Under-18 internationals.
Republic behind early on
Hungary took the lead inside the third minute from their first attack. Zsombor Menyhárt pounced from close range when Mason was unable to hold on to an effort from Tamás Vid Tóth.
O’Brien’s side responded well and were back on level terms five minutes later. Kelly-Caprani’s blocked effort wasn’t dealt with by the Hungarian backline and the wideman was able to knock the ball through to Pearce. The frontman latched onto the pass and fired home into the far corner.
It was a frantic start to the game and in the 12th minute the Hungarians made it 2-1. Vid Tóth, who was involved in the first, was able to capitalise on a loose ball in the Irish box to find the net with a fine finish that went in off the underside of the bar.
The Boys in Green went in search of an equaliser. Fogarty went close in the 19th minute when he was allowed a free header from a corner but his effort was held well by the Hungarian goalkeeper.
Then McJannet connected well with a left-footed half volley but the captain saw his attempt go just wide of the post.
Brooks forced Simon into a save just before half time with the ‘keeper tipping his shot over the bar. The resulting corner was cleared towards Books whose goalbound volley was thwarted by the Hungary net minder again.
The second half was a tamer affair as the Republic of Ireland went in search of an equaliser. Substitute McEvoy had a glorious chance in the 80th minute when a loose ball broke to the striker just inside the penalty area. Unfortunately, his side footed-effort drew a smart save from the goalkeeper.
The visitors only had to wait two minutes to get the goal they deserved. Pearce was brought down in the Hungarian area and Kelly-Caprani stepped up to strike a sweet penalty past Simon for his second goal in two games.
Teams and Results
Hungary: Simon, Nagy- Kolozsvari, Keresztes, Csóka, Horváth, Sipos, Menyhárt, Gyruis Fábián, Vid Tóth, Lénárt.
Republic of Ireland: Mason; Toure, Fogarty, Reilly, Murphy; McJannet, Ferizaj (Coleman 59), Brooks (McEvoy 69), Hakiki-Filloche (McGuinness 59), Kelly-Caprani.
Referee. Tamás Sipos (Hungary).
Results – International Friendlies
Tuesday, August 17 | Hungary 0-2 Republic of Ireland, BVSC Stadion, Budapest, Hungary
Thursday, August 19 | Hungary 2-2 Republic of Ireland, BVSC Stadion, Budapest, Hungary,