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Ireland U18 played their first match since 2019 in a 2-0 win over Hungary away in Budapest on Tuesday evening
The Republic of Ireland Under-18s made it a winning start to Colin O’Brien’s reign with him giving 14 players their first outing at this level.
Goals from Derby County’s Cian Kelly-Caprani and Shamrock Rovers’ Dara McGuinness were enough to give the Boys in Green a win in the first of two international friendly games this week in the Hungarian capital.
Luton Town’s Ed McJannet captained the side and it was his first appearance for an Irish underage team along with Josh Clarke, Alex Murphy, Cian Coleman, Billy Brooks, and Rio McEvoy.
Ed McJannet, Luton Town. Captain of Ireland U18 👏👏👏👏👏👏👏 pic.twitter.com/2hoCmzYK0z
— LutonTownExile (@LutonTownExile) August 17, 2021
Ireland started the livelier of the two sides with Joe O’Brien-Whitmarsh going close several times in the first half. Firstly, he hit a low drive that tested the handling of goalkeeper Martin Dala. Then on the half-hour mark, the Cork City man saw his attempted lob land on the roof of the net.
O’Brien-Whitmarsh, operating in the Number 10 position, found himself thwarted by the keeper five minutes later when he was put through on goal and saw his effort bounce off the body of the Hungarian goalkeeper.
The breakthrough came just before half-time. Kelly-Caprani capitalized on a mistake in the Hungary backline, latching onto a loose ball and rounding the goalkeeper to slot in from a tight angle to give Ireland a deserved lead.
After the break, it was 2-0. Leeds’ Coleman did superbly well to get down the right flank before delivering a dangerous cross into the six-yard box. The ball fell to McGuinness and the Rovers man poked it home to give Ireland a two-goal cushion.
McJannet almost topped off his fine performance with a goal of his own. He engineered an opportunity with an exchange of passes; however, his left-footed effort was pushed behind for a corner. It was to be the final clear-cut chance of the second half and the game finished up 2-0.
Both teams are back in action on Thursday as Ireland looked to do the double over Hungary.
FT | All over in Budapest and it’s a win for Ireland U18 🇮🇪💪@ShamrockRovers’s Dara McGuinness adds to Kelly-Caprani’s opener to give the Boys in Green the victory over Hungary
— FAIreland ⚽️🇮🇪 (@FAIreland) August 17, 2021
Dala (GK)(Mergi. 46); Kaján (Sipos 77) , Korógyi (Kovács 77), Dragoner, Yaakobishvili, Szabó (Andros Gulyás 60), Molnar, Kocsis (Kiss, 60), Gruber (Auriél Gyuris 77), Bakti, Kallai.
Republic of Ireland
Clarke (GK); Agbaje, Grehan (Fogarty 73), Heffernan, Murphy; McJannet, Coleman, O’Brien-Whitmarsh (Brooks 61), Kelly-Caprani, McGuinness, McEvoy (Pearce 61).
Referee: Imre Kovács (Hungary).
International Friendly (Irish time)
Thursday, August 19 | Hungary v Republic of Ireland, BVSC Stadion, Budapest, Hungary, KO 10:00.
— Dan Fletcher (@Dan_Fletcher10) August 17, 2021