UEFA European U17 Championships – Republic of Ireland 1 Czech Republic 1

Credit: Seb Daly/Sportsfile

A late Andrew Omobamidele goal for the Republic of Ireland helped rescue a point for the hosts in their UEFA European U17 Championships game with the Czech Republic at the RSC in Waterford on Monday night.

Ireland started brightly with Matt Everitt and Festy Ebosele proving constant attacking threats.

Both players registered shots at goal inside the first period, while Conor Carty had a great opportunity to open the scoring but the Wolverhampton Wanderers player kicked the ball high and over the crossbar.

A free kick in a promising position just outside the right hand side of the box in the 16th minute came to nothing as Carty’s effort was successfully blocked by the Czech defence. Within seconds of that free kick, the industrious Ebosele sent a header over the crossbar when getting on the end of a cross from the left wing.

Adam Ritter had the visitors first chance on 22 minutes as he received a perfectly-executed cross, enabled, however, by Republic of Ireland defender Anselmo McNulty slipping on a surface that was watered moments prior to kick-off.

As the Czechs came more into the game, and seemed a threat dowing their right wing, Josef Kozeluh shot from directly outside the box but the right full back’s effort just dipped over the bar in what was his team’s best effort of the first forty-five minutes.

Matt Everitt who looked a danger to the Vaclav Kotal-coached side made progress down the right, only for his shot to go over the bar in the 36th minute. Moments later, the diminutive powerhouse found himself clear of the opposite side of the pitch but a fine block from Adam Stejskal in the Czech goal kept the teams scoreless.

Inside the final minute of the first half, Republic of Ireland goalkeeper Gavin Bazunu was injured when successfully catching a high ball, but fortunately for the home side was able to remain on the field.

Czech substitute Václav Sejk opened the scoring in the 63rd minute, with his first touch of the ball, when driving a rebound low and goalwards, beating Bazunu in the Irish goal.

A cross from James Furlong in the 88th minute found Andrew Omobamidele at the far post and the Irish forward equalised to the delight of the 2,613 spectators at the RSC. It was no more than the Republic of Ireland deserved, having put in a stellar performance since going a goal down earlier in the game.

In the five minutes of added time at the end of the second period Ireland’s Ebosele was harshly given a second yellow card and was sent off. The frustrated striker took off his jersey and threw it into the crowd on leaving the field.

The result of the game now means the Republic of Ireland have drawn both of their games in the championships, and will face Belgium in their final group game at Tallaght Stadium.

Republic of Ireland: Bazunu, McEvoy, Omobamidele, MacNulty, Furlong, Hodge, Keogh (Holt 68); Ebosele, McCann (Kennedy 85), Carty (Giurgi 75); Everitt.

Czech Republic: Stejskal, Kozeluh, Stary, Hellebrand, Kurka, Hronik, Hajek, Pech, Ritter (Gedeon 85), Wojatschke (Silhart 84), Toula (Sejk 63).

Referee: Rade Obrenovic (Slovenia).

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