Ireland U16 2 Estonia U16 0
A pair of clinical finishes by Ipswich Town striker Cemal Ramadan earned victory for the Republic of Ireland’s U16s in their season opener against Estonia at Ballyowen Road in Dublin yesterday.
The contest was held at the Lucan venue to mark the official opening of the South Dublin Football League third generation artificial pitch, with FAI chief executive John Delaney present to cut the ribbon on the facility.
Ramadan, who declared for Ireland last season through his Castlepollard-born grandmother, was denied by Estonian goalkeeper Andrewas Vailka on 10 minutes but gave him no chance with a low drive for the breakthrough goal 15 minutes later.
Far superior all over the pitch, the Irish continued to dominate and were duly rewarded with a second after 52 minutes.
Ramadan seized upon a misdirected header by defender Jan Kokla before racing 20 yards and finding the bottom corner with a superb angled shot.
With Shane Elworthy rampant on the right wing, Ireland would have begged more goals only for a string of saves by Vailka.
The nations meet again tomorrow morning in the second part of the double-header at Balheary in Swords (11am).
IRELAND: J Talbot (Home Farm); C Deasy (Malahide Utd), D Kane (Cherry Orchard), D Casey (St Joseph’s Boys), A Breslin (St Kevin’s Boys); C Melody (Mervue), R Duggan (Malahide Utd), N Corkery (QPR); S Elworthy (St Kevin’s Boys), C Ramadan (Ipswich Town), A Dolan (St Kevin’s Boys).
Subs: S Byrne (St Joseph’s Boys) for Corkery (53 mins), J Devers (Manulla) for Ramadan (61 mins), A McDonnell (Home Farm) for Dolan (67 mins), T Field (Brentford) for Melody (72 mins).
ESTONIA: Vailka; Adler, Berggren, Kolka, Kask; Riiberg, Mottus, Kait; Roosnupp, Rande, Tauts.
Referee: Simon Rogers.
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