By John Fallon
Noel King confessed to feeling a sense of shame after his Republic of Ireland U21s were crushed by European champions Germany last night.
The Boys in Green needed a result at Tallaght Stadium against the group leaders to keep in the mix to reach next year’s Euros in Italy but were completely outclassed.
Three of the six goals came from the penalty spot yet Alexander Nubel in the visitors’ goal was never threatened over the 90 minutes.
Ireland will need to win their last two games next month, both away against Israel and Germany, to have any hope of finishing second and nicking a play-off route to Italy.
“Germany are a superb side but we certainly contributed to our own downfall,” said King after the heaviest defeat of his eight-year reign.
“It was the weirdest game I’ve ever been involved in because our players worked hard till the end and played well.
“However, I definitely feel a shame about the scoreline.”
It was all too routine for the Germans from the moment Aaron Seydel grabbed the lead after only six minutes by stroking the ball beyond Kieran O’Hara from the edge of the box.
Seydel missed a sitter to double the lead before Jake Mulraney committed a needless foul on Lukas Kolstermann to allow Cedric Teuchert convert a penalty on 22 minutes.
Ireland have lost debutant Sean McLoughlin at that stage to a foot injury and his replacement Shaun Donnellan did little to stem the tide rising against the home side.
Instead of King’s crew responding with any real intent, they were swept aside as Germany upped the gears in the second half.
After getting presented a third on 65 minutes when O’Hara’s weak clearance was collected by Newhaus who teed up Teuchert to send a rising shot into the roof of the net, he notched his hat-trick eight minutes later.
Liam Kinsella’s foul on Max Eggestein offered Teuchert another opportunity to hammer a penalty home, which he did with aplomb.
Two goals by half-time substitute Suat Serdar completed the rout.
On 82 minutes, he converted another penalty, with the hapless Mulraney once again tripping Lukas Kolstermann.
He then back-heeled in a second four minutes later to rubs Ireland’s nose in it.
King revealed that a virus sweeping through the squad have ruled Danny Kane out while Ryan Manning was forced to be substituted early in the second half due to the condition.
“I don’t want to make any excuses,” he noted.
“Germany were by far the better side and will win the group. We just need to get six points in our last two games to try get into a play-off.”
IRELAND: K O’Hara; C Whelan, R Delaney, C Shaughnessy, S McLoughlin (S Donnellan 16); L Kinsella, J Cullen; H Charsley, R Manning (J McGrath 55 mins), J Mulraney (Quigley 88); R Greco-Cox.
GERMANY: A Nubel; L Kolstermann, T Baumgartl, W Anton, J Torunarigha (S Serdar 46); B Henrichs, E Lowen (A Maier 67), F Newhaus, M Eggestein; C Teuchert, A Seydel (M Richter 54).
Subs: S Serdar (Shalke 04) for Torunarigha (46 mins), M Richter (Augsburg) for Seydel inj (54 mins), A Maier (Hertha) for Lowen (67 mins)
Referee: A Hernandez (SPN)