Sad send-off for Ireland U-20s

Republic of Ireland U20 0 Paraguay U20 1

Ireland travel to the United Arab Emirates today ahead of the big kick off against Saudi Arabia on Saturday week. Manager Gerry Smith used 19 of his 20-man squad as Ireland played some wonderful controlled football without ever really testing Paraguay's goalkeeper while the visitors took advantage of one of their few opportunities to end Smith's winning start as manager.

It looked ominous for Ireland in the 14th minute when only a combination of Stephen Capper and John Fitzgerald stopped Nelson Romero from getting a strike in when put through on goal, and again in the 26th minute when Paraguay made sure with a goal. A one-two between Erwin Avalos and Julio dos Santos put Avalos through on goal and he drew Wayne Henderson before slipping the ball across the face of goal for Romero to slide home.

But apart from those opportunities, the game was dominated by the home side with Ireland forcing 15 corners to Paraguay's one. Kevin Doyle, Eamon Zayed and David Bell were all off target early on, while Stephen Capper, Michael Foley and Darren Potter did test Silva from far out.

But Ireland's best chance fell to Zayed in the 24th minute when he brilliantly side-stepped Angel Martinez in the box before unleashing a piledriver that Silva did well to keep out.

In the second half, Ireland pushed forward, though, substitutions did have an affect on the game with fewer chances being created.

Stephen Elliott had a shot deflected, while Stephen Kelly headed weakly wide when found unmarked by a Liam Kearney header.

REPUBLIC OF IRELAND: Henderson (Aston Villa); Whelan (Manchester City), Kelly (Tottenham Hotspur), Fitzgerald (Blackburn Rovers), Capper (Scarborough); Flood (Manchester City), Potter (Liverpool), Bell (Rushden and Diamonds), Foley (Liverpool); Zayed (Bray Wanderers), Doyle (Cork City).

Subs: Elliott (Manchester City) for Zayed, McCarthy (Manchester City) for Fitzgerald, Daly (Stockport County) for Doyle, Kearney (Cork City) for Foley, Murphy (Swansea City) for Henderson (all half-time), Dillon (Longford Town) for Capper (55 mins), Fahey (St Patrick's Athletic) for Potter (59 mins), Ward (Kidderminster Harriers) for Bell (75 mins).

PARAGUAY: Silva; Velazquez, Diaz, Martinez, Meza; Barreto, Santos, Caceres, Lopez; Avalos, Romero.

Subs: Perez for Romero (62 mins), Benitez for Lopez, Andersen for Caceres (87 mins), Martines for Barreto (89 mins)

Referee: I. Stokes (Dublin).

More in this section

CourtsSoccerPlace: United Arab EmiratesPlace: Richmond ParkPerson: Owen CowzerPerson: Gerry SmithPerson: SmithPerson: Stephen CapperPerson: John FitzgeraldPerson: Nelson RomeroPerson: Erwin AvalosPerson: Julio Dos SantosPerson: AvalosPerson: Wayne HendersonPerson: RomeroPerson: Kevin DoylePerson: Eamon ZayedPerson: David BellPerson: Michael FoleyPerson: Darren PotterPerson: SilvaPerson: ZayedPerson: Angel MartinezPerson: Stephen ElliottPerson: Stephen KellyPerson: Liam KearneyPerson: HendersonPerson: WhelanPerson: KellyPerson: FitzgeraldPerson: CapperPerson: FloodPerson: PotterPerson: BellPerson: FoleyPerson: DoylePerson: ElliottPerson: McCarthyPerson: DalyPerson: KearneyPerson: MurphyPerson: DillonPerson: FaheyPerson: WardPerson: VelazquezPerson: DiazPerson: MartinezPerson: MezaPerson: BarretoPerson: SantosPerson: CaceresPerson: LopezPerson: PerezPerson: BenitezPerson: AndersenPerson: MartinesPerson: I. StokesEvent: World Youth ChampionshipsOrganisation: IrelandOrganisation: Republic of Ireland U20Organisation: ParaguayOrganisation: Republic of Ireland Under 20sOrganisation: Saudi ArabiaOrganisation: Aston VillaOrganisation: Manchester CityOrganisation: Tottenham HotspurOrganisation: Blackburn RoversOrganisation: ScarboroughOrganisation: LiverpoolOrganisation: Rushden and DiamondsOrganisation: Bray WanderersOrganisation: Cork CityOrganisation: Stockport CountyOrganisation: Swansea CityOrganisation: Longford TownOrganisation: St Patrick's AthleticOrganisation: Kidderminster Harriers
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