Ireland U21’s open with victory over Malaysia

THE first match of the Intercontinental Cup finished with the Republic of Ireland U21 team securing their first points of the competition.

A brace from Michael Collins followed by the clincher from captain, Stephen Ward, were enough to see the Irish home against a battling Malaysian team who struck back late on through Mohammad Safee Mohammad Sali.

Manager Don Givens was pleased with how the game went. He said: “The result is a great start for us in the tournament. We had a young, inexperienced team out on the pitch and they performed well to get the three points.”

Ireland will face tournament favourites, Nigeria, tomorrow in the MBPJ stadium at 11.30am Irish time.

Meanwhile the Republic of Ireland senior squad underwent their first training session under new manager Giovanni Trapattoni in Gannon Park, Malahide last night.

Trapattoni declared himself satisfied with the evening’s events. “I met the squad today and we had a good training session in Malahide. I am very pleased with the application of the players and I explained to them that this period of time together will give me an opportunity to get to know the players and it will give them a chance to familiarise themselves with my methods. From this point of view it went very well.”

The squad will train again today, before heading to Portugal for a six day training camp.

REPUBLIC OF IRELAND: S Redmond (Nottingham Forest); D Elebert (Hamilton Academics), E Nolan (Blackburn Rovers), D Dennehy (Everton FC), S Lowry (Aston Villa); J Barrett (Huddersfield), M Spillane (Norwich City), M Collins (Huddersfield), K Treacy (Blackburn Rovers); S Ward (Wolves), B Clarke (Falkirk).

Subs: S Maher (Yeovil Town) for Elebert (69 mins) & J Ryan (Shrewsbury) for Barrett (76 mins) & A Judge (Blackburn Rovers) for Treacy (84mins). P Skinner (Celtic), M Salmon (Wolves), K Moore (Man City) & S Madden (Leeds) not used.

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