Slick Serbians end Ireland’s Euro hopes

Ireland U19 1 Serbia U19 3

Slick Serbians end Ireland’s Euro hopes

Reigning champions Serbia dashed Ireland’s ambitions of topping their group and reaching the finals next month by recording a resounding victory at Tallaght Stadium.

They raced into a three-goal lead by the 67th-minute and edged out Turkey on goal difference for the qualifying berth.

Veljko Simic and Stanisa Mandic scored in a 10-minute spell either side of the interval before Simic rifled in his second on 67 minutes.

Although Sam Byrne pulled one back soon after, it proved a consolation.

Afterwards, Doolin recognised the gulf between the sides — offering no excuses for their second loss on the bounce.

“Serbia were far superior than us and I’ve no complaints about the result,” he said.

“I told the players there’s no shame in losing to such a great side. Unfortunately, we just don’t have the players.”

Doolin has served four years in the position but his future is far from clear.

“My contract is up in July and I’ve been speaking to the association,” said the former Cork City boss.

Pressed on whether he wants to extend his tenure given the frustrations he’s encountered in the job, he was non-committal.

“At the moment, I’ll have to wait and see,” was his response.

IRELAND: Grimes (Leeds Utd); Baba (Fulham), Long (Reading), McFadden (Norwich City), Barnett (Brighton); Browne (Preston NE), Crowe (UCD); Connolly (Shelbourne), O’Hanlon (Liverpool), McCarthy (Sunderland); Byrne (Manchester United).

Subs: Robinson (Shelbourne) for Crowe (UCD), Goldsmith (Cobh Ramblers) for O’Hanlon (Liverpool) – both 46 mins, O’Sullivan (Aberdeen) for McCarthy (84 mins).

SERBIA: V Savic; Gajic, Stevanovic, Babic, Ristic; Simic (Gacinovic 70), Maksimovic, Zivkovic; S Savic, Mandic (Pankov 86), Zdjelar.

Referee: B Bastien (FRA).

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