Lonergan's strike gives U19s third win from three and top spot

Tom Mohan’s men topped their group with maximum points with three wins from three
Lonergan's strike gives U19s third win from three and top spot

Crucial win: Manager Tom Mohan. Pic: INPHO/Laszlo Geczo

Ireland U19 1 Hungary U19 0

The Republic of Ireland finished their series of qualification games in Group 4 of the UEFA Under-19 Championships with a 1-0 win over Hungary.

The win meant Tom Mohan’s men topped their group with maximum points with three wins from three as Tommy Lonergan’s goal was enough to seal the win in Bangor. Hungary were reduced to ten men as their captain Dragoner was sent off in the second half.

Ireland were awarded a penalty midway through the first half. Kevin Zefi broke into the Hungary area with a clever run and was taken down with the referee having no option but to award Ireland the spot kick. However, Zefi missed his effort after Pécsi denied him with a good save.

Lonergan was to make up for that miss with a goal for Ireland minutes later when Harry Vaughan made space in the Hungary area and found Zefi, whose clever touch was played into the path of Lonergan, to tap it past Pécsi to give Ireland the lead.

Hungary captain Dragoner saw red in the game's final quarter as his challenge on Lonergan was too strong and the referee issued a straight red.

For Hungary Jurek had a sight on goal but his effort did little to trouble Aaron Maguire. While Zefi went close to adding a second for Ireland but his effort went wide of the Hungarian goal.

Speaking after the game MU19 Head Coach Tom Mohan reflected on a week that went 'very well'.

He said: "Being in a qualifying phase with Wales and Hungary it was always going to be tight. But the win over Wales with the two late goals was a crucial result as it sent us through.

“We wanted to keep the unbeaten run going as it meant we go into the draw for the Elite phase as seeded.

“We had to adapt to the different opponents and different systems we faced over the week and It's been a good week. To get three wins from three is great.

“Our focus is now for next March as this window was moved early due to the World Cup.

“The players have been brilliant especially with their attitude. A there was a massive amount of work from our backroom staff who have worked very strong together.” 

Hungary: Pécsi (GK), Bodnár (Farkas 62), Kovacs, Dragoner, Tuboly, Kállai (Bakti 79), Kocsis, Lisztes (Jurek 46), Gruber (Nagy 73), Berki (Szűcs 46), Babos 

Ireland: Maguire (GK), Abankwah, Grehan, McJannet, Vaughan, Zefi, Nevin, Okagbue, Clarke, Gallagher, Lonergan (O'Mahony 90)

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