REPORT | Portugal MU16 3-0 Ireland MU16

REPORT | Portugal MU16 3-0 Ireland MU16

The Ireland Men’s Under-16s’ UEFA Development Tournament ended in a 3-0 defeat against a quality Portugal side in Amora. 

For large parts of the game, Ireland dominated possession against the Portuguese but two first-half goals from the hosts left Paul Osam’s team with an uphill battle before Ruben Barbosa produced a wonder strike to seal the win.

Ireland found themselves behind inside five minutes. Goalkeeper Alex Noonan attempted to intercept a cross by Joao Valente the ball fell loose and FC Porto’s Duarte Cunha was on hand to fire home.

It would be the only threat on goal the hosts would have in the opening half-hour, with Ireland looking the stronger of the two sides.

Osam’s side got a lot of success in attacking through their wingbacks, in particular captain Finn Sherlock, who produced a number of dangerous crosses that just evaded the Irish number 9, Michael Noonan.

But just before the break, Portugal would double their lead, Vinnie Leonard brought down his man in the penalty area and Anisia Cabral stepped up to send Noonan the wrong way.

As half-time approached, Ireland had their first meaningful effort when Billy Hayes’ rasping effort stung the fingertips of Tverdohlebov.

In the second half, Ireland were awarded a penalty of their own when Noonan was felled inside the area. The St. Patrick’s Athletic man stepped up but saw his kick strike the outside of the post.

A minute later, they almost found the net when Goodness Ogbonna weaved his way through the Portuguese defence and saw his attempt flash across the face of goal.

In the 64th minute, Sherlock went close with a free-kick from distance that just evaded the top left corner as Ireland pushed for their own breakthrough.

But the game would be put out of reach for Ireland when Ruben Barbosa produced a stunning strike from 35-yards out that left Ali Topcu with no chance.

Portugal: Tverdohlebov, Silva, Gueses, Valente, Peixoto, Dbouk, Fernandes, Rodrigues, Santos, D. Cunham, Cabral.
Substitutes: R. Cunha, Danjaqui, Gomes, Araujo, Gamboa, Arago, Pereira, Pereira, Lomba, Barbosa, and Correia

Ireland: Noonan (Topcu, 46’), Solanke (Canny, 46’), McDonagh, Leonard (Rooney, 73’), Sherlock (C), Oladiti (Dunne, 87’), Skoubo-Keely, McDonnell (Lee, 87’), Hayes, Ogbonna (Martos, 73’), Noonan (O’Neill, 87’)