16 July 2013
Ireland Men's Football squad secured their highest ever World University Games finish today as they beat fancied Ukraine 3-1 in the 5th/6th Place Play Off in Kazan, Russia.
Ireland continued their fine form with their sixth game in 12 days, as they raced into an early lead when hero of the opening day win against hosts Russia, Dylan Mernagh put the side ahead on the 17th minute.
The match was played at a frantic pace and both sides had chances to score in the first half but Ireland went in ahead at half time. Irelands cause was helped on 75 minutes when Sergii Panesenko was send off for a second bookable offence and within a minute Jonny Addis put Ireland two up.
Barry O'Mahony scored a penalty on 83 minutes and on the stroke of full time Sergiii Kravchenko scored a consolation goal for the 2007 and 2009 champions Ukraine.
Manager Danny Crowley said at the end of the game "Ireland have finished a record 5th in the tournament following games against Russia, China, Mexico, France, Malaysia and Ukraine.
"The quarter final defeat to France on penalties will be of particular disappointment to this magnificent group of players ensure as they dominated that game from start to finish, yet the French won the gold medal tonight.
"I am so proud of this bunch of players and the staff Paul O'Reilly, Paul Walsh and Gary Sweeney. We have worked very hard to get this far and hopefully going forward we can get more people interested in this magnificent competition. This is a world event for our players and playing these games can only help to improve the players in so many ways."
Ireland: Craig Sexton, James Scallon, Dylan Mernagh, Jamie Carr, Reece McEnteer, Paul Malone, Brian Nolan, Barry O'Mahony, Andy Mulligan, Tom King, Johnny Addis. Subs: Josh O'Shea for McEnteer (h/t), Correy Davidson for Mulligan (68mins), Darren Forsyth for Addis (81), Carl Forsyth for O'Mahony (84), Niall Corbett, Tristen Dent, Paul Andrews, Raymond Foy, Cillian Morrison.