30 June 2009
Irelandís men lost the first match of their 2009 World University Games campaign in Serbia with a 1-0 defeat at the hands of Uruguay. It was a wonder strike from Rodrigo Turnes on the half hour that was the ultimate undoing of the Irish students in the game at FC Indjija, just outside the capital Belgrade.
Photos click here
Despite the loss, Manager Kieran Harding was upbeat about his side’s chances in the competition.
Harding said: “Other than their goal they had very little other chances. I can’t praise our guys enough for their performance.
“Regardless of what way the score went in this game we have got a group of four and have got to come in the top two of that. While it puts us on a back foot to a degree, we know that we have to go out and get a result against Italy and that’ll bring it to the last match. So that’s what we’ve got to try and do know.”
The game had gotten off to an ominous start for the Irish. With only five minutes played, James Costello clashed with the Felipe Fernandez in the Uruguay goal when challenging for a header. The Glenavon frontman spent 10 minutes off the field while medical staff dealt with his blood injury.
Ireland picked and probed at the Uruguayans but were hit with the Turnes sucker punch after 30 minutes. A free kick into the area was headed clear to the waiting Turnes on the edge of the box who riffled a deadly half volley into the left of the net, leaving Billy Brennan in the Ireland goal with on chance.
Ireland’s first real chance fell to Costello five minutes from the break. A flick on from Graham Rusk put the striker through but the angle inside the box was too narrow and the low shot well saved by Fernandez.
At start of the second half Ireland started brightly. A Ciaran Boyd free kick from the left of the opposition box found the head of Brian Cleary. The ball arrived slightly behind the Athlone Town defender and his header went a foot over the bar.
A brilliant double save from Billy Brennan kept Ireland in the game in 55th minute. Turnes again was involved with a shot from outside of the box which Brennan dived low to his right to get hands to. The UCD keeper reacted brilliantly as he rose quickly to block the shot from the on-rushing Danilo Fregossi.
Ireland continued to press with a series of Boyd free kicks from the left causing havoc in front of the Uruguay goal.
Boyd was in the thick of the action again in the 90th minute as his shot from the edge of the box was flicked just past the post by John Mulroy waiting on the penalty spot.
A luckless performance from the Irish men who now face Italy in a crucial game on Thursday.
Ireland Team - Billy Brennan, Dean Zambra, Ciaran Boyd, Mark Surgenor, Graham Rusk, Gareth Harkin, John Mulroy, James Costello, Brian Cleary, Stephen Roche, Mark Forker. SUBS: Michael McSweeney, Ryan Coulter, Ciaran Forde, John Dineen(Stephen Roche 75min), David O’Sullivan (Costello 60min), Oisin McMenamin (Graham Rusk 75min), Ally Teggart, Brendan Daly, Peter MacMahon.
Report By Chris Barnes
Team Ireland Press Officer in Belgrade
-nn Time when player substituted out
+nn Time when player substituted in
2Y=R 2nd Yellow = Red Card
FC Fouls Committed
FS Fouls Suffered
GA Goals Against
GF Goals For GK Goalkeeper
Min Minutes Played
PK Penalty Kicks (Goals/Shots)
R Expulsions (Red Cards)
SG/S Shots on Goal/Shots
Y Cautions (Yellow Cards)
|Referee||MAR - Ronaissi Ishalil||4th Official||SRB - Mazic Milorad|
|Assistant Referee 1||SRB - Tomicic Nikola||Assistant Referee 2||SRB - Korajlija Milan|
|Match Commissioner||SRB - Tuvedzic Slavko|