Battling Under-21s surrender to Swedes
Republic of Ireland 0 Sweden 3
Irelands Under-21 team were not overawed by this comprehensive scoreline in yesterdays Under-21 friendly. Ian Evans young side never let up until the final whistle in a sunny Birr Town AFC ground.
The first half saw the exchanges fairly equal.
The Irish defence, well marshalled by former English under-age panellist Andy O Brien, had to be alert to the two Swedish front runners Berglund and Andersson.
Irelands two best chances came in 17th and 18th minutes when Darren Clare and Alan Fenn should have done better with two chances.
Disaster struck the Irish defence after 23 minutes when a blocked tackle and a miscued clearance let Andersson in for Swedens first goal.
Just on the half hour Irelands best chance came after good work by Clare and Fenn. Alan Mahon was put through but Swedish keeper Janklouski got down at Mahons feet to make a good save and keep Sweden in the lead.
Ireland had hardly warmed up in the second half when a deflection over the Irish defence let Wallerstedt in for Swedens second.
Sweden began to rest on their laurels and with the introduction of several substitutes Ireland began to take a hold on the game.
With the introduction of both Trevor Molloy and Stephen Grant this was Irelands best period.
Both forwards put in tremendous work rate ably assisted by Alan Mahon on the left hand side. Local boy Stephen Grant was unlucky not to have scored on at least four occasions, one a great dipping shot which shaved the upright.
Irelands luck was not in when Cork star Brian Barry-Murphy was just wide with a great header from a corner.
With minutes to go Sweden increased their lead against the run of play. Wallerstedt scored when let in by Persson.
A disappointed Irish boss Ian Evans said his side had 80% to 90% of the play in the second half had created quite a few chances.
He said he was disappointed with one or two of his players who he had told could have done better.
He felt pleased with their performance as the game progressed and thought Sweden were a shade better but not by three goals.
REPUBLIC OF IRELAND: D. O Connor (Bradford Park Avenue), D. Worrell (Dundee United), B. Barry-Murphy (Cork City), T. Morgan (St. Patricks Athletic), C. Hawkins (St. Patricks Athletic), A. O Brien (Bradford City), A. Maybury (Leeds United), D. Clare (Grimsby), N. Fenn (Lincoln City), A. Mahon (Tranmere Rovers), M. McKeever (Sheffield Wednesday).
Subs: M. Cummins for T. Morgan (half time), A. Lynch for C. Hawkins, P. Armstrong for M. McKeever, S. Grant for D. Clare, T. Molloy for N. Fenn.
Referee: Alan Snoddy, Northern Ireland.