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09.09.2008 at 18:00 Dos Barreiros - Funchal, Madeira Attendance:
Portugal 2 - 2 Under 21
Referee: Jerome Efong Nzolo (Belgium) European Qualifier-match

Vaz Te 37 mins;
Fernandes 45+1 mins;
Owen Garvan (49)
Owen Garvan (65)
Opening squads
Rui Patricio,
Nuno Andre Coelho,
Goncalo Brandao,
Paulo Machado,
Manuel Fernandes (Cap),
Miguel Veloso,
Vasco Fernandes,
Manuel Da Costa,
Vaz Te
Shane Redmond
Michael Liddle
Seamus Coleman
Michael Spillane
Eddie Nolan
James Ryan
Owen Garvan
James Mc Carthy
Padraig Amond
Alan Judge
Sean Scannell
Ricardo Batista;
Helder Barbosa;
Miguel Lopes,
Joao Moreira,
Bruno Gama,
Vitor Vinha
Stephen Henderson
Brendan Moloney
Darren Dennehy
Simon Madden
James Berrett
Stephen Gleeson
Karl Moore
Ricardo Batista for Patricio 28 Mins;
Helder Barbosa for Brandao 60 mins;
Saleiro for Fernandes 72 mins;
Stephen Gleeson -> James Ryan (46)
Karl Moore -> Padraig Amond (46)
Simon Madden -> Alan Judge (79)
Yellow cards
Nuno Coelho 45+2 mins
Manuel da Costa 50 mins
Eddie Nolan (24)
Seamus Coleman (30)
Shane Redmond (86)
Red cards
None None.
Other statistics
0 Shots 0
0 Shots on goal 0
0 Offsides 0
0 Corner kicks 0
0 Free kicks 0
0 Penalties 0
Match report
Michael Spillane and James McCarthy come into the Republic of Ireland Under-21 team for this evening’s final UEFA Championship qualifier against Portugal in Madeira (6pm) after linking up with the squad following last Friday’s defeat away to Bulgaria.

Hamilton Academicals midfielder James McCarthy will make his debut at this level following on from his appearances for the Irish Under-17, Under-18 and Under-19 teams in the past two seasons.

England have already wrapped up Group Three with seven wins and one draw from their eight matches, with Portugal assured of second place.

Republic of Ireland U-21 team v Portugal:
Shane Redmond - Nottingham Forest
Seamus Coleman - Sligo Rovers
Eddie Nolan - Blackburn Rovers
Michael Spillane – Luton Town
Michael Liddle – Sunderland
Jimmy Ryan - Accrington Stanley
Owen Garvan - Ipswich Town
James McCarthy – Hamilton Academicals
Alan Judge - Blackburn Rovers
Padraig Amond – Shamrock Rovers
Sean Scannell - Crystal Palace
Stephen Henderson - Bristol City
Stephen Gleeson – Stockport County
Darren Dennehy - Cardiff City
James Berrett - Huddersfield Town
Simon Madden - Shamrock Rovers
Brendan Moloney – Nottingham Forest.

Match Report
Portugal 2 Republic of Ireland 2

Click here to see Goals

Owen Garvan produced a man-of-the-match performance to score twice for the Republic of Ireland Under-21s to earn a draw against Portugal in Madeira.

The result was a deserved one for the young Irish team, who were magnificent from start to finish against a vastly more experienced Portugal team.

Garvan’s stunning display was the highlight of a superb team performance, as Ireland fought back from 2-0 to earn a point in their final match of the UEFA Under-21 European Championship qualifiers.

Ireland ‘keeper Shane Redmond was called into action after four minutes when he produced a superb save from Manuel Fernandes’ free kick from 25 yards.

Just one minute later Ireland registered their first effort, Alan Judge heading over from Owen Garvan’s cross.

A blistering opening period was almost marked by the first goal on 11 minutes when Vieirinha found space but his powerful effort was pushed wide by Redmond for a corner.

Garvan was again at the centre of events on 14 minutes when he drilled the ball across the Portuguese goal but unfortunately for the Ireland Number 10 there were no green shirts in the six yard box to tap home.

Ireland were on the attack again shortly after the half hour but Alan Judge’s ball over the top was just to far ahead of the on-rushing Padraig Amond.

It was the home side who took the lead, however. Vieirinha won possession just outside the box and found Vaz Te on the penalty spot, who drilled low into the corner to give Portugal the lead.

Despite continuing to play well, Ireland found themselves two down in first half stoppage time when Fernandes volleyed into net from six yards.

Ireland got themselves right back into the game four minutes after the re-start. Sean Scannell broke down the left and pulled the ball back for Owen Garvan to shoot home from 12 yards.

Two minutes later Ireland were almost level. Garvan’s free kick bounced around the six yard box and James McCarthy toe-poked the ball goalward but his effort could not find a way through a sea of red shirts.

McCarthy again came close to his debut goal on 60 minutes when he narrowly failed to connect with Garvan’s cross.

As a resurgent Ireland pushed forward in waves, the magnificent Garvan almost got the equaliser on 63 minutes when he played a superb one-two with Alan Judge. However, the on-rushing Ricardo Batista reached the ball just ahead of the Ireland midfielder.

Garvan was pulling all the strings and the 20-year-old Dubliner drew matters level after 65 minutes. Sean Scannell won the ball and played it through to Garvan, who did brilliantly to turn and shoot into the far corner from 15 yards.

Alan Judge’s long range effort on 72 minutes wasn’t far off target. It was to be Judge’s last action of the game, as injury forced his withdrawal shortly after.

Saleiro was introduced to spice up the home attack and his introduction almost paid-off immediately when his low shot from the edge of the box rolled inches wide.

Moments later the post came to Ireland’s rescue after Helder Barbosa’s shot found its way through a crowded defence.

Substitute Karl Moore could have won all three points for Ireland in injury time but he pulled his shot wide after Sean Scannell had set up a good opportunity.

Portugal: Rui Patricio (Ricardo Batista, 28 mins.), Nuno Andre Coelho, Pele, Goncalo Brandao (Helder Barbosa, 60 mins), Paulo Machado, Vieirinha, Manuel Fernandes (Cap), Miguel Veloso, Vasco Fernandes (Saleiro, 72 mins), Manuel Da Costa, Vaz Te

Substitutes not used: Miguel Lopes, Joao Moreira, Bruno Gama, Vitor Vinha

Republic of Ireland: Shane Redmond, Seamus Coleman, Michael Liddle, Michael Spillane, Eddie Nolan, Jimmy Ryan (Stephen Gleeson h/t), Alan Judge (Simon Madden, 79 mins), James McCarthy, Owen Garvan, Padraig Amond (Karl Moore h/t), Sean Scannell

Substitutes not used: Stephen Henderson, Brendan Moloney, James Berrett, Darren Dennehy

Referee: Jerome Efong Nzolo (Belgium)

Portugals hopes of reaching the play-offs ended in bitter disappointment after they lost a two-goal lead to draw 2-2 with the Republic of Ireland.

Fernandes goal
Needing a win to have a chance of advancing from Group 3 as one of the four best runners-up, Rui Caçadors side looked on course at the break after goals from Ricardo Vaz Té and Manuel Fernandes put them in a commanding position in Madeira. Although Portugal got off to a slow start they soon hit their stride and took the lead after 38 minutes when Vierinhas precise pass picked out Bolton Wanderers FC forward Vaz Té who beat Shane Redmond in the Ireland goal. Portugal added to their advantage in stoppage time at the end of the first half when Valencia CF midfielder Manuel Fernandes fired in after more good work by Vaz Té.

Garvan double
The Republic of Ireland had picked up just four points in their preceding seven matches but they bounced back after half-time to stun their hosts with a pair of goals from Owen Garvan. Sean Scannel set up Garvan for the first on 50 minutes, the Ipswich Town FC player making no mistake from close range, before Garvan drew the visitors level with a left-foot shot on 65 minutes. Substitute Hélder Barbosa came close to winning the game for Portugal when he hit the post with eleven minutes remaining, but there was to be no way back.

Managers comments
Republic of Ireland Under-21 manager Don Givens has hailed as “unbelievable” his side’s performance in the 2-2 draw with Portugal on Tuesday.

The young Irish side came from 2-0 down in Madeira to earn a draw thanks to two goals from Owen Garvan.

Givens said: “It was an unbelievable performance and even better when you consider who we were up against. Portugal fielded a very experienced side, with some of them playing for clubs like Inter Milan. Their team were all drawn from the 1986-born age group, whereas ours were all from 1988, ’89 and even 1990. It’s very promising for the future.

“We did well for the first half an hour but then conceded twice. We showed tremendous character to come back into the game, but it was more than character – we kept the ball well and we probed and could have won the game.”

Givens heaped praise on midfielder Ipswich Town midfielder Garvan, who produced a man-of-the-match performance and controlled the game throughout.

“We know what Owen can do”, he said. “Throughout the whole campaign he has probably been our best player. He is coming back from an illness and he hasn’t played much for Ipswich this season. In Sofia, he struggled with the pace of the game in the first half and improved in the second. Tonight he was wonderful from start to finish.”

Final Table
Group 3
England 8 22
Portugal 8 14
Montenegro 8 8
Bulgaria 8 7
Rep of Ireland 8 5
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