Killarney Celtic hosted the Republic of Ireland and Belgian U15 International teams for the second time this week as the teams played out an entertaining 3-3 draw. Both teams scored in injury time to keep the large crown enthralled until the final whistle.
Belgium started strongly again and dominated possession throughout the game but it was Ireland that always looked dangerous whenever they got into the final third. Jessie Devers lead the line well for Ireland and was clean through on the Belgian goal only to be fouled by Leyder who received a yellow card for his challenge. Ireland were the first to score and it came from good work from Devers who set up Benrouggibbi whose neat finish gave De Vriedt no chance. Miangue nearly brought Belgium back level but his cross/shot scraped the top of the crossbar and went over, minutes later Meyssens had a great effort from a free that cannoned back off Evan Moran’s crossbar. Hard work from Evan Osam paid off as he set up Benrougibbi inside the box but he was fouled before he could shoot, Dan Casey stepped up to take the penalty and made no mistake as he fired the ball to the keepers left.
Belgium came out with renewed energy in the second half and their determination was rewarded as substitute, Callebaut, finished neatly from the edge of the box after typically good Belgian build up play. Belgian scored again with 14 minutes left, this time it was from the penalty spot as the impressive Youri Tielemans slotted the spot kick away after good work from Meyssen earned the chance. Ireland thought they had won the match in the 79th minute as Sean Byrne took a free kick from the right touchline but his effort sailed directly into the net to give the Irish back the lead. 2 minutes into injury time the Belgians scored an equaliser as substitute Jeff Callebaut seized on a loose ball on the edge of the Irish penalty area and passed it into the net to score his second and claim a draw for Belgium.
Manager Niall Harrison was happy with the result saying ‘It was a good game and experience for this team, they got to compete against a strong Belgian team twice in one week and were unlucky not to win either match. A draw was probably a fair result today as they had most of the possession but we were always dangerous whenever we had the ball in attacking positions.’
Republic of Ireland: Evan Moran (Home Farm), David Grant (Kilreen Celtic), Ryan Corbally (Woodlawn), Dan Casey (St. Joseph’s Boys), Jack Tuite (Cherry Orchard), Chris Coleman (Kilreen Celtic), Malike Benrouggibbi (St. Joseph’s Boys), Jessie Devers (Manulla), Evan Osam (St. Kevin’s Boys), Dan Tobin (c)(St. Kevin’s Boys) Danny Kane (Cherry Orchard)
Substitutes: Evan Farrell (Shelbourne FC) for Moran, Shane Elworthy (St. Kevin’s Boys) for Grant, Conor Melody (Mervue Utd) for Devers, Cian Fogarty (Woodlawn) for Coleman, Shane McLoughlin (Killorglin FC) for Benrouggibbi, Sean Byrne (St. Joseph’s FC) for Corbally, Shane Whelan (Lourdes Celtic) for Tobin
Goalscorers Ireland: Benrougibbi 26’, Casey 39’(pen), Byrne 79’
Belgium: De Vriendt, Verschueren, Leyder, Delhougne, Konsiembo, Ringoet, Meyssen, Tulleneers, Miangue, de Bruycker, Bertacinni.
Substitutes: Steelandt, Desaever, Vlietinck, Tshimanga, Kerstenne, Teilemans, Callbaut
Goalscorers Belgium: Callebaut (2), Teilemans