Ireland set up U17 Euro quarter-final meeting with England despite heavy loss

Wed, May 10 2017

The 18-man squad for the championships in Croatia. Credit: FAI

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The Republic of Ireland have set up a quarter-final showdown with England at the UEFA Under-18 European Championships despite a crushing 7-0 defeat to Germany in their final Group C game.

 

Colin O'Brien's side entered the final day level with Serbia on three points and expecting they'd need at least a point from runaway group leaders Germany.

 

It didn't quite pan out that way as Ireland fell to a seven-goal defeat – the joint-heaviest in the competition so far – to a Germany side that could afford to rest some star performers.

 

As the final whistle approached, Serbia seemed to have done enough to claim second place, until a last-minute goal from Bosnia & Herzegovina's Armin Imamovic stole the three points.

 

That result left Ireland, Serbia and Bosnia in a three-way tie for second place and only one spot in the final eight up for grabs.

 

Crucially for Ireland, UEFA's rules in event of a tiebreak stipulate that only head-to-head results between the tied sides matter, so the heavy defeat to Germany was effectively disregarded.

 

All three sides finished with a goal difference of zero but, by virtue of having scored only one goal across the two games to Ireland and Bosnia's two, Serbia missed out and, having beaten Bosnia on Sunday, Ireland were confirmed in second spot.

 

It set up a meeting with the winner of Group D, a contest which went down to the final day as first-placed England met the Netherlands, a game the Three Lions comfortably won 3-0.

 

Ireland will now face off against Steve Cooper's highly-rated side on Saturday, May 13th, with a kick-off time of either 11am or 4.45pm (Irish time) to be confirmed shortly.