Date Time League Season
23 September 2022 7:00 pm U21 2022

Match Report

Ireland held at home in U21 first leg play-off

The Republic of Ireland were held to a frustrating, niggly & frenzied 1-1 draw, at Tallaght in the first leg of their Euro 2023 play-off against Israel.

Jim Crawford’s squad entered this play off tie seeking to make history by becoming the first U21's team to qualify for a major tournament.

If there was internal pressure, it didn’t immediately surface. Senior man, Aaron Connolly, had two decent chances early on.

First, Israel goalkeeper, Daniel Peretz diverted his shot onto the post before the former Seagulls striker fizzed a shot just past the post.

Mohammed Kanann called Brian Maher into action just before half time but the Derry shotstopper will not want to watch back the last play of the half.

Osher Davida swung a corner, Maher came out, found himself stranded & Idan Gorno had a gloriously free header, which he gleefully headed home.

That cheap concession was a sucker-punch for Ireland, yet they roused themselves. Tyreik Wright, particularly, kept his tempo high & from his own wicked delivery, Ireland equalised.

Wright swung in a wonderful corner kick & Evan Ferguson, only 17 years old, bulldozed Eiran Cashin, his own teammate, aside to thump an unstoppable header into the net.

The momentum had swung Ireland’s way & Israel were reduced to ten men with ten minutes to play. Defender Stav Lemkin was controversially sent off for hacking down a roving Connolly, he’ll be suspended for Tuesday’s second leg as a result.

If anything, Lemkin’s dismissal blunted the hosts as Israel sat back, absorbed pressure & expertly rode out, what admittedly, wasn’t much of an Irish storm.

Festy Ebosele impressed in a cameo after replacing Wright but Connolly & co didn’t exactly pepper Peretz in the closing stages.

So, mixed feelings for the boys in green. They came from behind to salvage something but with the manner of Maher’s error, they should have been the ones leading the match.

The second leg is on Tuesday night, in Tel Aviv. Join us on FinalWhistle that night as we report on what will either be historic happiness or heartbreak, tinged with rueful regret, from this first leg.

  • 90'

    FULL TIME: 1-1 it ends! Frustrating but perhaps, on reflection, fair!

  • 90'


  • 88'

    Devoy booked, Israel are frustrating Ireland very expertly late on

  • 80'

    Israel down to ten! It's a straight red for defender Sar Lemkin for hauling down Connolly. Controversial but what a chance Ireland now have!

  • 79'

    Another double change for the away side: Oshar Dovida, goes off. For Ireland, Ademipo Omubeko replaces the spent Ferguson

  • 75'

    Connolly carded for a soft foul, Israel stalling Ireland's momentum a bit here

  • 73'

    Dawson Devoy enters the fray for Ireland- debutant Hodge who has done very well, makes way

  • 67'

    In the aftermath, Redmond was booked, Ireland in the ascendancy now however!

  • 65'

    EQUALISER: Evan Ferguson with a fine thumping header from Wright's wicked corner! Ireland level & deservedly so! Tallaght is bouncing!

  • 63'

    CHANCE: Smallbone delivers a free kick & Cashin again wins a thumping header, this one drifts wide but had Peretz scrambling!

  • 61'

    Peretz claims a corner convincingly & Israel then make a double change, the flitting Herman has departed

  • 55'

    CHANCE: Wright again involved as he wins it back, frees Smallbone who somewhat rushes his cross & Connolly's header is more difficult to aim, it drifts well wide, but encouraging response for the boys in green!

  • 53'

    CHANCE: Better from Ireland. Tyreik Wright cleverly wins a free kick, delivers a beaut & Cashin floats a header just too high!

  • 49'

    Cashin tugs back goalscorer Gorno in as blatant a foul as you'll see, frustrating start to the half for the hosts

  • 46'

    SECOND HALF UNDERWAY: Can Ireland put that setback behind them?

  • 45'

    HALF TIME: That was the last action, sucker-punch for Ireland

  • 45'

    GOAL: Disaster! Kanann wins a corner, Maher is uncharisteristically unvocal & Idun Gorno has a free header! What a cheap concession that was well-taken! 1-0 to Israel

  • 43'

    CHANCE: Now Maher is tested as Mohammed Kanann's free kick is thumped in with venom- Maher parries it well

  • 40'

    CHANCE: Smallbone drives a fierce volley straight at Peretz who reacts sharply to bat it over!

  • 40'

    Five minutes to half-time, Tallaght is very tense

  • 34'

    Israel's turn to apply pressure, but bar a cross tipped over by Brian Maher, Ireland's defence is standing up to the challenge & has an outlet as Ferguson wins a foul on halfway

  • 27'

    BLOCK: Eiran Cashin makes a super, last-gasp block just as Israel's Oscar Gluokh was shaping to shoot

  • 19'

    CHANCE: Connolly goes close again! He traps Lee O'Connor's cross with a steady first touch before unleashing a low drive that flashes just wide! Dare I say it, Ireland are on top at the moment!

  • 15'

    OFF THE POST: Coventry slips in Connolly & the striker's shot is sneaking in until Israel goalkeeper Daniel Peretz gets a crucial fingertip which diverts it onto the post

  • 15'

    COVENTRY: The captain, Conor Coventry, setting the tempo in midfield with some typically industrious interceptions early on here- his class is evident

  • 10'

    It's been a cagey opening ten minutes, Ireland now with the ball & starting to sustain possession

  • 6'

    Israel are bossing territory at the moment but any threat is being quelled by the Irish back three- Jake O'Brien, in particular, has started well

  • 1'

    KICK OFF: Underway, can Ireland begin this playoff tie with a win?

  • Ireland arrives onto the pitch to a cheering, if nervous, Tallaght crowd


  • Joe Redmond & Joe Hodge are making their DEBUTS tonight- big call from Crawford- they look delighted warming up!


  • TEAM NEWS: Jim Crawford gives Aaron Connolly a start- he's up front with Evan Ferguson, his former Brighton teammate. Derry's Brian Maher & St Pat's Joe Redmond are some of the squad's LOI representation

  • WELCMOME: Good evening & welcome to what could be the start of a historic moment in Irish football. Tonight, is the first leg of their Euros2023 playoff against Israel, it's at Tallaght Stadium, my name's Rory Morrow & kick off is at 7pm


1Brian Maher Goalkeeper
2Lee O’Connor Defender
4Joe Redmond Defender 65'
5Eiran Cashin Defender 49'
6Conor Coventry Midfielder
7Joe Hodge 8 Midfielder
10William Smallbone Forward
11Aaron Connolly Forward 75'
13Jake O’Brien Defender
18Tyreik Wright 22 Forward
19Evan Ferguson 20 Forward 65'
16David Odumosu Goalkeeper
8Dawson Devoy 7 Midfielder 87'
9Joshua ‘JJ’ Kayode Forward
14Ollie O’Neill Forward
15Andy Lyons Defender
17Ross Tierney Midfielder
20Ademipo Odubeko 19 Forward
21Anselmo Garcia McNulty Defender
22Festy Ebosele 18 Forward


1Daniel Peretz Goalkeeper
3Ziv Morgan Defender
5Gil Cohen Defender
7Osher Davida 6 Forward
8Mohammad Kanaan 16 Forward
11Oscar Gloukh Midfielder
12El Yam Kancepolsky 15 Midfielder
17Ido Shahar Midfielder
19Idan Gorno 21 Forward 45'
20Stav Lemkin Defender 80'
22Roi Herman 2 Midfielder
18Omer Yaacov Nir On Goalkeeper
2Karm Jaber 22 Defender
4Iuval Sade Midfielder
6Zohar Zasno 7 Defender
10Stav Nachmani Forward
14Tay Abed Kassus Midfielder
15Yoav Hofmeister 12 Midfielder
16Hisham Layous 8 Defender
21Noam Gil Melamud 19 Midfielder


Tallaght Stadium
Tallaght Stadium, Whitestown Way, Tallaght, Dublin 24, D24 XC9W

QUB Student, passion for Sports Journalism