Rep of Ireland U16 0 - 1 Dynamo Moscow U16Fri, Aug 10 2012
Republic of Ireland suffered their first loss today in the 1997 Elite section if the Galway Umbro Cup.
The U16s were looking to maintain their 100% record - and emulate Katie Taylor's exploits against Russian opposition - as they took to the field against Dynamo Moscow in the sweltering heat of Drom Park. Ireland went into this game with wins over Aberdeen and Valerenga under theie belts while Moscow needed a result to keep their hopes of qualification for the Elite Cup semi final alive.
It was the Russians who started the brighter of the sides and squandered an early chance which resulted from an Irish defensive mistake on 9 minutes. It took only another minute for the opener to come as Dynamo pounced on a loose ball to take the lead.
Ireland were flat and their play turgid, with Moscow looking much more comfortable with the ball at their feet, zipping passes over the smooth Salthill surface.
The game was, however, bereft of chances with Dynamo mustering two more shots - both of which were tame and easily gathered by Evan Gaffney in the Irish goal.
The second half continued in the same vein with Nikita Vasilkovskiy and Daniil Yashikov pulling the strings in midfield . A rushed shot that flew well over Conor Melody was the closest Ireland came to equalising as the Russians showed touches of class that their opponents couldn't muster. Nikolay Obolskiy played Mikhail Mogulkin for a Dynamo's best chance to extend their lead but Gaffney got down well to save.
The Republic top the group with superior goal difference to Dynamo and they both advance to the Cup semi final. A repeat of this fixture in the final is a distinct possibility.
Ronan joined the ExtraTime team at the beginning of the 2012 season. You can tweet Ronan at @RonanMoyles