Ireland just miss out on UEFA under-19 championships

Tom Mohan's team did win their final group match

Tom Mohan, Ireland,

Republic of Ireland manager Tom Mohan ©INPHO/Morgan Treacy

Ireland have narrowly missed out on a place at the 2017 UEFA European Under-19 Championships.

Tom Mohan's side beat Belgium 1-0 in their final group match in the elite phase of the qualifiers.

That was their second win from three matches which leaves them on six points.

Sweden topped the group on the same number of points but finished with a goal difference of +3 compared to Ireland and also won their head to head Saturday 3-0.

Only the teams at the top of each group qualify for the final tournament which will take place in Georgia and Sweden finished top of Group 7.  

An own goal by Belgium's Wout Faes secured the win for Ireland today in the host's town of Beveren, while Sweden edged Italy 1-0 in their game to qualify ahead of the Boys in Green.

Speaking after the game, Ireland head coach Mohan was proud of his team.

"We were outstanding to a man. The lads did Irish football proud tonight. To perform so well against a top nation like Belgium who were very good says everything about them," he said.

"It’s very disappointing but we have to live with it and move on. These boys are ambitious and know they did enough to reach the finals. To beat Italy and Belgium was so good but maybe we were a bit tired in the second game and paid the price.

"I couldn’t have asked more of the players and the staff. The lads showed character and hard work.

"We had to defend so well after going ahead. Our back four with Conor Masterson and Declan Rice excelling and Caoimhin Kelleher making impressive saves were very good. Ronan Hale put in a great shift. Trevor Clarke was outstanding.

"We could only carry out our side of the bargain and hope that Italy did us a favour against Sweden. If you look at Connor Ronan, Steven Kinsella and Jake Doyle-Hayes also missing it's been an incredible effort from our lads.

"A lot of these players have big futures in the game. Three of our back four plus Jayson Molumby in midfield are eligible again next season. I don’t think anybody could argue but that the future is bright."

Ireland XI: Kelleher, Carroll, Masterson, Rice, Wilson., O'Keeffe, Levingston (McKenna 51), Elbouzedi, Molumby, Hale, Clarke.