TOM Mohan's Republic of Ireland U17 side produced a dramatic second half fightback to secure a 2-1 victory over Austria at Dalymount Park this evening.
With both sides looking towards the elite qualifying round of the UEFA U17 Championship later this month it was a highly competitive game and Mohan will have taken a lot from the performance as well as the result.
Despite a lively start from Ireland when an early free-kick from Tom Holland created a golden chance for debut boy Jerry McDonagh but he just failed to connect.
However Austria were in superb form in the first half and strung together long periods of possession. They eventually found a way past the well-marshalled Irish defence in the 25th minute when Bernhard Fila cut the ball back and Sinan Yilmaz fired home superbly on the turn.
Ireland had to weather the storm but they were better after the break and levelled in the 61st minute when Nottingham Forest striker McDonagh exploited a gap in the Austrian defence and fired home emphatically from the edge of the box.
Steven Kinsella then produced a dangerous delivery in the 74th minute that Austrian defender Stefan Posch swiped at and was lucky to see the ball deflected onto his own crossbar before bouncing over.
David Gugganig was then penalised for a foul on Conor Masterson in the Austrian penalty area in the 81st minute and captain Georgie Poynton stepped up to fire home from the spot.
Defender Benjamin Kaufmann had a chance to level in the 86th minute with an excellent low shot from distance but it was well saved by Irish keeper Evan Moran.
REPUBLIC OF IRELAND: Evan Moran, Robin Walsh, Anto Breslin, Danny Kane, Robert McCourt, Kyron Farrell, Shane Elworthy, Georgie Poynton, Jerry McDonagh, Tom Holland, Steven Kinsella. Subs: Anto Dolan for Farrell 59 mins, Adam McDonnell for Holland 59, Khius Metz for McDonagh 75, Conor Masterson for Kinsella 80, Stephen Best for McCourt 90.
AUSTRIA: Paul Gartler, Stefan Posch, Marco Krainz, Benjamin Kaufmann, Albin Gashi, Simon Pirkl, Sinan Yilmaz, Bernhard Fila, Dominik Prokop, Fabian Gmeiner, David Gugganig. Subs: Philipp Seidl for Fila 46, Rami Tekir
for Prokop 46, Christopher Cvetko for Krainz 49, Konrad Laimer for Pirkl 49, Marco Hodl for Yilmaz 53, Patrick Hasenhutttl for Gmeiner 53.
REFEREE: Simon Rogers (Irl)