ST PATS DUO Noel Haverty and Derek Foran from our U17 squad were both selected for the Irish starting eleven in the Republic's international friendly with Malta. Haverty already has 3 caps to his name was also given the captain's armband on the night. This was Foran's first call up and his first appearance for his country. Both players acquitted themselves very well in Ireland's 3-1 win and did both their country and club proud.
The game was arranged to give domestic players the opportunity to experience the international stage ahead of next season's UEFA U19 qualifying campaign. All 18 players selected didn't disappoint as the Republic controlled the game throughout.
Onwubiko provided the opening goal for the Irish after 9 minutes when he slotted home from the right side of the penalty area after a neat interchange between Lawless and Corcoran set up the chance. Corcoran then came close to doubling that lead soon after when his header rebounded off the post.
On 32 minutes Malta punished slack Irish defending when Miguel slotted home from close range. The Republic held their nerve and continued to create scoring chances, eventually Connolly fired them back in the lead 8 minutes later when he stabbed the ball home at the back post following Clarke's deep free-kick from the right side.
The 2nd half saw Ireland introduce their seven substitutes but that didn't disrupt their dominance. Striker Corcoran got the goal his hard-working display deserved nine minutes after the break when he buried a low shot past Maltese keeper Vella from 10 yards.
Congratulations to all and especially to Noel and Derek for their fine achievements.