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Ireland U17s Through To European Championship Quarter Finals

Ireland U17s Through To European Championship Quarter Finals
By Eoin Harrington Updated
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The Republic of Ireland U17s have progressed to the quarter-finals of the European Championships in style with a 4-2 win over hosts Hungary in their final group game.

Ireland knew a win would do them going into their final game, and they delivered a magnificent performance, with two goals each from Luke Kehir and Mason Melia putting them through to a quarter-final meeting with the winners of Group B on May 27.

The victory also means the Ireland U17s are only one win away from qualifying for the World Cup later this year.

Republic of Ireland U17s one win away from World Cup

The group stages got off to the worst possible start for Ireland, with a heavy 5-1 defeat to Poland on the opening day leaving them with a mountain to climb in Group A.

Their second outing was far more fruitful, with a comfortable 3-0 win against Wales setting them up for the final game, in which they knew victory would be enough to guarantee them a place in the last eight.

That final game, however, would be a tall order, with hosts Hungary the opponents in the Pancho Arena in Felcsút, west of Budapest.

Mason Melia gave Ireland the perfect start with a goal after just five minutes, before Hungary got one back through an unfortunate own goal from Jake Grante.


Under huge pressure, Ireland held their nerve, and were 3-1 up at half-time thanks to a goal from Luke Kehir and a second from Mason Melia.

Just after the hour mark, Luke Kehir put the result beyond doubt.

The St. Patrick's Athletic youngster had the pick of the goals with his second - a brilliant finish to the top corner, after a terrific run from Melia.



Group leaders Poland surprisingly lost out 3-0 to Wales on Tuesday night, but they edged ahead of Ireland on head-to-head to secure top spot in the group.

The result means that Ireland will now play the winners of Group B in the quarter-finals, with the final games in that group to follow tomorrow evening.

All four teams in the group can still qualify, with Spain, Serbia, and Slovenia still hoping to top the group, meaning the Ireland U17s could face any of those three teams.


Spain play Serbia, while Slovenia face Italy, with kick-off in both games at 4pm Irish time on Wednesday.

23 May 2023; Luke Kehir of Republic of Ireland celebrates after scoring his side's fourth goal during the UEFA European U17 Championship Final Tournament match between Hungary and Republic of Ireland at Pancho Aréna in Felcsút, Hungary. Photo by David Balogh/Sportsfile

Ireland's top quality goals were the most eye-catching part of the outstanding performance, which only confirmed 15-year-old Pats man Mason Melia as one of the most exciting young talents in Irish football.

To have put in such a performance against the tournament hosts under do-or-die pressure is a testament to this team, and hopes will be high that Ireland - who were the third highest ranked qualifying team for the tournament - can go even deeper into the tournament.

The European Championships also serve as the qualifiers for the FIFA World Cup, to be held in November of this year.

The four semi-finalists will progress to the tournament, as well as the winners of a play-off between the two losing quarter-finalists with the best group stage record.

Fans may dare to dream of seeing the Ireland U17s at the World Cup, even if they are set for a mighty test in the last eight.

Ireland's quarter-final will take place on May 27.

SEE ALSO: James McClean Will Not Be Returning To Derry City As He Decides To Stay At Wigan

LiveScore is holding a special fan event in Dublin to debate the UEFA Champions League with a panel of Evan Ferguson, Denis Irwin & Emma Byrne, hosted by Conor McNamara

Reserve your spot for this unmissable night in The Camden on the 30th May by clicking here.

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