Football

Sweet Joe Hodge Strike Earns Ireland Draw Vs Norway At U19 Euros

Sweet Joe Hodge Strike Earns Ireland Draw Vs Norway At U19 Euros

Ireland drew 1-1 with Norway in their opening game at the European U19 Championships in Armenia.

Norway took the lead in the eighth minute when Erik Botheim knocked the ball over the line after Ireland failed to deal with a cross from the right.

The score remained 1-0 until the 81st minute when the ball broke to Joe Hodge on the edge of the box. The 16-year-old Manchester City midfielder - who was playing in his U19 debut - hit a sweet strike which found the bottom right of the net.

In a tense final ten minutes, Norway hit the post with long-range strike but Ireland managed to hold on.

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The Ireland squad is without 11 potential players as clubs were not obliged to release them for the championships as it falls outside a FIFA international window.

Ireland play France on Thursday in their second game of the eight-team tournament and then Czech Republic in their final match on Sunday.

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PJ Browne
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