Jonathan Afolabi's well-taken goal put the Republic of Ireland on their way to a semi-final spot at the U-19 European Championships as they secured a 2-1 win over Czech Republic yesterday.
The striker put Ireland ahead just after the half-hour mark. Barry Coffey's effort later in the game ensured the win and it means Ireland will face holders Portugal in the last four on Wednesday.
Jonathan Afolabi gives Ireland a 1-0 lead against the Czech Republic as they chase a place in the Euro U19 semi-finals https://t.co/G9OtcGyz62 pic.twitter.com/gbm3je1NU9
— RTÉ Soccer (@RTEsoccer) July 21, 2019
Unfortunately for Afolabi, he along with captain Lee O'Connor is set to miss the match against the Portuguese after picking up a harsh yellow card in the closing stages. It was a second booking of the tournament for both players, meaning they will be forced to serve a one-match suspension.
"They are big, big players," manager Tom Mohan said post-match. "It’s a bitter one at the moment, but we’ll not let that affect the joy of tonight."
Jonathan Afolabi is eligible to represent both Nigeria and Ireland but repeatedly in interviews has referenced the fact he is from Tallaght and wants to play for the boys in green. The Irish striker even incorporated it into his goal celebration, displaying the number '24' for Tallaght's postcode.
While he admitted he was 'really gutted' at the suspension, the youngster did add that Ireland will 'surely go again' come Wednesday.
What a country to be apart of, we just never know when to lay down.