Republic of Ireland's Chiedozie Ogbene celebrates scoring his team's third goal against Latvia

Evan Ferguson marked his first senior worldwide begin along with his first objective because the Republic of Eire ready for his or her Euro 2024 qualifier in opposition to France with a 3-2 pleasant win over Latvia.

The 18-year-old chief, who has scored six targets in his final 13 video games for Brighton, wanted simply 17 minutes to open his account on an eventful night time in Dublin.

It’s the misfortune of any promising Irish striker to be in comparison with the prodigious expertise of 17-year-old Robbie Keane, who went on to attain 68 targets for his nation in 146 appearances.

Nonetheless, Ferguson did little hurt to his possibilities of being concerned in Monday night time’s conflict with the World Cup finalists with an instinctive end and an enterprising full show within the 73 minutes given to him.

Callum O’Dowda had already put in a Republic XI with a mean age of simply 23.6 earlier than {the teenager} discovered the again of the web, however they have been overtaken by vicious long-range strikes from Roberts Uldrikis and Arturs Zjuzins and it took substitute Chiedozie Ogbene’s Sixty fourth-minute objective to win.

How the Republic of Eire defeated Latvia

Chiedozie Ogbene restored the hosts’ lead

Victory over FIFA’s 133rd-ranked facet will imply little in opposition to third-placed France, however it might have given a glimpse of what the long run may maintain with midfielder Will Smallbone, on mortgage from Southampton to Stoke, additionally impressing on his senior debut.

Each males have been instrumental within the sixth-minute opener, with Ferguson feeding the ball to skipper Matt Doherty on the correct to take it again for Smallbone, who immediately crossed on the far publish for O’Dowda to ship a diving header in entrance of helpless ‘keeper Pavels Steinbors.

Eire continued to dominate possession, Smallbone and Doherty linking up effectively, and Ferguson entered the act with 14 minutes remaining, reducing inside menacingly earlier than capturing excessive and vast, though his second would come relatively early.

It was goalkeeper Caoimhin Kelleher who began the transfer within the seventeenth minute from which {the teenager} opened his worldwide account with Nathan Collins, Jayson Molumby and Smallbone teaming as much as give Doherty the possibility to cross.

Republic of Ireland's Callum O'Dowda celebrates scoring the opening goal against Latvia with Evan Ferguson
Callum O’Dowda scored the primary objective for Eire

His ball was recycled previous the far publish by Michael Obafemi and Ferguson fortunately stabbed it previous Steinbors with the assistance of a deflection from defender Antonijs Cernomordijs.

However Kelleher may do nothing to cease Uldrikis bringing his workforce again 12 minutes earlier than the break with a 30-yard piledriver from out of nowhere that flew inside his left publish.

Republic’s fortunes have been additional compounded in first-half stoppage time when, after Collins, Andrew Omobamidele, Dara O’Shea and O’Dowda all didn’t clear a free-kick, Zjuzins previous Kelleher with a free kick. Collins on the stage.

Republic of Ireland's Callum O'Dowda (left) celebrates scoring the opening goal against Latvia
O’Dowda (left) celebrates the primary objective

Latvia visibly gained confidence because the second half unfolded, with Eire as a substitute dropping their method, prompting supervisor Stephen Kenny to reply with a sequence of substitutions, and two of the newcomers had prompt impression.

Celtic winger Mikey Johnston, making his first look for the Republic after switching allegiance to Scotland, broke free on the left and fired in opposition to the foot of the publish, and Ogbene pounced on the rebound to revive the top.

Johnston, at the moment on mortgage at Vitoria Guimaraes in Portugal, was disallowed a objective six minutes from time when he fought his method via the Latvian protection however had his shot denied by the defender’s courageous block Marcis Oss.

Kenny: Ferguson takes all of it in his stride

Republic of Eire boss Stephen Kenny refuses to take something as a right after watching 18-year-old striker Evan Ferguson launch his senior worldwide profession in earnest.

Requested if he is seen a glimpse of the long run, Kenny stated: “It is by no means simple with gamers. Accidents can take their toll on younger gamers. The calls for are excessive within the leagues they’re in and it occurs generally.

“What we now have now could be a excessive variety of gamers who’ve handed, unprecedented in our historical past, the quantity in a brief proximity. It has given us depth in our workforce.

“Evan, it is his first begin and he scored a objective. You may’t predict issues going ahead. He is nonetheless studying the sport and he took all of it in his stride.

“Will, having watched numerous Stoke lately, I am so impressed with how he is began. He is added different elements to his recreation, so he is given us meals for thought.

“Mikey, that was a snapshot of what Mikey may be.”

And after?

Republic of Eire host France within the European Championship qualifying group B on Monday on the Aviva stadium; kick off at 7:45 p.m.

Latvia go to Wales on Tuesday in European Championship qualifying Group D in Cardiff; kick off at 7:45 p.m.

#Rep #Eire #Latvia

By moh

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