Friday, April 9, 2010

Daniel Kearns strike seals second victory for Ireland

A second half goal by Ireland striker Daniel Kearns at Tolka Park on Thursday night made it two wins from this week's double-header friendly against Poland.

Belfast born Kearns marked his first start for Ireland with a goal which gave his side a 1-0 victory in the U-19 international.

The pair of victories in their final warm-up games will give the Irish a boost ahead of the UEFA Elite qualifiers which takes place in Ukraine from May 26-31 against England, Bosnia-Herzegovina and mini-group hosts.

It took an Irish attack of sublime quality in the 58th minute to break the deadlock. Substitute Conor Henderson split the vistors' defence with a threaded pass to Doran on the left, who in turn found Kearns in the box with his back to goal. The West Ham United forward turned his marker brilliantly and fired a low shot past Socha in the Poland goal.

Daniel Kearns was delighted to score the winner on the night in only his second game under Sean McCaffrey.

He admitted: "Obviously it was brilliant for me to score on my first start." However, he was even happier with the team's performance over the two games "These games have been great preparation for the elite qualifying stage. We have a very tough group so it will be good to go into the qualifiers on the back of two good performances."

Ireland: Ger Hanley (Mervue United); Padraic Ormsby (Shamrock Rovers), Gavin Gunning (Rotherham United), Rob Kiernan (Kilmarnock), Shaun Timmins (Birmingham City); Aaron Doran (Blackburn Rovers), Jimmy Keohane (Wexford Youths), Conor Hourihane (Sunderland), Daniel Kearns (West Ham United); Jamil Adam (Barnsley), Charlie Collins (MK Dons)

Substitutions: Ronan Murray (Ipswich Town) for Collins, Conor Henderson (Arsenal) for Keohane (both h/t), Thomas McBride (Derry City) for Hourihane, Gary Burke (Bohemians) for Kearns (both 65 mins), Cian Bolger (Leicester City) for Kiernan, Ryan Brennan (Drogheda United) for Adam (both 76 mins), Shane McEleney (Derry City) for Timmons (84 mins)

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