The Republic of Ireland pipped Kazakhstan to second place in UEFA European Under-17 Championship qualifying round Group 4 in a section dominated by the Czech Republic.
Aiming to reach the finals for a third straight season, the Czechs were safely through to the elite round after just two games, having beaten hosts Kazakhstan 2-0 and Liechtenstein 6-0.
In the race for the runners-up spot, Kazakhstan were three points behind the Republic of Ireland and with a goal difference deficit of ten going into the last day; although the home side eventually overcame Liechtenstein 8-0, they fell one goal short of qualification as John Morling's team went down only 1-0 to the Czechs.
Sam Byrne had been the key man for Ireland on matchday one with a hat-trick in what transpired to be a decisive 8-0 defeat of Liechtenstein. The Czechs, meanwhile, had seen off Kazakhstan with two goals from Chelsea FC striker Dominik Mašek, who had played at the 2011 U17 finals in Serbia and the FIFA U-17 World Cup in Mexico.
Mašek then contributed a 12-minute hat-trick in his side's thrashing of Liechtenstein while Ireland held Kazakhstan 1-1, with Ivan Antipov scoring early on before Jack Grealish equalised with 13 minutes left.
Daniel Holzer was the scorer in the Czechs' concluding victory over Ireland, who were relieved when Kazakhstan came up one goal short versus Liechtenstein despite seven different players registering for the host nation. Anuar Zhagippar's penalty with seven minutes remaining left the Kazakhs agonisingly close to their target.
Results in the other groups mean Kazakhstan cannot progress as one of the two third-placed teams with the best records against the top pair in their section.
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