Czech Republic come from behind to beat Ireland

Czech Republic 2-1 Republic of Ireland
Trailing to John O'Sullivan's early goal, the Czech Republic responded through Jakub Brabec and Patrik Lácha to close on the semi-finals.

The Czech Republic celebrate Patrik Lácha's winner
The Czech Republic celebrate Patrik Lácha's winner ©Sportsfile

The Czech Republic edged closer to the UEFA European Under-19 Championship semi-finals after coming from behind to earn a 2-1 triumph over the Republic of Ireland.

John O'Sullivan's opener had given Paul Doolin's side an early advantage in Mogosoaia, but the Czechs rallied in the second half and netted through a Jakub Brabec header and a stunning long-range shot from Patrik Lácha.

Both sides enjoyed victories in their respective opening encounters and knew that a further triumph here would push them towards a place in the last four. With that in mind, Jaroslav Hřebík's team looked to forge ahead early on, with winger Ladislav Krejčí drawing a smart one-handed stop from goalkeeper Aaron McCarey with a shot from the edge of the area.

Conquerers of Greece in their last outing, Ireland responded immediately and took the lead when Derrick Williams's thumping drive from distance took a big deflection off John O'Sullivan and flew into the corner of the net. Their spirits now soaring, Doolin's side continued to push forward and they could have doubled their lead but for Czech goalkeeper Tomáš Koubek, who firstly flicked away a Sean Murray header before parrying Anthony Forde's angled shot.

Continuing where they left off in the first half, Ireland ventured forward once more at the start of the second with Forde again seeing a couple of efforts denied by Koubek. Roared on from the sidelines by Hřebík throughout, though, the Czechs finally produced a response and drew level in the 69th minute, Brabec rising to head powerfully in having connected with Adam Jánoš's free-kick to the far post.

Things got even better for them just two minutes later when Lácha produced a powerful strike from distance which dipped and swerved past McCarey's outstretched hand. Lácha almost doubled his tally and his team's advantage later in the half yet the substitute's glancing header dropped narrowly wide.