Date: 21st July 2019 at 9:32pm
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Barry Coffey had to play second fiddle to Shane Lowry tonight as Ireland’s latest sporting hero.

Soon after the big fella from Clara in County Offlay had picked up the Claret Jug at Portrush the young Celtic midfielder was scoring the winning goal against the Czech Republic to earn Ireland a semi-final against Portugal in the u-19 European Championships.

With two wins in their opening matches France were assured of a place in the last four as they took on Norway while the Irish side had to pick themselves up after losing 1-0 to the French following a 1-1 draw against Norway in the opening match.

Luca Connell was one of a dozen players that had pulled out of the squad due to club commitments but the call ups have taken their chance with both hands.

Coffey, from Nenagh, County Tipperary was a second half substitute in the defeat from France and came off the bench to replace Brandon Kavanagh ten minutes into the second half with Ireland leading thanks to Jonathan Afolabi’s first half goal.

It looked like a Scotland style hard luck story when the Czech Republic equalised in the 79th minute through Vasil Kusey. Coffey wasn’t in the mood for an early exit, picking up a pass from Joe Hodge in the penalty box he drilled home a low shot to put Ireland in front.

Despite seven minutes of added time the Irish held on with the Celtic midfielder pressing hard for a starting place in Wednesday’s semi-final against Portugal.

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