Ireland under-17s suffer heavy defeat to Croatia

The Irish under-17s endured their second loss to Croatia in the space of a week as they continue to prepare for upcoming European qualifiers
The Republic of Ireland under-17 team suffered a 3-0 loss against Croatia ahead of their Uefa under-17 European Championships qualification campaign in three weeks.

Croatia opened the scoring on eight minutes through Marko Dabro, who fired past Irish goalkeeper Harry Doherty with a volley from the edge of the box. Karlo Lucic then doubled the Croatian lead after 18 minutes after breaking through the Irish defence.

Ireland's misery was compounded in the second half when Fiachre Kelleher conceded a penalty after fouling Fran Bodic. Bodic stepped up and dispatched the penalty to make the final score 3-0.

The loss represents Ireland's second defeat to Croatia in the space of a week, after losing 2-1 on Wednesday February 27.

Despite the loss, Ireland under-17 boss Tom Mohan was happy with the opportunity to assess his squad ahead of forthcoming qualification games.

"It was a great opportunity to see a number of players in action, and putting my squad together for next month was my priority," said Mohan.

"Some players performed really well. The goals were certainly avoidable, but we were solid in the second half and created plenty of chances."