The Republic of Ireland under-17s' slim hopes of qualifying for this summers European Championships ended after a 1-1 draw with 10-men Serbia in Vienna.A Jack Byrne penalty was not enough to give Ireland victory as a depleted Serbia side equalised shortly afterwards through Nemanja Radonjic. The sides were then locked in a deadlock until the final whistle, both disappointed to go home with nothing to show for their efforts.
Ireland started the game brightly and peppered the Serbia goal with shots but none of which found the back of the net. Serbia started to come into the game more as the first half drew to a close with the best chances coming from the feet of Danilo Pantic.
It wasn't until the second half that Ireland converted an opportunity and that was from the penalty spot. Serbia's Srdjan Babic received his marching orders for a foul on Dean O'Halloran which forced the referee to produce the second yellow card of the day for Babic. Manchester City's Jack Byrne, booked earlier in the game, was the man to put Ireland in front. The lead lasted just five minutes though as Nemanja Radonjic scored thanks to some good work by his teammate Sasa Lukic.
Both teams fought hard for the victory, partially explaining the six yellow cards shown by the referee throughout the game. Qualification was always unlikely though and Ireland knew a win was needed to progress. Austria made this task harder by beating Georgia in their final group game, Nikola Zivotic and Adrian Grbic putting the hosts ahead before Luka Zarandia pulled one back for the Georgians to make the score 2-1.
Tom Mohan's Republic of Ireland side hit the ground running by beating the hosts in their group opener, a solid, if slightly lucky, 1-0 victory, but luck ran out for the Boys in Green when they came up against Georgia and were swept aside in a 3-0 defeat, having two players sent off in the process. The heavy defeat administered by the Georgians meant that qualification always looked unlikely today's scoreline puts that result beyond doubt.