Paul Doolin's Republic of Ireland Under-19s scored four second-half goals to put Azerbaijan to the sword in a one-sided friendly at Tallaght Stadium. St Patrick's Athletic midfielder Jamie McGrath and QPR’s Ryan Manning both bagged two apiece. while Dessie Hutchinson and Jack Hallahan also managed to get on the scoresheet.
Ireland dominated the game creating and finishing off plenty of chances to make life very difficult for Azerbaijan goalkeeper Aghaseyid Gasimov. They opened the scoring after some nice play down the left hand side as Sheffield United’s Joel Coustrain whipped in a dangerous cross that was headed out by Azerbaijan before the ball kindly fell to Hutchinson at the edge of the box. The Brighton midfielder stepped up and buried it from the edge of the area with a low driving volley into the bottom left hand corner that left Gasimov outstretched and helpless.
Azerbaijan controlled the final 20 minutes of the first half but against the run of play, Ireland extended their lead to two after McGrath scored from some nice hold up play from Ross Mann with McGrath crossing it from a tight angle only to find the ball in the back of the net.
His second however, just four minutes after the restart was no fluke as the St Pat's midfielder lobbed Gasimov with a perfectly timed chip from just inside the box to give Ireland a three goal lead.
Ireland manager Paul Doolin rung in the changes just after the hour mark and it didn’t take long for his substitutions to make an impact. Manning found the net only moments after stepping on the field with a glancing header from a Dessie Hutchinson free-kick. The 19 year old Galway United product made a well-timed run and was able to stick the ball past a hapless Gasimov.
Ireland tagged another two on in quick succession as Manning grabbed his second and fellow substitute Hallahan finished after a good ball from Coustrain. Ireland closed the game out in the final 20 minutes and will take great confidence from the win ahead of their trip to Germany next month to take on Uefa Under-19 European Championship hosts the Czech Republic.