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24th Mar 2018

Michael Obafemi expertly rolls defender before slotting into the corner to give Ireland U19s early lead

Matthew Gault

Michael Obafemi

Coolly done.

The Republic of Ireland seniors may not have been able to deliver a result on Friday night but the U19s are looking much more slick.

Tom Mohan’s side are currently in action against Kosovo in their Elite Round clash in Rio Ave and have wasted no time in stamping their authority on proceedings.

In fact, Michael Obafemi, who shot into the public eye when he made his Premier League debut for Southampton earlier in the season, is spearheading the attack impressively.

The Dublin-born 17-year-old fired Ireland into a fifth-minute lead, showcasing impressive strength and composure in the process.

Just eight minutes later, it was two, with Manchester United’s Lee O’Connor adding his name to the scoresheet. While Ireland were always expected to beat minnows Kosovo, it’s encouraging to see Obafemi in fine form.

While he hasn’t been heavily involved in the first-team at Southampton, the former Leyton Orient prospect has continued to impress for the club’s U23s.

Judging by his neat finish against Kosovo, he certainly doesn’t seem to be lacking confidence.

O’Connor’s strike wasn’t bad, either, outpacing the defence before latching onto a through ball and lobbing the advancing keeper.

Martin O’Neill has demonstrated a willingness to give youth a chance in the senior set-up and, assuming he is abreast of the U19s fortunes, the quality of both Obafemi and O’Connor will not pass him by.

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