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Classy Ireland book place in quarter-final of Euros with convincing victory over Hungary

Hungary 2 Ireland 4

Luke Kehir of Republic of Ireland, left, celebrates with teammates, from left to right, Daniel Babb, Mason Melia, Daniel McGrath and Najemedine Razi

Aidan Fitzmaurice

Having dumped the expectant tournament hosts out of the competition with a thrilling display, Ireland's U17 side now get ready to take on the very best of European talent with a quarter-final date in the European Championship finals next weekend.

St Patrick's Athletic pair Luke Kehir and Mason Melia shared the Irish goals in a 4-2 win over Hungary and they will deservedly get the plaudits, but this was a superb team display where boys like Danny McGrath, Romeo Akachukwu, Freddie Turley and the sublime Ike Orazi all played a part

Their work done, Colin O'Brien's side can now sit back for 24 hours and await the outcome of Group B on Wednesday as Ireland play the winners of that one in the quarter-final on Saturday, likely to be Spain although Serbia and Slovenia are also in contention, while a route to the World Cup finals is also potentially there.

Just like the opening game against Poland, Ireland had the dream start with the lead goal after just four minutes. It came from a set piece which Hungary failed to clear. Melia was calm in the box as he looked for an opening, saw Kehir available and Kehir showed real poise to tee up his shot and fire home.

As also happened against the Poles, Ireland's lead did not last long, Hungary level on nine minutes. Csaba Molnar floated in a free kick and Crystal Palace defender Jake Grante was unfortunate to get the last touch and head the ball past his own keeper. That chance aside, Ireland had been on top and their dominance was rewarded on 23 minutes when Melia headed Ireland back in front, converting from Orazi's corner kick.

On 31 minutes Ireland went 3-1 up, a superb team move which saw Razi find Orazi and Melia lost his marker to finish for his second of the game.

Just after the hour mark, Ireland scored again to make it 4-1 and - so it seemed - seal a place in the last eight. This was another well-worked team goal, Akachukwu doing the hard work by winning the ball, Melia with the assist and fellow Saint Kehir with the finish.

A tame Hungary came out of their shell, getting a goal back on 71 minutes with a Martin Kern header and they looked as if they could pose a threat in the closing minutes, but their attacks lacked conviction and when they did manage something keeper Healy was well protected by defenders like Daniel Babb.

HUNGARY - Yaakobishvili; Hornyak (Burghart 76), Kaczvinszki, Umathum, Girsik; Nemeth (Somfalbi 76), Kern, Fenyo (Szabo 46), Varga (Demko 85); Simon, Molnar (Vidnyanszki 76).

IRELAND - Healy; Grante, Babb, O'Sullivan; Kehir, Akachukwu, Melia, Turley, McGrath, Orazi (Murray 88); Melia (Okusun 67), Razi (Moore 76).

REF - A Karaoglan (Turkey)

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