Ireland relinquish two goal lead - June 12, 2000

Ireland u17s 2 Portugal u17s 3

The Republic of Ireland looked certain to win the Lisbon Invitational Tournament after 30 minutes of the last game against the hosts Portugal. After beating both the USA and Norway 1-0 in their opening two games with goals from Blackburn's Robert Doyle the Irish went into the last game in confident mood.

They raced into a two-goal lead after 28 minutes and it was no surprise that it was Doyle again who was on the scorecard. He brought his tally for the tournament to four goals with strikes in the 23rd and 28th minute and Ireland looked on their way. But Portugal rallied and Santa Maria gave them a lifeline with three minutes left in the first half when he netted past Irish goalkeeper Billy McMahon.

Jose Silva levelled the score after 50 minutes and six minutes later Lourenco lobbed McMahon from 25 yards to win the match. Both teams lost their composure in the last quarter of the game, which saw three players getting red cards. First to go was Portugal's Pedro Nuno who earned his card for kicking.

Alan McDermott and Derek Treston (both second bookings) were sent off towards the end of the game. McDermott was voted player of the tournament while Robert Doyle finished top scorer.

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Ireland: Billy McMahon (West Ham); David Van Zantan (Celtic); Ken Coleman (Wolves); Colm Daly (Ipswich); Alan McDermott (Manchester Utd); Martin Cramer (Leeds); John Lester (Everton); Declan Field (Arsenal), Joe Gamble (Cork City); Robert Doyle (Blackburn); Michael Keane (Preston).

Subs:JJ Melligan (Wolves) for Cramer 46; Derek Treston (Belvedere) for Keane 60; Michael Welch (Barnsley) for Field 60; Sean Malee (Galway United) for Coleman 70.