West Ham United forward Kieran Sadlier scored as Republic of Ireland drew 2-2 with Switzerland in their opening UEFA European U19 Championship Elite Round Group 2 qualifier in Serbia.

Sadlier, who finished as the leading scorer in the Hammers' Under-18 side, scored Ireland's second goal as they roared into a 2-0 lead within 23 minutes at FK Obilic in Belgrade.

The West Ham teenager fired in an unstoppable free-kick after Manchester United's Sam Byrne had put his nation in front on 16 minutes with a strong header that bounced in off the crossbar.

Unfortunately, Paul Doolin's team were unable to maintain their advantage and Switzerland halved their deficit two minutes before half-time through captain Michael Frey. And the Swiss drew level seven minutes after the break when Samuele Campo fired low past Ireland goalkeeper Ian Lawlor.

Substitute Kenny McEvoy of Tottenham Hotspur - who scored twice against West Ham in the FA Youth Cup last season - almost snatched a win for Ireland late on, but they had to settle for a point.

Sadlier's club-mate Sean Maguire was an unused substitute.

Next up for Sadlier and Maguire is a clash with Slovakia on Saturday before facing hosts Serbia on Tuesday. Serbia thrashed Slovakia 4-0 in the other Group 2 opener in Jakovo on Thursday.