Defeat for Danny

West Ham United winger Danny Kearns was on the losing side as the Republic of Ireland began their UEFA European U19 Championship Elite Round qualifying challenge with a 1-0 defeat by England.

The 19-year-old was introduced as a half-time at the FFU Training complex in Kiev on Wednesday, with the Irish having already fallen behind to a 37th-minute goal from Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Dean Parrett.

The defeat leaves Ireland facing an uphill task to qualify from Group 3 and reach the finals for the first time in their history. Kearns and his colleagues the 2009 champions Ukraine in their second fixture at Borex in Borodinka on Friday.

Ireland complete their Elite Round fixtures by tackling Bosnia & Herzegovina at the FFU Training complex on Monday 31 May.


While Kearns was in action, club-mates Jonathan Spector and Fabio Daprela were not involved as their respective nations took to the pitch on Tuesday evening.

Spector was an unused substitute as the United States lost 4-2 to the Czech Republic in a Send-Off Series friendly in Hartford, Connecticut.

The defender will hope to get some playing time when the Americans take on Turkey in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on Saturday.

Daprela, meanwhile, was not in Switzerland's matchday squad as they began their own UEFA European U19 Championship Elite Round qualifying campaign with a 3-2 victory over Austria in Schwaz.

The teenager will also hope to be back in action when the Swiss take on Denmark in Hall on Thursday and Serbia in Schwaz on Sunday.