Qualification delight for Ashby, defeats for Coventry and Cardoso

Conor Coventry


The Academy of Football had three youngsters in International action across Europe on Tuesday evening. Conor Coventry, Gonçalo Cardoso and Harrison Ashby all represented their respective nations at age-group level, following on from Amadou Diallo’s appearance for England U17s on Monday.

Hammers U23s captain Conor Coventry, played 90 minutes for Ireland U21s as they suffered the first defeat of their Euro 2021 qualification campaign against Iceland U21s. 

The Boys in Green were beaten 1-0 in Reykjavik as Sveinn Aron Gudjohnsen’s first-half penalty went unanswered.

The Republic of Ireland had a number of chances to level, but the visitors finished the game with 10-men after Lee O’Connor’s red card.

Despite the defeat the Republic of Ireland U21s remain top of their qualifying group, albeit having played more games than their opposition.

In Guarda, Gonçalo Cardoso’ Portugal U20s side were defeated 4-3 by Italy U20s in their latest European Elite league match.

The 18-year-old central defender also played the whole 90 minutes of an enthralling encounter, that saw Italy lead 3-0 at half-time.

A spirited Portuguese fight-back in the second period saw the hosts bring the score back to 3-3. But it was to be in vein as Gabriele Gori struck decisively for Italy with just 15 minutes remaining to snatch a 4-3 victory.

Portugal U20s currently sit third in the European Elite league with 5 points from 4 fixtures.

At Fir Hill, it was an excellent evening for U18s full-back Harrison Ashby, as Scotland U19s ran out 1-0 winners over Germany U19s.

17-year-old Ashby was a standout performer in the back-line, helping his side to a well earned clean sheet.

Scotland U19s took the lead shortly before the break through Josh McPake’s near post effort and that proved to be the difference as the young Scots defended admirably throughout. 

The result sees Ashby’s side top their Euro U19 qualification group and they have now booked their place in the Elite round of the competition that kicks-off in March.