Adam Idah fires the Republic of Ireland into the European Championship quarter-finals
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/phcimages.com
Norwich City's young hot shot Adam Idah sealed the Republic of Ireland's place in the last eight of the U17 European Championships on Friday with a stoppage time goal in a 2-0 win against Bosnia's U17s in their final group clash.
Idah struck the woodwork early in the second half at St George's Park, in front of the watching Roy Keane, but made no mistake in the final seconds with an assured finish to seal a quarter-final against Holland on Monday, after Tottenham prospect Troy Parrott rifled home a stunning 69th minute free kick.
Idah's star is firmly on the rise, after impressing in the Canaries' FA Youth Cup run, and Daniel Farke has already cast his eye over the 17-year-old, with Idah a regular at first team training sessions towards the end of the season.
Idah was also top scorer in European qualifying, with eight goals in his first four games, to help his country reach the finals in England before the Cork-bred striker added to his tally on Friday afternoon to finish runners-up in Group C.
The Republic youngsters beat Denmark 1-0 in midweek after an opening day 2-0 defeat to table-topping Belgium.
The 17-year-old was part of his country's European Championship campaign last season, playing up a year, and was also on target against the Bosnians 12 months ago.
Keane and senior Republic chief Martin O'Neill have both been interested spectators in recent days, following the progress of Colin O'Brien's young charges.
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'Scoring so many goals in qualifying definitely boosted my confidence but I can't score in every game,' Idah told the Irish Indepedent, prior to the Bosnian clash.
'It's a team game. Martin O'Neill and Roy Keane wished us the best in the dressing-room after the Denmark match but they were speaking to all of us, not individuals.'
City reportedly headed off interest from Celtic to sign Idah in 2017, and the striker revealed to the Irish Examiner his bid to make it for club and country is inspired by his late granddad.
'My granddad encouraged me to play different sports growing up,' he said. 'I was into everything from athletics, the long jump along with hurling and Gaelic. I even got to the Community Games national finals in Athlone a couple of years in a row.
'My granddad passed away a couple of years ago just the day before my first international at U15 game for Ireland.'