Republic of Ireland U21 manager Stephen Kenny named captain Jayson Molumby and centre back Conor Masterson together with senior internationals Lee O’Connor and unexpectedly Troy Parrott in his starting eleven for this Tuesday evening’s European Championship qualifying contest with Sweden in Tallaght Stadium.
Ireland started slowly while Sweden, seemingly still smarting from their three one home defeat by us in September, were quickly out of the blocks and set the early pace. Their enterprise paid dividend after 17 minutes when they went in front and indeed they might well have added to their lead while Ireland were unusually sluggish.
Stephen Kenny acted emphatically at half-time by replacing Masterson and captain Molumby, both of whom have had recent injuries and were off the pace in the first half. Defender Liam Scales slotted in to defence while Connor Ronan became very much the midfield general sparking a compete upturn in the Irish performance.
Ireland equalised on 50 minutes through Lee O’Connor, what a week it has been for the Waterford man. Adam Idah, who was now giving the Swedish defenders a torrid time, put Ireland in fron on 64 minutes and nine mintes later Troy Parrott exuded class as he netted the third. Ireland put the icing on the cake in a superb second half performance with the fourth goal from Zach Elbouzedi on 87 minutes.
Regular central defender Dara O’Shea missed this evening’s match through suspension following his red card in Yerevan.
One major disappointment this evening was the attendance of 2,760.
Team: Gavin Bazunu; Lee O’Connor, Conor Masterson, Nathan Collins, Thomas O’Connor; Conor Coventry, Jayson Molumby(C); Jason Knight, Troy Parrott, Zach Elbouzedi; Adam Idah
Connor Ronan for Molumby 46′
Liam Scales for Masterson 46′
Gavin Kilkenny for Parrott 86′
Aidan Keena for Idah 90’+2′
Jack Taylor for Knight 90’+2′
Goalkeepers: Gavin Bazunu(Manchester City), Conor Kearns(UCD),
Defenders: Nathan Collins(Stoke City), Kameron Ledwidge(Southampton), Conor Masterson(QPR), Danny McNamara(Newport County on loan from Millwall), Lee O’Connor(Glasgow Celtic), Thomas O’Connor(Gillingham on loan from Southampton), Corey O’Keefe(Macclesfield Town on loan from Birmingham City), Dara O’Shea(West Bromwich Albion), Liam Scales(UCD),
Midfielders: Jack Clarke(Aston Villa), Conor Coventry(West Ham United), Jason Knight(Derby County), Daniel Mandroiu(Bohemian), Jayson Molumby(Millwall on loan from Brighton & Hove Albion), Connor Ronan(DAC Dunajska Streda on loan from Wolverhampton Wanderers), Jack Taylor(Barnet)
Wingers: Zackary Elbouzedi(Waterford), Danny Grant(Bohemian), Gavin Kilkenny(AFC Bournemouth), Simon Power(Ross County on loan from Norwich City)
Forwards: Adam Idah(Norwich City), Aidan Keena(Heart of Midlothian), Troy Parrott(Tottenham Hotspur), Anthony Scully(West Ham United).
P W D L F A Pts
Ireland 7 5 1 1 12 3 16
Italy 5 4 1 0 15 0 13
Iceland 5 3 0 2 10 9 9
Sweden 4 2 0 2 10 7 6
Armenia 6 1 0 5 3 15 3
Luxembourg 5 0 0 5 0 16 0
26.03.2020 Ireland v Iceland
31.03.2020 Luxembourg v Ireland
13.10.2020 Italy v Ireland