Our U21 side went down to a two nil defeat by top seeds Italy in this evening’s European Championship qualifier played in Tallaght Stadium. Ireland started the match quite brightly with Tyreik Wright on the left flank causing problems for the Italian defence but were unable to capitalise on some excellent deliveries from the Aston Villa man who is currently on loan at Salford City. As the half progressed Italy began to take control and took the lead approaching the half hour mark when Jake O’Brien stumbled making an absolute hash of a clearance which was seized upon and converted by Italy. Thereafter Italy took command with their greater quality and technique evident. Ireland did up their tempo following the introduction of substitutes Festy Ebosele and Joshua Kayode and later substitute Ross Tierney looked set to equalise but was thwarted by an excellent save by the Italian goalkeeper. The match was secured by Italy with their second goal in the final minute of normal time. Captain Conor Coventry was Ireland’s standout player while fellow midfielder Gavin Kilkenny also provided some moments of quality.
Team: Brian Maher; Lee O’Connor, Jake O’Brien, Mark McGuinness, Joel Bagan; Will Smallbone, Conor Noss, Conor Coventry, Gavin Kilkenny, Tyreik Wright; Colm Whelan
Festy Ebosele for Noss 56′
Joshua Kayode for Whelan 56′
Dawson Devoy for Smallbone 76′
Ross Tierney for Kilkenny 76′