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Republic of Ireland U21’s line up against Andorra

Republic of Ireland U21’s line up against Andorra

UEFA U21 Championships Qualifying Round Group 2

Republic of Ireland 1
Andorra 0

It was not the turkey shoot the 1,600 crowd expected but nevertheless Noel King’s team got their qualifying campaign off to a winning start at the RSC on Thursday last. In front of the watching senior management team of Martin O’Neill and Roy Keane the Irish team struggled for long periods to break down the ultra defensive approach of the visitors but thanks to a goal from Dylan Connolly, the player who joined Ipswich Town from Shelbourne two months ago, the three points were secured but improvement will be required when they play Italy, Serbia, Slovenia and Andorra once again in September.

In a tentative start to the game the Republic of Ireland created the first chance on 15 minutes when striker Conor Wilkinson tried his luck with a left-footed effort from the edge of the area but his effort was comfortably saved by Andorra goalkeeper Victor Silverio Pinto.

Keeper Silverio Pinto was called into action to make a fantastic save less than three minutes later when Glen Rea slipped the ball into the feet of Dylan Connolly 35-yards but the thunderous right-footed strike from the Ipswich Town player was magnificently tipped over the crossbar.

Waterford’s Kenny McEvoy had a major part to play in the breakthrough goal for the hosts on 31 minutes. When Colm Wilkinson fired in a shot that was only parried by the keeper McEvoy crosssed for Connolly to touch home to an empty net from close range.

Jack Byrne nearly grabbed a second Irish goal two minutes before the break when the Manchester City player took a short free kick from Sean Kavanagh but keeper Silverio Pinto did well to get down low to his right side to turn the effort around for a corner kick.

The Andorrans did have the ball in the back of the Irish net on 82 minutes when Roger Nazzaro Alvarez sent in a cross from the left that saw Aaron Sanchez Alburquerque power a header to the net but the flag of assistant referee Krum Stoilov was raised for offside much to the disbelief of the visitors.

It was a real let off for Noel King’s side as it did seem that the attacker did time his run to perfection before former Waterford United player Sean Maguire nearly had a big chance to grab a second goal in injury time but he was denied by the Andorra netminder Victor Silverio Pinto.

Republic of Ireland: Daniel Rogers, Sean Kavanagh, Jack Connors, Darragh Lenihan, Thomas Hoban, Glen Rea, Kenny McEvoy (Alan Browne ‘86), Callum O’Dowda, Conor Wilkinson (Shamir Goodwin ‘72), Jack Byrne, Dylan Connolly (Sean Maguire ‘90)

Andorra: Victor Silverio Pinto, Claudi Bove Gresa (Francisco Pomares Ortega ‘77), Jesus Rubio Gomez (Roger Nazzaro Alvarez ‘54), Marc Rebes Ruiz, Max Llovera Gonzalez – Adrio, Albert Reyes Roig, Aaron Sanchez Alburquerque, Marc Ferre Nazzaro, Roberto Dos Santos Rodrigues, Andreu Matos Munoz (Alex Villagrasa Noguera ‘68), Jordi Alaez Pena

Referee: Tvetan Krastev (Bulgaria)

Matt Keane

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