Ireland U21s beaten in Armenia

Armenia Under-21 4 Republic of Ireland 1

Armenia Under-21 4 Republic of Ireland 1

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The Republic of Ireland Under-21scontinued their winless run in Group 2 of the Under-21 European Championship as Henrik Mkhitaryan plundered a hat-trick to fire Armenia to a comfortable win in front of their own fans.

Led for the first time by MK Dons midfielder Stephen Gleeson, the Republic fell behind to Mkhitaryan’s opener after half-an-hour’s play.

Mkhitaryan made it 2-0 to the hosts in the 61st minute before Plymouth’s Cillian Sheridan gave his side a lifeline four minutes later, turning in James O’Shea’s cross.

Armenia continued to enjoy the best of the game, though, and re-established a two-goal gap through Hovhaness Goharyan’s 20-yard strike with 15 minutes to play.

Mkhitaryan slotted in a fourth, and his third, with an 82nd-minute penalty.

The Republic now sit bottom of Group 2, swapping places with their opponents, with just four points from six games.

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