Ireland 3 Iceland 1: Derry City midfielder Rory Hale took just 14 seconds to mark his international U21 debut last night with a goal by firing Ireland on the way to victory against Iceland.
Following the early breakthrough, Ireland extended their lead at Tallaght Stadium through Ryan Manning’s third goal at this level four minutes before the break.
Stefan Alexander Ljubcic’s ferocious strike on 64 minutes gave the visitors hope but another Hale from Derry, substitute Ronan, made the win safe in stoppage time.
Martin O’Neill isn’t the only Ireland manager assessing his options this week, as Noel King used the friendly to try out some newcomers ahead of the resumption of their European Championship qualification campaign on Tuesday.
Azerbaijan visit Tallaght with Ireland requiring victory to move within two points of table-toppers Germany, who last night extended their buffer at the summit by defeating Israel 3-0.
King will have regulars Kieran O’Hara and Declan Rice back from the senior squad for the competitive outing and a few of the fringe stock will have felt they’ve pushed their chances of joining the pair in the team from last night’s exertions.
Bossin (Notts Forest); Kinsella (Walsall), Whelan (Yeovil Town), Sweeney (Bristol Rovers), Kane (Cork City); Cullen (West Ham), Dimaio (unattached); Rory Hale (Derry City), Manning (QPR), Curtis (Derry City); Quigley (Boreham Wood).
Shodipo (Colchester) for Hale, Delaney (Burton Albion) for Sweeney (46mins), Ronan Hale (Derry City) for Quigley (64 mins), Dunne (Accrington) for Whelan (72 mins), Doyle-Hayes (Aston Villa) for Kane (86 mins).
Fridriksson; Brynjarsson, Stefansson, Leifsson, Fridriksso; Kristinsson, Gunnarsson, Sigurdsson, Finnson; Ljubcic, Tryggvason.
Rob Hennessy (IRL).
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