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Drennan is U-19s’ hat-trick hero in Luxembourg win

MIKEY DRENNAN was the hero in Ireland’s UEFA U-19 Championship qualifying opener in Luxembourg after hitting a hat-trick in a 5-2 win.

THE Kilkenny native, now with Aston Villa, opened the scoring at the Alphonese Theis stadium after eight minutes and doubled Ireland’s lead 13 minutes later. Paul Doolin’s side grabbed a 3-0 lead midway through the half via Tommie Hoban.

Chris Pereira pulled one back for the hosts two minutes from the break, but Ireland capitalised from another set-piece 10 minutes into the second half as Manchester United’s Sam Byrne struck.

Milos Todorovic hit back 10 minutes from time, but Drennan slammed home his third goal two minutes later from a free-kick to secure the win.

Ireland can seal one of two places from the pool into the elite stage with victory tomorrow over Macedonia, who were hammered 5-0 by top seeds Germany in yesterday’s other Group 5 tie.

Ireland face Germany in Tuesday’s concluding tie of the four-nation group.