NOEL KING paid tribute to the hunger and desire of his Ireland U21 side after they got their European Championship qualifying campaign off to a winning start with a 4-1 victory in the Faroe Islands.
Tough tests against Germany and Romania await the Ireland U21s in their next outings but King was pleased to come away from Toftir with a win, especially as Ireland had to come from a goal down to earn their win, with Wolves defender Matt Doherty scoring twice while Samir Carruthers and Aiden O'Brien were also on target.
"It was very much a battle, it was a dogged performance. We stuck with it and showed great desire. It was a tough start but they kept going right to the end," said King.
"Their goal was a giveaway but the whole team made up for it. The reaction was very good. Samir scored a great individual goal but everybody contributed. Matt Doherty did very well breaking from midfield and it was pleasing to see him score two important goals."
Gilli Sorensen had put the home side ahead on 14 minutes but Ireland responded well, with midfielder Carruthers – on loan from Aston Villa to MK Dons – equalising and the Irish side upped their game in the second half, Doherty heading home from a Carruthers cross to give Ireland the lead on 68 minutes and former Bohemians man Doherty made it 3-1, Sean Murray the provider. In the final minute Millwall man O'Brien made it 4-1 from a Sean McGinty cross.
Next up for Ireland is a game at home to Germany – to be played in the Sligo Showgrounds – on September 9th before a tough double header against Romania in October.