Sligo native Johnny Kenny hopes to kick on after scoring the winner for Republic of Ireland Under 21s in Iceland friendly
Johnny Kenny hopes his goal for the Republic of Ireland Under 21s can give him a boost at club level, as the Riverstown native came off the bench to score the winner as Ireland came from behind to beat Iceland in a friendly at Turners Cross on Sunday afternoon.
A first-half goal by Tom Cannon, who also has Sligo connections, cancelled out a strike by Kistall Máni Inagson before Ireland saw Festy Ebosele dismissed before the break.
Riverstown native Johnny Kenny, on loan at Shamrock Rovers from Celtic, came off the bench to score the winner as Jim Crawford's team began a new era with a win.
Former Sligo Rovers man Kenny, who had only been on the pitch for six minutes when he scored, added: "Any time I step out for my country, they're probably the best games I play in. I have a good record for Ireland and hopefully I can keep that going. I think this can give me a boost at club level and hopefully I can kick on from here now.
"The lads performed very well and played with 10 men for the majority of the game and were still the better side for most of it. I knew Jim would call on me at some stage so I'm glad I can repay him."
The visitors went ahead after 15 minutes. Isak Andri Sigurgeirsson showed quick feet to skip by the challenge of Sam Curtis before teeing up Ingason who side footed expertly into the top corner.
Ireland deservedly got themselves back on level terms almost immediately, when Andy Moran cleverly found another well timed run by Cannon who showed great composure to finish low across goal into the bottom corner.
Jim Crawford’s side were reduced to ten when Festy Ebosele received both a yellow card, and a straight red card in the matter of seconds.
Dominating the closing stages of this game, the young Irish side got themselves deservedly in front with just seven minutes remaining through a Johnny Kenny stunner.
The Celtic man, on-loan at Shamrock Rovers, collected the ball short from a throw-in before spinning his marker and rifling into the bottom corner from outside the area with his left foot. Somehow the score remained 2-1 as the clock ticked over into injury time as Ireland were guilty of missing two glorious chances to extend their lead.
The livewire front man Kenny was in the mood to add to his tally, and again cut in on his left foot inside the area but couldn’t find the corner on this occasion, before Hodge headed straight onto the post from a delightful outside of the boot cross by Killian Phillips.
Republic of Ireland: Tiernan Brooks, Sam Curtis, Anselmo Garcia MacNulty, Bosun Lawal (Tayo Adaramola, 82’), Sean Roughan, Festy Ebosele, Joe Hodge, Killian Phillips, Andy Moran (Kian Leavy, 62’), Ollie O’Neill (Sinclair Armstrong, 62’), Tom Cannon (Johnny Kenny, 76’)
Iceland: Adam Ingi Bebnediktsson (Olafur Kristoffer Helgason, 45’), Jakob Franz Palsson (Arnor Gauti Jonsson, 88’), Robert Orri Thorkelsson, Olafur Gudmundsson (Orri Hrafn Kjartansson, 69’), Anton Logi Ludviksson, Andri Fannar Baldursson, Eythor Aron Wohler (Lukas Logi Heimisson, 45’), Kristall Mani Ingason, Isak Andri Sigurgeirsson (Ulfur August Bjornsson, 69’), Oli Valur Omarsson (Andi Hoti, 8’), Danjel Dejan Djuric
Referee: Jamie Robinson (Northern Ireland)