Sunday 20 May 2018

Ireland U17 bounce back at European championship as Troy Parrott's strike sinks Denmark

Ireland U17 1 Denmark U17 0

8 May 2018; Troy Parrott of Republic of Ireland celebrates with team-mates after scoring his side's first goal during the UEFA U17 Championship Final match between Republic of Ireland and Denmark at St Georges Park in Burton, England. Photo by Malcolm Couzens/Sportsfile
8 May 2018; Troy Parrott of Republic of Ireland celebrates with team-mates after scoring his side's first goal during the UEFA U17 Championship Final match between Republic of Ireland and Denmark at St Georges Park in Burton, England. Photo by Malcolm Couzens/Sportsfile

Micheal O'Scannail

Ireland U17 got a much needed win over Denmark today in their second Group C game at this year's European Championships.

Colin O'Brien's side fully deserved their 1-0 victory over a Denmark team who never looked like scoring, only amassing one shot on target by full time.

Having lost to Belgium 2-0 in their opening group stage game on Saturday, Ireland needed a win to stay in contention for knockout qualification.

The decisive moment of the game came early. A Sean Brennan pass found Troy Parrott, who hit the Danish net with a strike from the top drawer.

Parrott's left footed shot from well outside Denmark's box was too much for the flat-footed, Daniel Gadegaard Andersen. The goalkeeper managed to get a flailing hand to the ball but the Tottenham youngster's effort was too strong.

Parrott said that the result was 'unbelievable' and speaking after the game to UEFA reporter Paul Saffer, he described the moment he knew he was going to score the important goal.

"I think we fought right until the very end and we got the result we needed," he said.

"I just tried to bounce it in front of the keeper. I cut in and saw the opportunity to shoot so I took it on and it went in."

"We go into Friday with a bit of confidence, I'm delighted. I couldn't be happier."

A commanding performance from Ireland's midfield in the English midlands reduced Denmark to desperate long-shots and supplied several opportunities for the Irish strikers to extend the lead.

Adam Idah was dominant over Denmark's Mathias Jensen and came close to adding to the lead on several occasions, one effort in particular whizzing just over Andersen's crossbar.

Ireland remained on top for much of the game. Aside from referee Zbynek Proske's five yellow cards, O'Brien will be happy with his side's performance.

Speaking to Saffer afterwards, O'Brien said that he was aware of the importance of getting points from the game and while he was happy with his team, he did note that it wasn't a perfect performance.

"It was good to get a win in tough conditions," he said.

"We had a couple of opportunities in the second half that we needed to put away, we didn't.

"Denmark had a lot of the game in the second half but our defensive structure at times was really, really good, so very pleased to get the three points."

Ireland face Bosnia next Friday, May 11th, in their final group game. A win in the already sold out St George's Park would see Ireland through, while a loss would leave them, like Denmark now are, hoping for results to go their way.

IRELAND: J Corcoran (Cherry Orchard); L Connell (Bolton Wanderers), O McEntee (Newcastle Utd), N Collins (Stoke City), K Ledwidge (Southampton); T Wright (Aston Villa), J Knight (Derby County), A O’Reilly (Preston North End), S Brennan (Southampton); T Parrott (Tottenham Hotspur), A Idah (Norwich City).

Subs: C Thompson (Wolves)  for Wright (57 mins), B Coffey (celtic) for Brennan (41 mins), J McEneff (Arsenal) for O'Reilly (67 mins).

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