Monday 14 October 2019

Kenny's side make a point in tetchy tie with Italians

Ireland U-21 0 Italy U-21 0

Ireland U-21 boss Stephen Kenny, left, and assistant coach Jim Crawford protest to the referee after Troy Parrott is shown a red card. Photo: Sportsfile
Ireland U-21 boss Stephen Kenny, left, and assistant coach Jim Crawford protest to the referee after Troy Parrott is shown a red card. Photo: Sportsfile
David Kelly

David Kelly

Last month, Aaron Connolly played for this team and, well, you may have heard he has done quite well for himself since.

Spurs' teen Troy Parrott, who many felt might make the breakthrough first, despite his tender years, has not shared similar fortune.

Ireland U-21's Adam Idah fends off Italy U-21's Enrico Del Prato. Photo: Sportsfile
Ireland U-21's Adam Idah fends off Italy U-21's Enrico Del Prato. Photo: Sportsfile

Last night was a depressing dip; a red card, however unjust, prematurely ending a frustrating night for Stephen Kenny's men.

After some harmless shapes were thrown, Everton's Moise Kean should have been booked and Parrott chided in the 65th minute.

Instead, the referee Sascha Stegemann stunned all by dismissing both - Kean, instantly, Parrott with a second yellow.

Parrott, distraught, disappeared in tears, his green shirt a giant tissue, while assistant boss Keith Andrews was cautioned for expressing apparently justified outrage at the fourth official.

Ireland U-21's Jayson Molumby in action with Italy U-21's Gianluca Scamacca. Photo: Sportsfile
Ireland U-21's Jayson Molumby in action with Italy U-21's Gianluca Scamacca. Photo: Sportsfile

"I thought it was quite harsh," admitted Kenny. "I wasn't expecting it. I didn't get a great view of it, he was trying to take a quick free-kick.

"Troy is an attacking player, his attitude is always exemplary. I don't know if he's ever been sent off. It's quite unfortunate really. The double blow is it rules him out of our game in Iceland as well.

"I thought when Moise was sent off, we'd be in the ascendancy at 11 versus 10 but I didn't expect Troy to be sent off as well."

Parrott's first significant intervention had been to scythe Sandro Tonali to the floor 30 yards out from his own goal. It was a challenge deemed reckless enough by the referee to earn him a yellow card.

Ireland's first chance came to Parrott, after 18 minutes, deriving unusually from the type of route-one football Kenny would presumably decry.

Caoimhín Kelleher drilled a low kick-out and Parrott smacked a low shot which Marco Carnesecchi smartly saved at his near post.

His was a fitful enough presence in the half, though, with Adam Idah shoring up the centre, he seemed inhibited.

The half ended in rancour - a hint of the anarchy to follow.

Both captains were booked by the overly strict referee after Manuel Locatelli, slumped to the floor, with an operatic dive worthy of La Scala after Jayson Molumby had raised his arm. Little contact was evident.

Alessandro Bastoni was then booked for a crunching tackle with the man in the middle missing as much as he punished.

Italian boss Paolo Nicolato was clearly unhappy as he hauled off two front men. Kean was one of those drafted in but his appearance would be brief.

Ireland remained bright. Idah, again chasing a Kelleher long pass, backed by sheeting rain.

Ireland patiently worked the ball from left to right, Zachary Elbouzedi found Idah whose clever back-heel allowed Parrott a shot but unfortunately, it went wide.

Ten minutes later his night was ended when dismissed after a meaningless bout of pushing and shoving.

Not surprisingly, a foul brought the best chance with Molumby's rasper tipped over with nine minutes left.

Italy left, happier with the draw but knowing the return clash will be tasty in more ways than one.

Republic of Ireland - C Kelleher (Liverpool); C Masterson (QPR), D O'Shea (West Brom), L Scales (UCD); L O'Connor (Celtic), C Ronan (Wolves) (J Knight (Derby County 59), C Coventry (West Ham United), J Molumby capt (Millwall) (G Kilkenny (Bournemouth 85), Z Elbouzedi (Waterford) (M Obafemi (Southampton 68); T Parrott (Spurs), A Idah (Norwich City).

Italy - M Carneseccchi; E Del Prato, A Bastoni, R Marchizza (C Adjapong 23), L Pellegrini; M Locatelli capt, S Tonali, M Carraro; D Frattesi, A Pinamonti (PCurtone h-t), G Scamacca (M Kean h-t).

REF - S Stegemann (Germany).

Irish Independent

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