Tuesday 24 September 2019

Taylor strikes twice as Ireland U21 beat senior side in behind-closed-doors friendly

David McGoldrick of Republic of Ireland in action against Jayson Molumby of Republic of Ireland U21's during the Friendly match between Republic of Ireland and Republic of Ireland U21's at the FAI National Training Centre in Dublin. Photo by Harry Murphy/Sportsfile
David McGoldrick of Republic of Ireland in action against Jayson Molumby of Republic of Ireland U21's during the Friendly match between Republic of Ireland and Republic of Ireland U21's at the FAI National Training Centre in Dublin. Photo by Harry Murphy/Sportsfile
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

The Ireland U21's secured a 2-1 victory over the senior side in Abbotstown today in a friendly encounter that was praised by both managers.

Barnet midfielder Jack Taylor was on target twice for Stephen Kenny's, who came from behind to win after Scott Hogan broke the deadlock for Mick McCarthy's men shortly after half-time.

The full 90-minute match was in preparation for Ireland's Euro 2020 qualifiers against Denmark on June 7 and Gibraltar on June 10. The Ireland U21 side, meanwhile, will fly to France on Saturday to take part in the Toulon tournament.

"They played well, we had plenty of chances to score but then they won it with a deflected goal," McCarthy said.

"I thought Conor Kearns was excellent, he made four or five really good saves, maybe we should have put them away but they were excellent saves.

"We made changes at half-time and it was about getting minutes into the legs for the players, even if it meant playing a few of them out of position. The real plus point is that nobody got injured, everyone got 45 minutes and were made to work hard which is great for us.

"And I hope, it makes the players realise how difficult the next two games are going to be, because the Under-21s played well and that was hard work for the team today."

Stephen Kenny was delighted with his team's performance ahead of Ireland's Toulon Tournament opener against China.

"We've had eight players come into the squad for the first time and we played two different XI's, so it was two very good performances from both teams in each half," said Kenny.

"We were looking for a high level of performance and to get through the game without injury, so it was a great exercise for both teams. It is up a couple of levels playing the senior team so they acquitted themselves really well.

"We've got tough opposition next week, China and Mexico are bringing their Olympic squads so we've got to get ready for that test and this was the perfect preparation for that."

Online Editors

The Left Wing - RWC Daily: Johnny Sexton fears and Japanese confidence

Also in Sport