Saturday 19 October 2019

'They feel they have left it behind them tonight' - Ireland U-21 'disappointed' with Italy draw

Republic of Ireland U21 head coach Stephen Kenny ahead of the UEFA European U21 Championship Qualifier Group 1 match between Republic of Ireland and Italy at Tallaght Stadium in Tallaght, Dublin. Photo by Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile
Republic of Ireland U21 head coach Stephen Kenny ahead of the UEFA European U21 Championship Qualifier Group 1 match between Republic of Ireland and Italy at Tallaght Stadium in Tallaght, Dublin. Photo by Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile
David Kelly

David Kelly

Stephen Kenny has revealed that his U21 side are disappointed not to have maintained their 100% record in Euro 2021 qualifying after holding a crack Italian side to a goalless draw in a fiery Tallaght encounter.

Troy Parrott and Moise Kean were sent off after a second-half confrontation but Kenny felt his side might have done enough to gain all three points.

"To be honest we’re quite disappointed really. Italy are a very good team and early on they had us under pressure.

"But overall we certainly had more attempts on goal and looked the more likely to score. The players are disappointed; they feel they have left it behind them tonight.

"We had a chance of winning that game. I’m proud of them, it’s another clean sheet, we defended brilliantly. Italy are one of the top two teams in Europe.

"They have shown guts, real guts. Both teams had periods of ascendancy, the conditions made it difficult. They had it in the first –half.

"We had some good chances, Troy Parrott twice, Jason Molumby, Dara O’Shea. But so had Italy, that’s the nature of it.

"We’ve come a long way in a short space of time if we’re disappointed losing to Italy. We have to dust ourselves down.

"It’s not a defeat, the clean sheet is important and we have to go to Iceland now and they have had a great start. We have some players missing as well, with Jonathan Afolabi out and Troy Parrott suspended."

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