Match Report: Republic of Ireland under-21 2 - 0 Luxembourg under-21Sat, Oct 09 2021
Patrick O’ Connor reports from Tallaght Stadium
The Republic of Ireland under-21 side recorded a very impressive 2-0 win over their counterparts from Luxembourg in Group F of the UEFA under-21 Championship at Tallaght Stadium on Friday night.
In the other Group F qualification matches played on Friday night, Italy had a 2-1 away win over Bosnia & Herzegovina while Sweden beat Montenegro 3-1 at home.
Ireland’s win moves them up to third position in the table with seven points, three behind leaders Sweden and two points behind second placed Italy.
The Boys in Green were the dominant team from start to finish with the only blemish on the victory being their inability to convert their superiority into goals over the course of the game.
They scored only once from play, their second goal was a penalty, but as they had 65% possession during the match a bigger goal difference would have better reflected the difference between the two teams.
Luxembourg set up in a very defensive formation and seemed happy to concede possession to Ireland and rely on quick counter attacks to create their own goal scoring opportunities.
They were made to look very ordinary at times by Jim Crawford’s team who forced eight corners to none for Luxembourg while they had only four attempts on goal to the dozen that Ireland’s created.
The home sides build up play in the first half was slow and patient and they used the two flanks in particular to try to break down the Luxembourg resistance.
The Lee O’ Connor / Liam Kerrigan axis on the right side was a constant threat to the away defence and they saw lots of the ball in the opening period.
Equally Joel Bagan and Tyreik Wilson were very threatening on the left side and the latter was instrumental in creating Ireland’s opening goal in the 18th minute.
Man of the Match Conor Coventry played an intelligent ball out to Wilson on the left and his run took him past his marker to the end line where he pulled it back to allow Joshua Kayode to stroke it first time past Lucas Fox in the Luxembourg goal.
Ireland continued to dominate possession after that opening goal and could perhaps have added to their tally had they been more direct at times.
Luxembourg in turn were limited to only one real chance in the opening half, Irvin Latic flashing a header wide from Loris Bernardy’s free kick.
Ireland moved the ball quicker at the start of the second half and created a number of half chances, frequently with Wilson as the main creator, but were unable to seriously test Fox at any stage.
Their second goal in the 63rd minute came courtesy of a penalty. A long ball over the top was chased own by Kerrigan and as he controlled the ball inside the box he was tumbled to the ground, Kosovan referee Besfort Kasumin immediately pointing to the spot.
Captain Conor Coventry despatched the penalty with confidence, the 2-0 score line now better reflecting the pattern of play up to that stage.
Ireland was in total control for the last 25 minutes as Luxembourg seemed to run out of steam, but apart from a few efforts from substitute Conor Noss they were unable to hit the net for a third time but can still be well satisfied with their performance.
Republic of Ireland under-21: Brian Maher; Lee O’ Connor, Jake O’ Brien, Mark McGuiness, Joel Bagan, Tyreik Wilson (Andy Moran 92), Ross Tierney (Conor Noss 69), Gavin Kilkenny (Dawson Devoy 86) Joshua Kayode (Evan Ferguson 69), Conor Coventry ©, Liam Kerrigan (Alex Gilbert 86).
Subs not used: David Odumosu(gk); Colm Whelan, Oisin McEntee, Ronan Boyce.
Booked: Tyreik Wilson (44), Mark McGuiness (58)
Luxembourg under-21: Lucas Fox; Franz Sinner (Gary Bernard 75), Leon Schmit, Edin Osmanovic, Kevin D’Anzico, Loris Bernardy (Yohann Torres 65), Alexandra Sacras (Cedric Baiverlin, 75), Mathias Olesen ©, Irwin Latic, Noah Rossier (Selim Turping 65), Dylan Kuete (Emre Erkus 90)
Subs not used: Timothy Serge Martin (gk); Tiago Semedo, Diogo Monteiro de Oliveria.
Booked: Noah Rossier (38), Lucas Fox (55) Irvin Latic (67), Yohann Torres (86), Dylan Kuene (90), Kevin D’Anzico (92).
Referee: Besfort Kasumi (Kosovo).
Extratime.com Player of the Match: Conor Coventry (Republic of Ireland under-21)