Richie McCormack
Richie McCormack

20.08 10 Sep 2019


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The Republic of Ireland U21 side maintained their 100% start to UEFA European Championship qualifying by coming from behind to win 3-1 away to Sweden. 

Troy Parrott scored twice following his introduction off the bench to help Stephen Kenny's side take all three points from their Group 1 encounter in Kalmar.

Kenny made three-changes from Friday's 1-0 win over Armenia with Zack Elbouzedi, Danny Mandroiu and Jonathan Afolabi all coming into the side.

Sweden had the best of the early exchanges, testing Caoimhín Kelleher on numerous occasions before a well-worked move resulted in a goal for Bologna midfielder Mattias Svanberg inside 19-minutes.

Ireland responded well, putting their hosts under pressure and forcing a couple of corners but failed to produce an equaliser before the break.

Parrott replaced Mandroiu six minutes after the restart as Ireland sensed there was something to be taken from this evening's game.

Afolabi had the ball in the Swedish net just before the hour mark, but with the ball beating Swedish keeper Pontus Dahlberg via his arm the goal was correctly ruled out.

Ireland didn't have to wait long for another opportunity to present itself, with Aaron Connolly felled in the Swedish box by Svanberg. The Brighton forward took the penalty himself, but saw the spot-kick saved by Watford stopper Dahlberg.

The squandered opportunities didn't dull Ireland's blade, and Parrott finally levelled for Kenny's confident side on 69-minutes with a composed curled effort from inside the Swedish area.

Jayson Molumby found himself at the centre of the action, going close with a shot with a quarter of an hour remaining and just two minutes later finding himself lucky to escape harsher censure than a yellow for a foul on Svante Ingelsson.

Ireland continued to push for a winner, with Adam Idah sent on to replace Afolabi with eight minutes remaining.

There were three-minutes on the clock when a Molumby corner found the head of Conor Masterson and Ireland had their lead.

With Sweden hoping to nick an equalier in stoppage time, Ireland capitalised on the remaining space at the back. A quick break freed up Parrott, who checked his run and cheekily chipped Dahlberg to give Ireland a 3-1 lead and all three points.

Ireland sit top of Group 1 with three-wins from three, but will welcome Italy to Tallaght Stadium next month before a game away to Iceland five-days later.


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