Ireland’s kids are alright against Kiwis, Matt Williams on Leinster’s Keyser Söze
The Morning Sports Briefing: Keep ahead of the game with ‘The Irish Times’ sports team
Marcus Rashford scored in England’s 7-0 rout of Montenegro. Photograph: Adrian Dennis/AFP/Getty
The Republic of Ireland secured a maiden victory over New Zealand last night, with Mick McCarthy’s youthful side coming from behind to win 3-1 at the Aviva Stadium. On a bitterly cold night in Dublin, Callum McCowatt gave the visitors the lead against the run of play, before Derrick Williams equalised with a booming header, off a Robbie Brady corner, on the stroke of half-time. Ireland opened up after the break with Sean Maguire and substitute Callum Robinson - who replaced Troy Parrott just after the hour mark - both scoring fine maiden international goals. Parrott and Celtic’s Lee O’Connor were among those to impress on debut, although afterwards McCarthy suggested victory over the All Whites had done little to change his plans for Monday’s crunch Euro 2020 qualifier at home to Denmark. He said: “Four full debuts, four new players who have all been involved with a win. Three players have scored the first international goals . . . Will it have any impact on the way we play against Denmark I’m not sure. But I think it will make a difference to the way that people will perceive the team and any positivity can only be good.”
Earlier in the day Ireland Under-21s extended their lead at the top of Euro 2021 Qualifying Group One, after they finally broke Armenia’s resistance in Yerevan. Stephen Kenny’s side dominated proceedings but had to wait until the 62nd minute for the crucial goal - Zack Elbouzedi’s smart finish giving his side all three points. Elsewhere England have booked their place at Euro 2020 after they routed Montenegro 7-0 at Wembley last night. Harry Kane scored a hat-trick in his side’s 1000th international fixture, with Marcus Rashford and Tammy Abraham also among the scorers. In Group B, Cristiano Ronaldo helped himself to his latest international hat-trick as Portugal routed Luthuania 6-0 - he now has 98 goals for his country.