Republic of Ireland lose under-21 unbeaten record in defeat to Norway
Jake Mulraney scores for visitors who go down to an injury-time winner in Drammen
Republic of Ireland players celebrate after Jake Mulraney scores the equaliser against Norway. Photograph: Lise Aserud/NTB Scanpix/via Reuters
Norway 2 (Odeggard 19, Fossum 90+1) Rep of Ireland 1 (Mulraney 32)
The Republic of Ireland lost their unbeaten record in the 2019 European Championship qualifying group on Tuesday night after captain Iver Fossum grabbed an injury-time winner for Norway at a freezing Drammen.
Despite senior international Martin Odeggard firing Norway into a 19th minute lead, Jake Mulraney marked his first competitive start at this level by providing a brilliant equaliser 13 minutes later.
Ireland goalkeeper Kieran O’Hara made a string of saves in the second half to keep the dominant hosts at bay but skipper Fossum struck from the edge of the box in stoppage-time after Noel King’s side failed to clear a corner.
Germany’s 5-2 win away in Israel means Ireland relinquish top spot for the first time yet they remain well in contention to claiming a play-off spot – and a possible play-off for a first-ever finals appearance – during the second half of the series next year.
NORWAY: P Bratveit; A Hanche-Olsen, K Ajer, U Jenssen; J Ryerson, E Rieten (D Torset-Johnsen 70), I Fossum; B Risa (M Ingebrigsten 85), M Thorsby, M Odegaard; H Bjordal (R Espejord 73).
REPUBLIC OF IRELAND: K O’Hara (Manchester United); C Whelan (Liverpool), R Sweeney (Bristol Rovers), S Donnellan (Walsall), D Kane (Huddersfield Town); D Rice (West Ham), J Cullen (Bolton Wanderers); H Charsley (Everton), J Mulraney (Inverness), R Curtis (Derry City); R Manning (QPR). Subs: C Ronan (Wolves) for Manning (68 mins).
Referee: V Nevalainen (Finland)