Noel King’s U21s recover from Faroes setback
‘This was a banana skin which was avoided because the players stood up when things went against them ’
Ireland’s Matt Doherty scored two against the Faroe Islands. Photograph: Lorraine O’Sullivan/Inpho
Noel King praised the character of his Republic of Ireland Under-21 squad last night after they came from behind in the Faroe Islands to open their Uefa championship qualifying campaign with three points.
Although his young charges conceded early in Toftir, they dominated the remainder of the tie, with Matt Doherty’s brace the highlight of what turned into a comprehensive victory.
“This was a banana skin which was avoided because the players stood up when things went against them and showed great hunger and desire to see out the game,” said King.
An early lapse gifted the Faroes the opener. A 14th-minute error by Joe Shaughnessy let in the home side, Gilli Sørensen placing a shot inside Aaron McCarey’s near post.
Ireland stuck to their task and it was Samir Carruthers who delivered produced a piece of invention to bring Ireland level on 23 minutes.
An intricate passing move saw the ball reach the MK Dons loanee, who brushed off two defenders and chipped into the corner.
Second-half pressure finally yielded another goal. Murray’s 68th minute corner was cleared only to Carruthers and his low delivery was forced home by Doherty.
Doherty made it 3-1 on 88 minutes when he dribbled into the box before stroking the ball home. Then a howler by Kristian Joensen was punished by O’Brien.
Next up for Ireland is the visit of top seeds in the pool, Germany, to the Showgrounds on September 6th.
FAROE ISLANDS: K Joensen; B Hansen, Rene Joensen, H Askham, R Nattestad (H Hansen 82); Rógvi Joensen, A Fredriksberg (P Ingason 58), B Petersen (B Petersen 87), Gilli Sørensen; A Ellingsgaard, G Christiansen.
IRELAND: A McCarey (Wolves); J Shaughnessy (Aberdeen), S Duffy (Everton), A O’Connor (Blackburn Rovers), S McGinty (Sheffield United); M Doherty (Wolves), C Reilly (Birmingham City); M Harriman (Gillingham), S Carruthers (MK Dons), S Murray (Watford); A O’Brien (Millwall). Subs: J Grealish (Aston Villa) for Harriman, F Sutherland (QPR) for Murray (both 90).
REFEREE: Petr Ardeleanu (Cze)