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Disappointment For Ireland U21s In Norway

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THE Republic of Ireland U21 side suffered a disappointing 4-1 loss to Norway in a friendly international in Drammen tonight.

Norway scored twice either side of half-time to seal the victory with Alan Browne replying from the penalty spot for the Irish in the 76th minute.

Both sides had come close before the Norwegians broke the deadlock in the 27th minute. Less than a minute earlier Jack Byrne had a decent effort from outside the box that curled narrowly over.

Norway’s opener came after a break down the left and the ball came to Mohamed Elyounoussi, who cut inside before he firing the ball into the far corner.

The second goal came in the 33rd minute with Bard Finne sending the ball in from the left, Irish keeper Ian Lawlor made a brave block but the rebound fell to Veton Berisha and he turned it home.

Norway changed almost their entire side at the break and the fresh legs told. They made it 3-0 on 53 minutes through a close range finish from Petter Strand.

Three minutes later it was 4-0 with Kristoffer Normann Hansen scoring from the edge of the box.

Preston North End midfielder Browne gave the Irish some sort of consolation when he converted from the spot but overall it was a disappointing night defensively for the Irish.

King said: “We’re here to learn and we certainly did that. The purpose of games like this is to try out things, experiment and look at players. We’ve certainly plenty of room for improvement.

“We gave six people new caps at this level. I know we can do better. It’s obviously disappointing to lose but the positive was that we worked hard right to the end and there were some good individual performances.

“We didn’t adapt to the artificial surface as well as Norway did but that was worth experiencing too as more and more countries are using that type of surface.”

REPUBLIC OF IRELAND: Ian Lawlor (Danny Rogers 60), Shane Griffin (Dylan Connolly 60), Jack Connors (Kenny McEvoy 46) , Tommy Hoban, Darragh Lenihan (Mason Watkins-Clark 46), Kieron Sadlier (Alan Browne 46), Pierce Sweeney (Sean Kavanagh 46), Sam Byrne (Philip Roberts 60), Jack Byrne, Sean Long, Eoghan O’Connell.

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