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Ireland Under-21s suffer costly defeat in Montenegro

Ireland Under-21s v Montenegro

Jim Crawford’s side were undone in Montenegro.

Jim Crawford’s Ireland Under-21s were defeated by Montenegro by two goals to one in Podgorica as their European Qualifying hopes took a hit.

The Ireland Under-21s endured a nightmare start, falling 2-0 behind inside the opening ten minutes of the game. They turned in a much-improved second-half performance, but it was not enough as they fell to their first defeat of qualifying.

West Ham United’s loanee Conor Coventry missed from the spot late on, however. His penalty was easily saved by his Montenegrin counterpart as the Boys in Green fell to defeat on the road.

Ireland Under-21s dealt a blow.

The result puts Ireland’s Under-21s in a spot of bother in their quest to reach the European Championship’s for the first time ever. This latest setback comes just days after they secured a morale-boosting win at home against Luxembourg.

Former Bohs’ star Evan Ferguson started the game in place of UCD’s Liam Kerrigan, but that could not stop Ireland from conceding twice early on.

Nikola Krstovic and Ivan Vukcevic gave the hosts an unassailable early lead as Ireland failed to fire with a host of League of Ireland stars picked to start.

Ireland’s Under-21 unable to inspire a late comeback against Montenegro.

Dara McGuinness gave Ireland hope late on in Podgorica, but it was too little too late as the Boys in Green built up ahead of steam on the road.

McGuinness headed home after the hosts could not deal with a corner-kick into the penalty area. Coventry then had a chance to help Ireland leave the Balkan state with a point, but he missed his effort from twelve yards out.

The result leaves Ireland with a mountain to climb in their qualifying campaign ahead of next month’s crunch clash against Sweden.

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