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Brilliant Troy Parrott Brace Gives Ireland U21s Massive Victory Over Sweden

A brilliant Troy Parrott brace gave Ireland’s U21s a massive victory over Sweden to keep their 100% record in European qualifying alive.

Kenny made three changes ahead of this clash with Friday night’s goalscorer Parrott dropping out of the side along with Norwich City’s Adam Idah and Bournemouth’s Gavin Kilkenny, with League of Ireland duo Dan Mandroiu and Zack Elbouzedi as well as Celtic’s Jonathan Afolabi coming in.

Buoyed by the Armenian victory last week, Ireland started in lively fashion and conjured up the first real chance of the game after Connolly, who had been so impressive in Tallaght on Friday, linked up nicely with Mandroiu on the left before fizzing a shot just wide of the Swedish goal.

Photo Credit – @FAIreland on Twitter

The Boys in Green though were well aware of the pedigree of this Swedish side and they began to gain a foothold in the game after the ten-minute mark Irandusk and Kulusevski producing some lovely link-up play in the box to test Caoimhin Kelleher in the Irish goal.

The Swedes continued to probe, Kimpioka’s header flying just over the bar, before the breakthrough eventually came in style after some neat build-up play, the ball found its way to captain Mattias Svanberg whose stunning 20-yard strike left Kelleher rooted to the spot.

Ireland didn’t let the Swedish opener discourage them though and came close to an equaliser on the half-hour mark, Aaron Connolly twice testing Dahlberg, first meeting a ball in from the right just before deflecting Jayson Molumby’s effort into the Watford keeper’s hands.

Photo Credit – @FAIreland on Twitter

Rewarded with a start after his brief cameo against Armenia, Mandroiu looked lively and stung the palms of Dahlberg with a long-range effort he has become so well-known for.

Ireland went into the break 1-0 down but with reason to be optimistic and began the second half on the front foot despite losing Mandroiu to injury in the 51st minute as Parrott replaced the Bohs man.

The 17-year-old almost had an immediate impact as his excellent strike from outside the area brought another good save out of Dahlberg in the Swedish goal.

Ireland were very much the better side as the second half wore on and thought they had found what would’ve been a deserved equaliser only for the referee to rule out Afolabi’s header for an obvious handball.

Then came a flashpoint in the game as Ireland looked to make their dominance count, the ever-exciting Connolly was taken down in the box by a Swedish defender, but the Brighton man saw his penalty well saved by Dahlberg as he took the responsibility himself.

Again though, Kenny’s side failed to let a set back get the better of them as the substitute Parrott was the man on the spot once more to stroke the ball brilliantly into the Swedish net for his second goal in as many U21 games.

Both sides pushed for the winner but Ireland continued to look the more likely, captain Molumby failing to connect fully with a free header six yards from goal.

Then the all-important goal came in the 86th minute as QPR defender Conor Masterson met Molumby’s brilliant corner-kick to give Ireland a well-deserved lead.

Parrott then put the icing on the cake of a wonderful Irish performance with a beautiful chipped finish over the head of Dahlberg to give Kenny’s men all three points.

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Author: Oisin McQueirns

Oisin McQueirns is a digital journalist at Pundit Arena. Massive fan of Leeds United, Ric Flair and Trusting The Process. Contact him here [email protected]