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Parrott & O’Connor Goals Lift Ireland U21s To Impressive Win Over Sweden

For the second times in two games, Ireland battled back from a goal down against Sweden to win 4-1, with Lee O’Connor, Adam Idah, Troy Parrott and Zach Elbouzedi finding the net in another impressive win for Stephen Kenny’s men.

Coming into this game, Kenny had the beauty of welcoming a handful of key players, the likes of Parrott, Jayson Molumby andย  O’Connor, back into the starting XI but from the off the home side looked nervous.

In the opening two minutes the returning Conor Masterson took too long to clear the ball in the penalty area and saw Irandust steal in ahead of him before going down in the box although his appeals were waved away by the referee.

Sweden continued to look the brighter of the two sides in the opening exchanges and took a deserved lead, as Viktor Gyokeres, the Brighton striker, currently on loan at St Pauli, stood up Masterson on the Irish right and fizzed a wonderful ball past Gavin Bazunu in the home goal.

Kenny’s side faced a long trip back from Yerevan in midweek and it looked as though the miles had been affecting them throughout the first half, with it taking almost 40 minutes before The Boys in Green fashioned their best chance of the first period.

Troy Parrott did brilliantly to latch onto a long ball from Bazunu and after beating his defender the Spurs striker played it across to Adam Idah whose strike went just wide of the Swedish post.

The away side continued to press after that initial scare however and almost went into the break with a second goal, Nathan Collins’ stray ball finding Bjorkengen, but his effort was easily saved.

At half-time, Kenny opted to make two changes, Conor Ronan replacing the struggling captain Jayson Molumby and Liam Scales coming on for Conor Masterson.

Straight away it was a step-up from Ireland and ten minutes into the second half they had their equaliser, Idah beating his defender on the Swedish left and slotting the ball back to O’Connor who finished wonderfully.

Ireland had their tails up after O’Connor’s goal and in a similar vein to the away game it was The Boys in Green who pushed for the second goal, Parrott and Elbouzedi especially looking lively.

It was the Waterford man who was heavily involved in the goal when it came, brushing by his full-back and finding Idah in the area, with the 18-year-old coolly finishing past the Swedish keeper.

The introduction of Ronan helped Ireland no end going forward and the evening got even better for the home side when his ball from the halfway line found Parrott and the 17-year-old confidently stuck it into the net for his third goal in two games against Sweden.

From there Ireland were comfortable and the fourth came with three minutes to go as Elbouzedi deservedly got on the scoresheet after some more brilliant work from Ronan.

Kenny’s side remain top of the group after two wins from two during this international break and look like an extremely exciting outfit.

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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]