Troy Parrott winner helps Ireland to a 1-0 victory over Lithuania at Lansdowne Road.
Troy Parrott produced a moment of injury-time magic to help Ireland to a 1-0 victory over Lithuania tonight at the Aviva Stadium.
Ireland had several goals disallowed during normal time, before the MK Dons youngster came up with the goods in the dying seconds to extend Ireland’s run of results under Stephen Kenny.
A Conor Hourihane strike, two attempts by star man Chiedozie Ogbene and a last gasp finish by Scott Hogan were all ruled out by referee Jonathan Lardot before Parrott delivered when it mattered most.
Ireland Vs Lithuania match report: Parrott delivers
Ireland came into this friendly international in understandably high spirits. It’s not every day they draw with the world’s number one team.
And it is definitely not every day they draw with the world’s number one team and come away thinking “a win wouldn’t have flattered us”.
That was what Stephen Kenny remarked in Sunday’s post-match press conference, but the Ireland manager knew Lithuania would bring a different sort of challenge.
Lithuania’s last three games included a 4-0 loss to Switzerland, a 1-0 defeat to Northern Ireland and a 2-1 victory over lowly San Marino. To their credit, they beat Bulgaria 3-1 in the previous game, but in reality, Ireland were always favourites for this match.
A heavy touch from the Lithuanian left-midfielder just seconds into the contest suggested why.
Ireland fail to catch fire in Lithuania friendly.
This was not a match that will live long in the memory but there were at least one or two players who did their Ireland favours no harm.
For one, Ryan Manning was the pick of the bunch in an unspectacular first half for Ireland. The Swansea wing-back produced one or two fine crosses early doors – one of which Chiedozie Ogbene finished past goalkeeper Dziugas Bartkus only for the linesman’s flag to be held aloft.
The Galwegian also had two long-range strikes drift wide before there was even fifteen minutes on the clock and continued to influence proceedings in the first-half by overloading the midfield.
The problem was that few players were on Manning’s level in the first half. Ireland took six shots in the opening half an hour but never really inspired with their attacking play.
Ogbene offering Ireland their spark again tonight and we're maybe relying on him too much.
Robinson and Keane have had some tidy exchanges but we're not looking half as dynamic as Saturday evening.
Side note: Manning very good. #COYBIG
— Kenny's Kids (@KennysKids) March 29, 2022
Robinson and Keane had some tidy exchanges but failed to threaten in behind, Ogbene gave the crowd occasional reasons to cheer and, aside from that, Nathan Collins’s scampering runs forward were just about the most interesting feature of the contest.
At half-time the scoreline read Ireland 0-0 Lithuania, in a game that felt more like one of Kenny’s 2020 Nations League games than anything we’ve come to expect from this Ireland side in the last twelve months.
The second-half started slightly better. Alan Browne nearly scored his second header for Ireland in four days in the early exchanges, while Man of the Match Collins continued to impress with his dribbling from deep.
In the 55th minute, Ireland thought they had their breakthrough as the ball fell kindly to Conor Hourihane who cooly found the bottom corner from the edge of the box.
However, Callum Robinson who was stood on the six-yard box, was adjudged to have interfered with the play. Two offside goals in one game.
The strike was ruled out, but it did at least inspire some energy into the Irish performance. Moments later, Matt Doherty maneuvered his way around the Lithuanian penalty box before letting fly and James McClean and Troy Parrott were introduced in the 63rd minute to further boost Ireland’s attack.
The promising period, which was capped by a big penalty appeal from Chiedozie Ogbene, was however punctured by a man invading the pitch to take a selfie with Caoimhin Kelleher.
Troy Parrott scores injury time stunner for Ireland.
Ten minutes after his introduction, McClean broke down the wing to set up Ogbene for his second offside goal of the night. The Derryman was adjudged to have been beyond the last defender when receiving the ball from fellow substitute Troy Parrott in the build-up. Three offside goals in one game.
And three soon became four. Another substitute, Scott Hogan, broke away in the final minutes and placed a shot past the Lithuanian goalkeeper to get Irish supporters off their seats for a fourth team – only for them to swiftly sit back down again to the familiar sight of the officials’ offside flag.
But something had to give. Ireland endured plenty of misfortune in Stephen Kenny’s first year in charge but the Gods swung in the team’s favour these past few months. To draw 0-0 after four disallowed goals wouldn’t really have followed the script.
TROY PARROTT THE MATCH WINNER FOR IRELAND ??⚽️?#COYBIG pic.twitter.com/Yi9VuF82uH
— Kenny's Kids (@KennysKids) March 29, 2022
Deep deep into injury time with over 95 mintutes on the clock, the ball came to Troy Parrott and he produced something special. He needed to.
The ball bubbled up in front of the 20-year-old – one touch, then two touches and bang. The Dubliner hit the back of the net to send the Aviva crowd home happy once again at the end of an otherwise frustrating game for the Boys in Green.
Up next for Ireland is the UEFA Nations League and they couldn’t have signed off this international window any better.
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