Ahead of Ireland’s senior friendly against Turkey on Friday, the under-21s put in a fine display against Iceland on Thursday.
With the international focus now shifting towards the younger generation, there has been a renewed sense of interest in Noel King’s side in recent months, particularly as they have been faring so well in their bid to qualify for next year’s U21 European Championships.
The clash in Tallaght may have been a friendly, but it was still a chance for many to impress – and Derry City contingent Ronan Curtis and brothers Rory and Ronan Hale stood out from the 3-1 win.
Rory, a recent signing from Galway United, took just fifteen seconds to give the Boys in Green the opener, slotting home from a pass from clubmate Curtis.
The latter was involved again for the second, assisting for another former Tribesman in the form of Queens Park Rangers forward Ryan Manning.
Iceland pulled one back midway through the second half, but Ireland would get the final say with a spectacular hit from Ronan Hale. On for his debut with 20 minutes remaining, the on-loan Derry City man hit a brilliantly accurate strike from well outside the box with the Icelandic keeper caught in no-man’s land. It caps off a fantastic month for Hale following his hat-trick against Limerick at the Brandywell a fortnight ago.
— FAIreland ⚽️?? (@FAIreland) March 22, 2018
King’s men face Azerbaijan in Tallaght on Tuesday as they look to stay in the hunt for a place in the finals in 2019.