Noel King’s Republic of Ireland under-21 side kept up their unbeaten run in 2019 European Championship qualifying with a comprehensive 4-0 win against Israel on Monday.
Queens Park Rangers forward Reece Grego-Cox was the star of the hour as the Boys in Green quickly put last week’s troubles in front of goal firmly behind behind them right from the very first minute.
Forty seconds, in fact, is how long it took Ireland to take the lead as Grego-Cox turned home a cross from QPR teammate Ryan Manning, the two combining well with Derry City’s Ronan Curtis to run rings around the Israeli defence throughout.
Everton’s Harry Charsley doubled Ireland’s lead just after the half-hour mark, before Grego-Cox doubled his own tally and put Ireland virtually out of sight by half time.
The 20-year-old made sure of the points just seven minutes into half time as he bundled the ball home after the visiting keeper saved Curtis’ initial shot.
Greco-Cox was substituted with twenty minutes remaining, King confident that the points were safely in the bag.
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Ireland now move four points clear in the qualification group with nine points from a possible 12, though it should be noted that Germany still have two games in hand.
On a personal level for Grego-Cox, it maintains a strong run of underage international form for the striker as he looks to follow Manning’s example and break into the first-team setup at Loftus Road.