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Dublin: 10 °C Wednesday 1 April, 2020

Troy Parrott and Moise Kean sent off, as Ireland draw with Italy in front of record Tallaght crowd

Both sides carved out decent chances to win it, but it ended scoreless.

Ireland's Adam Idah with Riccardo Marchizza of Italy.
Ireland's Adam Idah with Riccardo Marchizza of Italy.
Image: Oisin Keniry/INPHO

Ireland 0

Italy 0

IRELAND AND ITALY shared the spoils in their Euro qualifier, in front of a record crowd for an U21 match of 7,231 at Tallaght Stadium tonight.

A tense match became tempestuous at times, with Moise Kean and Troy Parrott sent off in the second half for shoving one another.

Both sides carved out decent chances to win it, but a draw was ultimately a fair reflection of this closely-fought encounter.

Ireland went into the game looking to retain their 100% record in qualifying, having previously earned wins over Luxembourg, Armenia and Sweden.

Italy, by contrast, had played just once in the campaign before tonight — a 5-0 victory over Luxembourg.

The Irish team saw four changes from the side that beat Sweden last month. Liam Scales came into the defence with Darragh Leahy injured. Jonathan Afolabi was also ruled out, while Connor Ronan returned from injury.

Parrott was also restored to the starting XI, after coming off the bench against Sweden, with Aaron Connolly promoted to the seniors. Danny Mandroiu dropped to the bench, with Adam Idah also coming back into the side.

Italy, meanwhile, initially held in reserve two of the players that will be familiar to Irish Premier League watchers — Wolves’ Patrick Cutrone and Everton’s Kean.

Ireland signalled their intent early on, as captain Jayson Molumby clattered into Sandro Tonali in the opening stages.

The first 10 minutes saw little in the way of goalmouth action. Italy dominated possession and pinned the hosts back into their own half, without unduly troubling their stubborn rearguard.

Parrott was booked early for a rash challenge on Tonali, as the Italians continued to probe. Gianluca Scamacca’s dangerous curled effort from the ensuing free-kick went just wide.

Italy carved out the game’s first real chance on 17 minutes. Luca Pellegrini’s cross found Andrea Pinamonti, who got in front of Dara O’Shea and headed just wide.

The Italians were then forced into a change early on — Riccardo Marchizza went off injured and was replaced by Claud Adjapong.

Moments later, a good flowing move involving Molumby and Idah ended with Ronan testing Marco Carnesecchi with a powerful shot from the edge of the area.

Italy went close again just after the half-hour mark. A corner caused havoc in the box, and a goalmouth scramble eventually led to Davide Frattesi shooting just over.

There was tension foreshadowing what was to come just before half-time. Ireland had been expected to give the ball back to Italy after an injury stoppage. Tonali was unhappy that Molumby put the ball out of play rather than giving it back to the goalkeeper.

The two players confronted one and another, before Ronan entered the fray and pushed the Italian, who went to ground rather easily as a result.

All three players were yellow carded, while Inter’s Alessandro Bastoni joined them in the book moments later for a late challenge on Ronan.

Italy introduced Kean and Cutrone for Gianluca Scamacca and Andrea Pinamonti at the break. The Wolves man made an instant impact, laying it off for Manuel Locatelli, whose shot went just off target.

The home side threatened shortly thereafter. Zachary Elbouzedi’s cross picked out Idah, who backheeled it to Parrott, and the Spurs youngster’s low snapshot went the wrong side of the post.

Adjapong was next to threaten. The full-back’s shot from distance had to be tipped away for a corner by Caoimhin Kelleher, who had very little to do up until that point.  

There was controversy shortly after the hour mark that resulted in red cards for both Kean and Parrott. The Everton man raised his arm after being pushed, prompting the 17-year-old Tottenham attacker to go down, with both receiving their marching orders thereafter.

The Irish bench appeared bemused and angry by the Parrott decision, with Keith Andrews receiving a booking for his protestations.

As they each entered the final few minutes a man short, both sides began to tire, with more space opening up as a result.

Molumby’s driven free kick was parried over by Marco Carnesecchi as Ireland finished strongly.

Substitute Jason Knight also went close, firing an audacious effort from distance just wide.

Ultimately though, the game ended scoreless, as Stephen Kenny’s side remain unbeaten in the campaign thus far.

Ireland: 1. Caoimhin Kelleher 4. Conor Masterson 5. Dara O’Shea 21. Liam Scales 2. Lee O’Connor 7. Zachary Elbouzedi (Obafemi 68) 8. Jayson Molumby (Kilkenny 85) 6. Conor Coventry 11. Connor Ronan (Knight 62) 10. Troy Parrott 9. Adam Idah

Subs: 23. Gavin Bazunu 3. Kameron Ledwidge 12. Jason Knight 14. Daniel Mandroiu 15. Nathan Collins 16. Jack Taylor 7. Gavin Kilkenny 18. Simon Power 20. Michael Obafemi

Italy: 12. Marco Carnesecchi 3. Luca Pellegrini 5. Alessandro Bastoni 16. Riccardo Marchizza (Adjapong 23) 15. Enrico Del Prato 8. Marco Carraro (Sottil 68) 4. Sandro Tonali 21. Manuel Locatelli 7. Davide Frattesi 9. Andrea Pinamonti (Cutrone 46)11. Gianluca Scamacca (Kean 46)

Subs: 1. Alessandro Plizzari 2. Claud Adjapong 10. Patrick Cutrone 13. Luca Ranieri 17. Niccolo Zanellato 18. Giulio Maggiore 19. Marco Sala 20 Moise Kean 23. Riccardo Sottil

Referee: Sascha Stegemann (Ger)

Attendance: 7,231

Andy Dunne and Murray Kinsella join Gavan Casey to preview Ireland-Samoa, and discuss the utter farce of the World Cup falling foul of Typhoon Hagibis.

Source: The42 Rugby Weekly/SoundCloud

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About the author:

Paul Fennessy  / reports from Tallaght Stadium

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