Ireland's Tyreik Wright celebrates after scoring a penalty with Ross Tierney. Aleksandar Djorovic/INPHO

Ireland U21s make winning start to Euros qualifying campaign

Second-half goals from Tyreik Wright and Conor Coventry earned Jim Crawford’s side the three points.

LAST UPDATE | 3 Sep 2021

Updated at 21.17

IRELAND U21s made a winning start to their European Championship qualifying campaign today with a 2-0 win away to Bosnia.

Second-half goals from Tyreik Wright and Conor Coventry earned Jim Crawford’s side the three points.

After a tight first half, Ireland took the lead just before the hour mark.

Rotherham forward Joshua Kayode was brought down in the area and Wright — currently on loan at Salford from Aston Villa — successfully converted the penalty.

With 17 minutes remaining, the visitors doubled their advantage.

Coventry, a midfielder on loan at Peterborough from West Ham, who was called up the senior squad back in March, got on the end of a low corner, with his first-time effort finding the corner of the net.

It is the perfect start for the Boys in Green, who in addition to Bosnia, have been paired in a group alongside Italy, Sweden, Montenegro and Luxembourg, and they will face the latter away in their next qualifier on Tuesday.

There were additional pluses, with Crystal Palace defender Jake O’Brien earning a clean sheet on his debut, while 16-year-old Brighton youngster Evan Ferguson also made his first appearance at U21 level off the bench.

Afterwards, manager Jim Crawford said: “It’s a great feeling to get the win. It was a very impressive performance from everyone who played. We looked defensively sound and they can be proud of themselves. Overall it’s a great start but that’s all it is, a start, and we start preparing for Luxembourg tomorrow.”

Bosnia & Herzegovina: Dizdarevic (GK); Dedic, Milojevic, Baarisic, Malic (Alic, 78); Savic (Dokanovic, 64), Begic, Savic (Drlj, 64), Kulasin (Tahric, 78), Basic, Masic.
Republic of Ireland: Maher (GK); Lyons, McEntee, O’Brien, Ferry (O’Connor, 83); Coventry (Johansson, 88), Kilkenny, Tierney; Watson (Noss, 80), Wright, Kayode (Ferguson, 83)
Referee: Kristoffer Hagenes (Norway)

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