Ryan Byrne/INPHO Stephen Kenny.
Kenny laments 'cheap' set-piece goals in Norway defeat
Ireland conceded from a corner and free-kick in a 2-1 loss.

STEPHEN KENNY SAYS the decisive goal was “cheap” in tonight’s friendly defeat against Norway at the Aviva Stadium, but took responsibility for all of Ireland’s work at set-pieces. 

Ireland slipped to a 2-1 loss by conceding in the 85th minute to Ohi Omoijuanfo, who lashed home from close range after Nathan Collins failed to deal with Martin Odegaard’s free-kick. 

“I don’t think we deserved to lose it”, said Kenny of the match. “It was a pretty even match overall, we struggled to create any chances in the first half, which is disappointing. Norway are very compact out of possession, and the spaces are on the outside. We couldn’t penetrate enough in the first half, which we did address in the second half.

“We created a lot of chances before we scored, and I’m pleased we didn’t allow not scoring those chances erode our spirit. 

“Alan Browne got a great goal, we had to work so hard for a goal which makes it doubly disappointing to give away such a cheap goal from our point of view.”

Kenny was also disappointed by the first goal Ireland conceded. 

“We did a lot of things well tonight but We knew Ostigard is exceptional in the air, it wasn’t a surprise to us, so that’s a disappointing goal to concede. We know what he does. He was too powerful for us in that area and that wasn’t good enough. The second goal we were six against three, Nathan has headed it against the player and he has scored. From our point of view that was a bad goal to concede.”

Both of the goals Ireland conceded were from set pieces, which has become a recurring issue this year. Kenny denied it’s a result of having an under-manned coaching staff, with Anthony Barry’s replacement, John Eustace, yet to be replaced.  “I have always taken complete control of set pieces. Defending and attacking: we have scored three in the last four. John Eustace has nothing to do with any of that.”  

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