Ireland Finish International Break with Lithuania win


THE Republic of Ireland completed the international break with a hard-fought and dramatic 1-0 win over Lithuania at the Aviva Stadium.

Troy Parrott got the winner in the last minute of injury time to ensure that their unbeaten run was extended to 8 games.

Manager Stephen Kenny made 7 changes to the side with the likes of Nathan Collins, Will Keane and Ryan Manning coming into the starting 11. Ireland had FOUR goals disallowed for offside including two from former Limerick FC man Chiedozie Ogbene and one each from Conor Hourihane and Scott Hogan. John Egan and Matt Doherty also forced saves on what was a frustrating evening for the Irish team until the relief of Parrott’s strike at the death.

Ireland also managed to gain a 2-2 draw with Belgium on Saturday and although the world’s number one ranked side left out a number of key players, it was still a morale boosting result in front of a packed home support. Ogbene equalised following Michai Batsuayi’s opener but Belgium restored their lead through Hans Vanaken. However, Ogbene’s cross was met by substitute Alan Browne to secure a draw.

Attention will now turn to the triple header of Nations League fixtures in June when Kenny’s outfit are due to face Ukraine, Armenia and Scotland. In other big news, Jim Crawford’s Irish U-21 squad pulled off a superb 0-2 away victory over Sweden in the U-21 Euro Qualifying campaign. The result now leaves Ireland just one point behind Sweden in second place with a game in hand. Ross Tierney and Tyrieke Wright scored the goals for Ireland.

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