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Andorra 1 Republic of Ireland 4
Two goals from Troy Parrott saw the Republic of Ireland come from behind to clinch a 4-1 victory over Andorra at the Estadi Nacional on Thursday.
The result saw manager Stephen Kenny claim his first victory as Republic of Ireland boss, as two further goals from Jason Knight and Daryl Horgan ensured a comfortable first win for the Dubliner.
In a disappointing opening half, the Irish side produced only one decent chance when an excellent passing move saw a Josh Cullen’s cross finding James Collins, but the latter disappointingly sent his headed effort wide of the mark.
The home side took the lead on 51 minutes through Marc Vales, who rose highest of all to head home from a set-piece.
Shortly afterwards a response came from Kenny’s side when 19-year-old Troy Parrott equalised on 58 minutes. With Parrott finding space, he drove at the Andorran defence, before turning to create space and then finding the bottom corner.
Three minutes later Parrott doubled his international goals tally. Conor Hourihane, advanced down the right side, dug out a cross to the far post and the keeper couldn’t keep out Parrott’s powerful downward header.
Ireland had found their groove at this point and would go on to score a further two goals in the final 10 minutes.
Substitute Daryl Horgan found an inch-perfect cross to Knight who deceived the defender at the back-post to tap home his first international goal six minutes from time.
Knight returned the favour four minutes later with a fantastic cross, this time from the right, found Horgan and his diving header found the net to round off an impressive victory.
Kenny happy with response
“We were disappointed with the first-half and to go behind, but the response from that point was really impressive,” said manager Stephen Kenny.
“I’m delighted for Troy. He has had a tough season but we believe in his talent and ability, and he took his two goals brilliantly which told us a lot about his character.
“Hungary will be a much tougher test so we’ll have to raise our performance levels for that match on Tuesday but we’re delighted to come away with a win.”
12 Iker (GK) (13 Francisco Pires (GK) 76), 3 Marc Vales, 4 Marc Rebes (24 Christian Garcia 72), 8 Marcio Vieira (C), 10 Ludovic Clemente (2 Cristian Martinez 59), 14 Jordi Alaez, 15 Moises San Nicolas, 16 Alex Martinez (6 Ildefons Lima 76), 17 Joan Cervos, 19 Ricard Fernandez (9 Aaron Sanchez 59), 20 Max Llovera.
Subs not used: 1 Josep Gomes (GK), 5 Albert Alavedera, 7 Marc Pujol, 11 Sergi Moreno, 21 Marc Garcia, 22 Victor Bernat, 23 Eric De Pablos.
Republic of Ireland
1 Gavin Bazunu, 2 Matt Doherty, 20 Dara O’Shea (4 Shane Duffy 86), 5 John Egan, 11 James McClean (3 Ryan Manning 86), 6 Josh Cullen, 8 Conor Hourihane (12 Harry Arter 86), 10 Troy Parrott (18 Jamie McGrath 82), 7 Ronan Curtis (15 Daryl Horgan 66), 14 Jason Knight, 19 James Collins (9 Adam Idah 66).
Subs not used: 16 Caoimhin Kelleher (GK), 23 Mark Travers (GK), 17 Jayson Molumby, 21 Daniel Mandroiu, 22 Chiedozie Ogbene, 24 Lee O’Connor.