Despite an impressive campaign, Ireland will not appear at the 2021 u21 European Championships.
Ireland u21s played Luxembourg u21s this evening in the final game of a long European Championship qualifying campaign. After a disappointing result against Iceland on Sunday, Ireland bounced back by defeating the Luxembourgers 2-1.
Goals from Joshua Kayode and Jamie Lennon propelled Jim Crawford’s side to a much-needed victory. The scoreline reflected how the game played out as Ireland dominated for large periods.
It took until the 35th minute for the opening goal of the match. Joshua Kayode was the goalscorer in what was his first u21 start, after impressing as a substitute against Iceland. Darragh Leahy whipped an accurate cross onto the head of the Carlisle loanee who finished with aplomb into the right-hand corner.
Jamie Lennon scored the winning goal in the 65th minute. Danny Mandroiu swung in a dangerous free kick from wide and after a scuffle in the box the St Pat’s man found the back of the net.
Luxembourg struck back in the 84th minute, but it would only prove to be a consolation as the scoreline finished 2-1.
Despite this evenings victory, Ireland will not be appearing at the 2021 u21 European Championships. Sunday’s loss against Iceland proved decisive for their qualification chances. It would have been the first time in Ireland’s history to qualify for the tournament.
The squad can, however, hold their heads high after a competitive and impressive campaign. The crowds seen pre-coronavirus demonstrated the reignited interest in Irish youth football after a disappointing few years.