2019 Review: Ireland U21

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2019 Review: Ireland U21

The Republic of Ireland Under-21s enjoyed a record-breaking 2019 where they end the year top of their UEFA 2021 European Championships qualifying group.
26th Dec 2019

Stephen Kenny led his side into 12 fixtures in the calendar year, a record amount of games for the U-21s, with five matches at the prestigious Toulon Tournament.

The year started with victory against Luxembourg in March before Ireland travelled to France to take part in the Toulon Tournament. Ireland achieved their highest-ever finish at the tournament, fourth position, with victories over China and Bahrain, and a draw against Mexico in the group stage.

A semi-final against Brazil followed, the first competitive match between the two countries at any level, but Ireland suffered a 2-0 defeat. In the 3rd/4th place play-off against Mexico, after a 0-0 draw in 90 minutes, Mexico won on penalties.

The qualifying campaign for the European Championships continued in September with victory over Armenia at Tallaght Stadium before sealing a 3-1 win over Sweden in Kalmar. Another double-header followed in October, with an impressive 0-0 draw against Italy before a disappointing 1-0 defeat in tough conditions in Iceland.

The year was concluded in style in November. A injury-hit Ireland side secured a 1-0 win over Armenia in Yerevan before returning to Tallaght Stadium just days later to secure an impressive 4-1 win over Sweden.

Ireland end the year top of their qualifying group having already broke the record for the highest amount of points achieved in an U-21 qualifying campaign, with three games remaining.

Kenny's side will welcome Iceland to Tallaght Stadium in March before travelling to Luxembourg in another crucial double-header. Ireland U-21s end their campaign in October in Italy.

RESULTS
March 24: Republic of Ireland 3-0 Luxembourg (UEFA U-21 European Qualifier)
June 3: China PR 1-4 Republic of Ireland (2019 Toulon Tournament)
June 6: Republic of Ireland 0-0 Mexico (2019 Toulon Tournament)
June 9: Bahrain 0-1 Republic of Ireland (2019 Toulon Tournament)
June 12: Brazil 2-0 Republic of Ireland (2019 Toulon Tournament)
June 15: Mexico 0-0 Republic of Ireland (4-3 pens) (2019 Toulon Tournament)
September 6: Republic of Ireland 1-0 Armenia (UEFA U-21 European Qualifier)
September 10: Sweden 1-3 Republic of Ireland (UEFA U-21 European Qualifier)
October 10: Republic of Ireland 0-0 Italy (UEFA U-21 European Qualifier)
October 15: Iceland 1-0 Republic of Ireland (UEFA U-21 European Qualifier)
November 14: Armenia 0-1 Republic of Ireland (UEFA U-21 European Qualifier)
November 19: Republic of Ireland 4-1 Sweden (UEFA U-21 European Qualifier)

PLAYER STATS

Minutes Played
989 - Lee O'Connor
945 - Conor Coventry
886 - Dara O'Shea
874 - Caoimhin Kelleher
855 - Conor Masterson
852 - Adam Idah
834 - Jayson Molumby
734 - Zack Elbouzedi
671 - Darragh Leahy
592 - Connor Ronan
515 - Aaron Connolly
356 - Jason Knight
328 - Liam Scales
279 - Troy Parrott
188 - Gavin Kilkenny
180 - Gavin Bazunu, Nathan Collins, Thomas O'Connor
165 - Daniel Mandroiu
135 - Jack Taylor
116 - Simon Power
113 - Stephen Mallon
106 - Jamie Lennon
104 - Aaron Drinan
97 - Michael Obafemi
90 - Jonathan Afolabi, Canice Carroll, Neil Farrugia, Kameron Ledwidge, Danny McNamara
74 - Josh Barrett
58 - Tyreke Wilson
35 - Conor Kearns
5 - Aidan Keena
2 - Brandon Kavanagh, Michael O'Connor

Goals
5 - Adam Idah
4 - Troy Parrott
3 - Zack Elbouzedi
1 - Neil Farrugia, Conor Masterson, Lee O'Connor, Connor Ronan

Clean Sheets
7 - Caoimhin Kelleher
1 - Gavin Bazunu 

Yellow Cards
3 - Jayson Molumby, Lee O'Connor, Troy Parrott 
2 - Conor Coventry, Conor Masterson, Dara O'Shea
1 - Canice Carroll, Nathan Collins, Adam Idah, Jason Knight, Connor Ronan

Red Cards
1 - Lee O'Connor, Dara O'Shea, Troy Parrott