REPORT | Ireland U21 0-1 Denmark U21
A first half 20-yard strike from Emil Frederiksen was enough for the Danes to take the win at the Dama de Noche Football Centre, Marbella, Spain.
Ireland were looking to end their Spanish camp on a high after a defeat to Switzerland in their opening game and a win over Australia on Wednesday.
Jim Crawford made five changes to the Starting XI that faced Australia. Goalkeeper Dan Rose came in to make his U21 debut in aged 17 while Alex Gilbert, Ryan Johannson, Tyreik Wright, Joshua Kayode returned to the line-up.
Ireland’s first effort came in the 15th minute when a forward drive from Andy Lyons was squared to Coventry and his drive at goal forced Andreas Jungdal into a save
Denmark had a glorious chance to equalise minutes later when Magnus Warming rounded Rose and William Boving’s goal-bound effort was headed off the line by Mark McGuinness.
From the resulting corner Denmark struck the bar as Ireland survived two scares quick succession.
The Danes broke the deadlock on the half-hour mark when Emil Fredrikson found the top corner with a fine left-footed strike from distance.
Ireland responded with excellent work down left from Will Ferry who pulled it back into the danger area but the ball could only be cleared for a corner.
Rose was forced into a save on 35 minutes when he got down well to right to palm a drive away from danger.
At half-time Crawford made two changes with 18 year old Bosun Lawal coming on for his Under-21s debut - replacing Conor Noss - and Festy Ebosele coming on for Lyons.
Gavin KIlkenny was introduced in the 60th minute with Tyreik Wright limping off as Ireland looked for a way back into the game.
Denmark continued to search for a second and had two great chances to double their lead Louie Watson and Conor Grant were brought on to provide attacking impetus but despite the Irish efforts Ireland couldn’t find the equaliser.
Speaking after the game Republic of Ireland Under-21 Manager Jim Crawford said: “It was a really challenging game who were in Pot 1 for the draw for the European Championships. Denmark are a really good team in the middle of their season, so they had that sharpness.
“We had Dan Rose making his debut at the age of 17 and Bosun Lawal came on and he only turned 18 during the camp. A lot of young lads came in but a lot to learn from it.”
Looking at the camp at all Crawford added: “We were asked to play a number of friendlies against teams that are no where near this level.
"When these three friendlies came up we were very interested in the challenges each team we played presents such as Switzerland who are technical, Australia in the week, and Denmark who are powerful and organised. That’s the barometer for these players.”
Republic of Ireland: Rose (GK); Lyons (Ebosele, 46), McGuinness, McEntee, Ferry (Flynn, 86); Coventry, Noss (Lawal, 46), Johansson, Gilbert (Watson, 75), Wright (Kilkenny, 60), Kayode (Grant , 75).
Denmark Starting XI: Jungdal (GK); Ross Jensen, Villadsen,Christensen, Boving, Bundgaard, Lund, Warming, Frederiksen, V. Jensen, Kaufmann.
Substitutes: L. Lund (GK), Kaastrup, Hannesbo, Kornvig, Haahr, Chukwani, Winther, Carstensen, Baden.
Referee: Naranjo Marin (ESP)