Under-21 | Luxembourg 1-2 Ireland
A debut goal from Joshua Koyade and a second-half strike from St. Patrick Ahtletic’s Jamie Lennon gave Ireland the win in Beggen.
With qualification out of their grasp, Jim Crawford made six changes to the team that was beaten by Iceland at Tallaght Stadium.
Kayode joined Mark McGuinness in making his first start for Ireland Under-21s while Darragh Leahy, Danny McNamara, Danny Mandroiu and Thomas O’Connor also came into the starting line-up.
From the outset Ireland were on the front foot, pinning the home-side into their own half.
In the 11th minute Joshua Kayode rose highest to flick a header goalwards but it was comfortably dealt with by goalkeeper Joao Machado.
In the 35th minute came the breakthrough and Kayode had his goal. Leahy delivered an excellent cross and this time Kayode made no mistake, finding the top corner with a header.
Luxembourg were sparked into action Timothe Rupil stung the palms of McGinty with an effort from range just before the break.
Leahy almost found the net himself this time it was he getting onto a cross as he forced a fine save from Machado to keep the score at 1-0.
The Dundalk full-back had another great chance after half-time. Scully did well to win the ball back and fed it into Mandroiu to cross, the ball came out Leahy who couldn’t hit the target with his effort.
Then in the 65th minute came the second goal Ireland’s play deserved. Mandroiu’s free-kick could only be cleared to Jamie Lennon who fired home for his first goal for Ireland in final appearance for an underage Irish team.
It could have been three 10 minutes later but while leahy’s effort beat the goalkeeper it couldn’t beat Seid Korac who was able to get back and flick the ball over the bar.
Luxembourg got a way back in the game when Kenan Avdusinovic produced a stunning strike from distance that beat Ed McGinty.
But they were reduced to 10 men late on when Korac saw a second yellow.
Ireland saw out the game to record their sixth win of the campaign.
Luxembourg: Machado; Bernardy, Schmit, Korac, Dzogovic; Avdusinoivc, Latic (Duriatti, 83) , Olesen; Prudhomme (Schaus, 71), Curci (Coopsmans, 71), Rupil.
Republic of Ireland: McGinty; McNamara, Leahy, Masterson (C), McGuinness; T O’Connor (Lennon, ’46) , Mandroiu, Ronan, Scully (Grant, 71), Elbouzedi (Obafemi , 78), Kayode (Ferry, 78):
Referee: Kaarlo Oskari Hamalainen (FIN)