Ireland Under 21s defeat Wales in strong performance
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Ireland Under 21s defeat Wales in strong performance

IRELAND AND Wales faced off in Wrexham at lunch-time on Friday in what proved to be a very decent game.

Ireland went a goal down early in the first half thanks to a nice bit of football from the young Welsh lads.

Niall Huggins set up teammate Joe Adams who finished calmly into the Irish net, and it was a well-deserved goal after minutes of Welsh pressure.

Ireland grew into the first half though, with Southampton's Will Ferry and Celtic's Luca O'Connell among our most impressive performers on the pitch.

Arsenal defender Mark McGuiness was a man-mountain at the back, and dealt with everything Wales had to offer, aside from the goal.

The second half saw the players absolutely battered by rain and hailstones, while Ireland got much better as the game went on.

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Ireland's pressure paid off, after Jonathon Afolabi scored from close range following some nice work by Conor Noss. The Dundee striker who is on loan from Celtic took his goal really well, and often impresses when he plays for Ireland.

Minutes later, a bizarre own goal saw Ireland take the lead, and the young Irish lads remained in control from then until the end of the game, despite some late Welsh attempts.

Jim Crawford will surely be pleased by the way his side stayed in the game, and took their chances when they arose.

Next up for Irish football fans is a World Cup qualifier against Luxembourg, which kicks off at 7.45pm on Saturday night.