Football

'It's Quite A Controversial Penalty And That Swung The Game'

'It's Quite A Controversial Penalty And That Swung The Game'

The Ireland U21s suffered their first defeat of the Euro 2021 qualifying campaign on Tuesday, going down 1-0 to Iceland in Reykjavik.

A 29th minute Sveinn Aron Gudjohnsen penalty separated the teams.

"It's quite a controversial penalty and that swung the game," manager Stephen Kenny told FAI TV.

We’re very disappointed to lose the game. I think it was a very, very harsh penalty given against Lee O’Connor.

It was an unusual game. It was a bit of a wind tunnel and the game itself was wind-affected - it was blowing across the pitch. It made the first 20 - 25 minutes very difficult.

We probably didn’t adapt as well as we could have early in the game, but in the second half we got control of the game and dominated.

Because the penalty was scored, they were able to get 11 men in their own half. They were a very tall team and were difficult to break down. We had good chances with Michael Obafemi, Adam Idah and Dara O'Shea but didn’t capitalise.

The players are hurting and it’s one we are disappointed to lose but it’s our first defeat of the campaign and we have to dust ourselves down.

After five games in their group, which also features Italy, Sweden, Armenia and Luxembourg in addition to Iceland, Ireland sit top with ten points. Others do have games in hand.

"It’s a very open group," said Kenny.

"We’ve beaten Sweden away and Sweden have beaten Iceland. Now Iceland have beaten us, and Italy have to go away to all of these teams.

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"We’re still in a good position. We have a big 10 days in November where we go to Armenia and Sweden come to us, so we have to get ourselves ready and put this behind us."

Photo by Eythor Arnason/Sportsfile

See Also: Here's How The Ireland U21s' Group Is Shaping Up After Loss In Iceland

PJ Browne
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