Ireland U21 hosted Norway U21 at Tallaght Stadium on Thursday night as Noel King's men looked to make it three wins from three at the start of their UEFA U21 Championship qualification campaign, but early on it became clear that this was going to be a tight and nervy affair throughout.
Chances were scarce for both sides in the first half, with Declan Rice and Josh Cullen looking composed in midfield for Ireland, but as the game wore on the influence of Real Madrid prospect Martin Odegaard began to grow.
On loan at Heerenveen since January, the hype may have died down after he was thrust into the spotlight as a 15-year-old, but he is still a very talented young footballer and caused problems on a number of occasions for the Ireland defenders.
That said, Shaun Donnellan gave him a problem on the one occasion where it looked like Odegaard was certain to score.
After the Norway #10 made some space for himself, the West Brom defender came flying across to block the shot and sweep the man off his feet for good measure:
Super bit of defending from Shaun Donnellan to prevent Martin Odegaard! #IRLU21s pic.twitter.com/8aYIIhxHQe
— eirSport (@eirSport) October 5, 2017
Super tackle, perfectly timed, ball and man.
Donnellan is playing at Walsall this season on loan from West Bromwich Albion, and we can only imagine Tony Pulis would have bloody loved that challenge if he saw it. If he continues to impress in League One hopefully he can work his way up the ladder, as he played a role in an impressive defensive performance from Noel King's side on Thursday night.