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Thursday 16 August 2018

U21s go down fighting in Turkey

TURKEY continued their perfect start to the European Under-21 Championship qualifying campaign as they beat a brave Republic of Ireland to win their third straight Group Seven fixture.

TURKEY continued their perfect start to the European Under-21 Championship qualifying campaign as they beat a brave Republic of Ireland to win their third straight Group Seven fixture.

Rasit Cetiner's side had already beaten Liechtenstein home and away before a Sahin Aygunes goal gave them a slim victory over Ireland to put them six points clear at the top of the group.

The goal came after only 10 minutes but the hosts comfortably defended their lead and were rarely troubled as they kept their 100% record intact despite efforts from Shane Duffy and Robbie Brady.

“It was a disappointing goal to concede because we’re normally tight defensively in those situations,” manager Noel King said.

“I thought our spirit in searching for an equaliser was fantastic.

“It’s still very possible to qualify and with improvement in certain areas, we’re well in with a shout.”

Despite sitting pretty at the top of the group, Turkey have played two more games than second-placed Italy, who face Liechtenstein at the start of October, while Turkey's next game comes at home to Hungary the following day.

Ireland's next game comes against Liechtenstein on October 11 as they look to get their qualification campaign back on track.

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