Ireland end on a high
The Rep of Ireland's U21s brought the curtain down on their 2013 European Championship qualifying campaign with a superb 4-2 victory over Italy.
Last Updated: 10/09/12 9:59pm
The Republic of Ireland's U21s brought the curtain down on their 2013 European Championship qualifying campaign with a superb 4-2 victory over Italy.
Ireland headed into the game knowing that their dreams of reaching the play-offs had already been dashed, with defeat to Hungary on Thursday ruling them out of next summer's finals.
Noel King's side were, however, able to raise their game for their final fixture, despite ending the contest with nine men following two red cards.
Sean Murray put Ireland in front in the 23rd minute but Luca Caldirola equalised on 35 for the Italians, who were already guaranteed to progress as group winners.
Another Italian victory seemed certain when Derrick Williams was sent off in the 37th minute for a professional foul, but Aaron McCarey saved the resulting penalty and instead it was the visitors who took control.
Two goals in as many minutes just before the hour from Doran and Conor Henderson gave the Irish a 3-1 lead and they made it four eight minutes from time when Doran added his second of the game.
Anthony Forde was the second Republic player to see red for two bookable offences in the final minutes, and Stephan El Shaarawy grabbed a consolation goal for the home side in injury time.