Rea starts as Ireland U21s fall just short in Serbia

Glen Rea
Glen Rea

Luton Town’s Glen Rea played his second 90 minutes in four days for the Republic of Ireland U21s as they lost out in a five goal UEFA European Championship 2017 qualifying round Group Two thriller in Serbia last night.

Up against the last year’s U20 World champions, Ireland fell behind on 12 minutes when Mijat Gačinović’s flicked header from a left wing cross found Uros Djurdjević in the box and he turned to fire into bottom corner.

Ireland settled and came close to a leveller, but in the second period, they trailed 2-0 after 65 minutes when Darko Lazić slipped between two Irish defenders to head home from close range.

However, the visitors were back in the game four minutes later when Callum O’Dowda headed home brilliantly from a Kevin O’Connor cross.

Serbia regained their two goal cushion on 72 minutes though when they were awarded a penalty which Djurdjević converted.

Ireland pulled another back with nine minutes to when Sean Maguire nodded home from close range after Jake Mulraney’s cross was headed back by Darragh Lenihan.

Rea is expected to be back in contention for Town’s home game against Grimsby Town on Saturday, while the U21s will finish out the campaign when they host Serbia at the RSC in Waterford on October 7.