Ten-man Ireland U21s salvage draw
Press Association Ireland were left facing a major test after defender Sean McGinty was dismissed for a foul on Youssef Toutouh early in the second half. However, they managed to hold out to claim a morale-boosting share of the spoils in Fredericia. In a game played in blistering heat, Ireland created a handful of chances on the break despite their numerical disadvantage against a side King always believed would give them just the kind of test they needed ahead of the start of the new European Championship qualifying campaign in August. Blackburn defender Anthony O’Connor went close with a 60th-minute header from Sean Murray’s free-kick, while Aston Villa midfielder Samir Carruthers almost snatched victory 12 minutes from time. He homed in on substitute Michael Harriman’s dangerous low cross but was unable to connect in front of goal. However, keeper Sean McDermott, who replaced Aaron McCarey at the break, had to make two late saves from Bassel Jradi to deny the Danes a win in a rousing conclusion to the game. Ireland, who finished third behind Italy and Turkey in qualification for this summer’s finals in Israel, open their new campaign in the Faroe Islands on August 14 and then face Germany at home the following month. Noel King’s Ireland Under-21s claimed a battling 0-0 friendly draw in Denmark despite having to play for 40 minutes with only 10 men.