Olamide Shodipo goal gives Republic of Ireland Under-21s victory against Kosovo
Olamide Shodipo fired the Republic of Ireland Under-21s to a 1-0 victory over Kosovo as Noel King's men survived a major scare in their opening Euro 2019 qualifier.
QPR midfielder Shodipo, who is currently on loan at Port Vale, scored the only goal of the Group Five game 11 minutes into the second half at Tallaght Stadium to edge the Republic past the Kosovans, who were playing their first fixture at this level.
However, Mendurim Hoti came desperately close to snatching a point for the visitors eight minutes before time when his effort came back off a post and bounced on the line before the men in green managed to smuggle the ball away.
Ireland enjoyed the better of the first half, but were unable to make the most of it with Chesterfield midfielder Connor Dimaio's late long-range effort as close as they came to breaking the deadlock.
They finally got their reward with 56 minutes gone when Shodipo bundled the ball home after a goalmouth scramble.
But it proved to be far from plain-sailing for the hosts with Hoti striking an upright two minutes later with Manchester United goalkeeper Kieran O'Hara beaten, and then repeating the feat as time ran down.