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Republic youngsters held at home by Norway

Noel King's Republic of Ireland Under-21 side were held to a goalless draw by Norway in their friendly in Waterford.

Looking to bounce back from Friday's 3-1 European Championship qualifying defeat in Lithuania, the hosts were thwarted by Norway goalkeeper Per Kristian Bratveit, who made several outstanding saves.

Ireland, coached by King, created the better chances in a goalless first half with Everton midfielder Harry Charsley prominent, while Norway also served warning of their threat.

Charsley had the first chance of the game in the eighth minute when his snap-shot fizzed inches over the crossbar and soon after was denied a shot on goal by the offside whistle after bursting clear in the penalty area.

Norway midfielder Fredrik Aursnes crashed a 20-yard effort just wide and the visitors spurned a golden chance to take a 19th-minute lead when Iver Fossum volleyed off target from close range after Alexander Sorloth's low strike had bounced back off Ireland goalkeeper Eric Grimes.

Bratveit produced fine saves to deny Charsley after his brilliant turn in the box and Fulham defender Sean Kavanagh, whose 30-yard drive was turned away at full stretch.

Ireland went close again three minutes after the restart when Bolton striker Conor Wilkinson's header was well saved by Norway's substitute goalkeeper Sondre Rossbach and at the other end Sorloth headed Thomas Grogaard's cross just wide.

Chances dried up in the second half, the closest either side coming to breaking the deadlock coming when Norway substitute Morten Agnes Konradsen's shot from inside the area was blocked.


From Belfast Telegraph