Slovenia U21 3-1 Ireland U21

The Republic of Ireland Under-21s' bid to qualify for Euro 2017 suffered a huge blow after a 3-1 defeat in Slovenia.

Oxford's Callum O'Dowda netted a consolation goal as the hosts cruised to victory after strikes from Luka Krajn, Miha Zajc in-between Gregor Bajde's penalty.

Noel King's side lost 4-1 to Group 2 leaders Italy in Waterford on Thursday and needed victory to put their hopes of reaching Poland for next year's European Under-21 Championship back on course.

But they slipped to a fourth straight qualifying defeat and must now win all of their final three games to stand any chance of at least making the play-offs.

The loss left them fourth in Group 2, four points behind Serbia and six behind their hosts, after a disappointing defeat in Koper on Monday.

They trailed after 14 minutes when Cagliari defender and Slovenia captain Krajnc bundled in from close range after Ireland failed to deal with a corner.

The visitors fell further behind 10 minutes after the break when Sean Long conceded a penalty to allow Bajde to double Slovenia's lead.

Ireland did manage to pull a goal back when O'Dowda's low effort squeezed under Slovenia keeper Grega Sorcan to make it 2-1 after 65 minutes.

Any hopes of a revival were ended though when Zajc thumped in a free kick from the edge of the box seven minutes later.

Slovenia: Grega Sorčan, Aljaž Krefl, Luka Krajnc, Leo Ejup, Nik Kapun, Gregor Bajde (Luka Zahovič 78), Domen Črnigoj, Žiga Kastrevec (Dino Hotič 55), Miha Zajc, Denis Šme, Žan Benedičič (Leo Štulac 46).

Republic of Ireland: Ian Lawlor, Sean Long, Sean Hoare, Niall Keown, Darragh Lenihan, Shane Griffin (Dylan Connolly 61), Connor Dimaio, Conor Wilkinson (Seán Maguire 39), Jack Byrne, Callum O'Dowda (Joshua Barrett 75), Jack Connors.