Republic of Ireland U21 0-0 Italy U21

Troy Parrott was red-carded against Italy but the Republic of Ireland's Under-21s have qualification for the 2021 Euros within their control.

Before a record crowd for an Under-21 international at Tallaght Stadium, this stalemate against the top seeds maintains an unbeaten start in the campaign for Stephen Kenny’s side.

They stay top of their group heading into Tuesday’s visit to Iceland and fully on course for a first-ever major tournament.

Ireland might even have grabbed a memorable win late on when captain Jayson Molumby saw his free-kick turned over.

Parrott had been dismissed on 63 minutes for a second booking in an incident that saw Moise Kean issued with a straight red card.

Five-time champions Italy almost snatched the lead on 17 minutes when Andrea Pinamonti headed wide.

With that scare survived, Ireland began to get a grip in key areas. Two minutes later, a long punt by Caoimhin Kelleher set Idah off on a run at goal. Despite getting the ball caught under his feet, he managed to lay the ball off to Jayson Molumby who had Parrott for support.

The Tottenham forward had to turn to get his shot away but still managed to force Marco Carnesecchi into a low save.

Six minutes later, the Italian goalkeeper was again worked as the record crowd of 7,231 began to find their voice on a chilly night.

A flowing move from left to right saw Molumby find Ihah with his back to goal and he, in turn, fed the unmarked Ronan. His rasping shot from just outside of the box was spilled Carnesecchi, forcing Alessandro Bastoni to clear the loose ball with Parrott poised to convert the rebound.

Not content with the pattern of the opening 45 minutes, Italy took drastic action by introducing €60m worth of talent in Kean and Partrick Cutrone at the interval.

Still, Parrott came closest to breaking the deadlock with a 52nd minute strike on the turn which fizzed a yard wide.

Then came the game's flashpoint on 63 minutes. After Kean fouled Conor Coventry in the centre circle, Parrott went to retrieve the loose ball, much to the substitute’s annoyance. 

Both had a shove at each other, Parrott left clutching his mouth as a result and eventually falling to the ground. 

Referee Sascha Stegemann didn’t waste much time in brandishing cards to each, leaving both teams with 10 men for the final half hour. Molumby fashioned the best chance but Ireland won't complain about the final outcome.

Republic of Ireland: C Kelleher (Liverpool); L O'Connor (Celtic), D O'Shea (West Brom), C Masterson (QPR), L Scales (UCD); J Molumby (Millwall), C Coventry (West Ham United); Z Elbouzedi (Waterford), C Ronan (DAC Dunajská Streda), T Parrott (Tottenham Hotspur); A Idah (Norwich City).

Subs: J Knight (Derby County) for Ronan (62 mins), M Obafemi (Southampton) for Elbouzedi (68 mins), G Kilkenny (Bournemouth) for Molumby (85 mins).

Italy: M Carnesecchi (Trapani); E Delprato (Livorno), A Bastoni (Inter), R Marchizza (Spezia), L Pellegrini (Cagliari); M Locatelli (Sassuolo), M Carraro (Perugia), S Tonali (Brescia); D Frattesi (Empoli), A Pinamonti (Genoa), G Scamacca (Ascoli).

Subs: C Adjapong (Verona) for Marchizza (22 mins), P Cutrone (Wolves) for Scamacca, Moise Kean (Everton) for Pinamonti (46 mins), R Sottil (Fiorentina) for Carraro (68 mins).

Referee: Sascha Stegemann (GER)

Attendance: 7,231