Under-21 European Qualifier: Republic of Ireland play out goalless draw in Montenegro
Last Updated: 19/11/13 7:22pm
Noel King: Saw his U21s side cling on to claim a 0-0 draw
Goalkeeper Sean McDermott was the Republic of Ireland's hero as he turned in a stubborn display to help secure a hard-fought 0-0 draw in Montenegro.
The 20-year-old made a string of second-half saves to deny the Montenegrins victory in Podgorica and keep alive Ireland's hopes of making it out of Group 6 in their bid to reach the finals of the European Under-21s Championship.
Noel King's men capped an encouraging five days after beating the Faroe Islands in Sligo on Tuesday with a 0-0 draw, and remain level on points with Montenegro behind group leaders Germany, although having played a game more.
Ireland made a bright start to the game and within 16 minutes, home keeper Danijel Petkovic had been forced to makes saves from Sean Murray twice and Anthony Forde.
However, as the half wore on, Montenegro started to work their way into the game, although McDermott was largely untroubled and the first half ended goalless.
The hosts returned in determined fashion and went close four minutes after the restart when Stefan Mugosa had a shot blocked, although Petkovic was called upon once again two minutes later as Aiden O'Brien took aim at the other end.
McDermott had to deny Mugosa in a lively start to the second half, and he found himself the busier of the two keepers as he repelled another effort from Vladimir Jovovic with time running down.
Luka Djordjevic might have won it for the Montenegrins 13 minutes from time but for another save by McDermott, who then kept out attempts by Jovovic and Djordjevic with the home side throwing every they had at the Irish.
O'Brien had a chance to snatch three points deep into injury-time, but Petkovic ensured his side emerged with at least some reward for their efforts.
European Under-21 Championship Qualifying
Tue 19th Nov - Group Two
Andorra U210 - 2Denmark U21
Russia U211 - 0Estonia U21
Bulgaria U211 - 5Slovenia U21
Tue 19th Nov - Group Five
Croatia U213 - 1Latvia U21
Tue 19th Nov - Group Six
Montenegro U210 - 0Rep Ire U21
Romania U212 - 2Germany U21
Tue 19th Nov - Group Nine
Serbia U211 - 0Italy U21
N Ireland U211 - 0Cyprus U21
Tue 19th Nov - Group Ten
Belarus U210 - 1Armenia U21
Tue 19th Nov - Group Seven
Poland U213 - 1Greece U21
Sweden U215 - 0Malta U21
Tue 19th Nov - Group One
Moldova U213 - 0Lithuania U21
England U219 - 0San Marino U21
Tue 19th Nov - Group Eight
Macedonia U211 - 3Norway U21
European Under-21 Championship Qualifying Group One
|6||San Marino U21||9||4|
European Under-21 Championship Qualifying Group Two
European Under-21 Championship Qualifying Group Three
European Under-21 Championship Qualifying Group Four
European Under-21 Championship Qualifying Group Five
European Under-21 Championship Qualifying Group Six
|4||Rep of Ireland U21||7||8|
|5||Faroe Islands U21||7||1|
European Under-21 Championship Qualifying Group Seven
European Under-21 Championship Qualifying Group Eight
European Under-21 Championship Qualifying Group Nine
|5||N Ireland U21||7||3|
European Under-21 Championship Qualifying Group Ten
European Under-21 Championship Qualifying Group Eleven
European Under-21 Championship Qualifying Group Twelve
European Under-21 Championship Qualifying Group Thirteen
European Under-21 Championship Qualifying Group Fourteen