Curtis features for Ireland U21 in Norway defeat

The Ireland Under 21s put in a far better performance than their senior counterparts last evening, but were undone by an injury time goal.

Noel King's side lost 2-1 away to Norway as Derry City's Ronan Curtis once again featured playing the full game.

With temperatures as low as minus three on the 3G surface at the Marienlyst Stadion in Dremmen, Norway went ahead just before the 20th minute.

Ireland were level on 32 minutes, Declan Rice found the run of Jake Mulraney just over the half-way line and his pace saw him fly past Julian Ryerson, and into the area to finish under the keeper.

Ireland were denied a deserved point in the final minute of the match as Curtis' header only half-cleared a right-sided corner and captain Fossum fired home to give the home side all three points.

Ireland drop to second in Euro qualifying Group 5 and return to action at home to Azerbaijan in March.

Republic of Ireland U21 Head Coach Noel King said: "It's a tough one to take. We've worked so hard throughout the entire match and we definitely deserved a point.

"To lose it in the final minute of the game, it's always going to hurt but I'm incredibly proud of this great group of players. They've shown a lot of hunger, desire and passion for the cause tonight in difficult conditions and they should be proud of their efforts.

"That is a good Norway team, full of talent, and over two games, only the final minute of the game separates us. The players are down in the dressing room but they want to get into the next game against Azerbaijan next year and get another positive result on the board.

"We've had a great start to the campaign so I'm sure we'll bounce back from this defeat. It's a long campaign and I believe in this group of players."