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Alarm bells sounding for Everton

Everton
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By ESPN Staff

U21: Germany 2-2 Rep of Ireland: Gleeson double

The Republic of Ireland's under-21 side secured an impressive 2-2 draw with Germany in a testing friendly clash in Furth tonight.

A double from Wolves midfielder Stephen Gleeson on his debut put the Irish in charge before a late equaliser by Andreas Beck five minutes from time.

Gleeson was appearing at this level for the first time despite having played for the senior international side on their US tour in May.

Germany had opened the scoring in the 18th minute when Rouwen Hennings scored from the rebound after Irish goalkeeper Darren Randolph failed to hold a shot by Dennis Aogo.

Hennings had headed narrowly wide from a right wing cross by Beck three minutes previously.

Jim O'Brien had a good chance to level in the 31st minute when he got on the end of a Billy Clarke cross but shot into the side-netting.

Adam Rooney also passed up a chance before the Irish eventually were rewarded for their hard work with the equaliser.

Gleeson reacted sharply to intercept a poor pass by Juri Judt and ran through to fire home.

Gleeson put the visitors ahead in the 64th minute when he found the net from close range after Eddie Nolan squared the ball following a left wing cross by Billy Clarke.

Germany levelled with five minutes left when Beck got his head to a left wing free-kick by Marc Andre Kruska.

Don Givens was full of praise for his Republic of Ireland Under-21 side after they produced a brave display to secure a 2-2 draw away to Germany.

The Irish bounced back from conceding an early goal to go in front thanks to a double from Stephen Gleeson and were only pegged back with five minutes remaining in Furth.

After a troubled trip which saw Sunderland striker Anthony Stokes fail to report for duty, the performance was just the fillip the Irish needed.

'It was a good performance. We were in for a chasing early on but we changed our system and got right back into it,' said Givens.

'We went for a diamond shape in the middle but it wasn't working. We went to 4-3-3 then to stop their full-backs getting out. It worked better for us.

'In the middle part of the game we were excellent but I knew the last 10 minutes we would be tired because so few of the lads are getting regular football at the moment.

'They did brilliantly. We were very close to getting a great victory.'

The Republic play the opening match in their UEFA Under-21 Championships qualifying campaign against Portugal in Cork on September 7.

'The fact they aren't getting enough matches is an ongoing problem for us but we'll just have to get on with it,' added Givens.

'This result and performance will give us confidence ahead of a tough group and it was a test we needed.

'The likes of Adam Rooney ran himself to a standstill for us tonight. There were excellent performances from the likes of Billy Clarke and Stephen Gleeson.'