Armenia secured their first win in 2011 UEFA European Under-21 Championship qualifying thanks to Henrik Mkhitaryan's hat-trick against the Republic of Ireland.
Both these sides had yet to taste victory in Group 2, although Ireland had drawn four of five games and Armenia just the one. However, a depleted Republic team were breached by Mkhitaryan on the half-hour and he added a second on 61 minutes. Cillian Sheridan pulled one back, only for Hovhannes Goharyan's fine goal to be followed by a Mkhitaryan penalty.
There had been frustration for both countries on Saturday when Armenia conceded a stoppage-time equaliser to Estonia, and Ireland were similarly levelled late on in Georgia, in 1-1 draws. Yet Armenian spirits were raised here when Mkhitaryan danced past three defenders and his superb shot opened the scoring.
Just past the hour, the 20-year-old from Ukrainian club FC Metalurh Donetsk applied a powerful finish to Edgar Malakyan's cross, but four minutes later Sheridan gave Ireland hope by heading in James O'Shea's centre. With a quarter-hour to go Goharyan struck from 20 metres to make it 3-1 and after Malakyan was felled in the box, Mkhitaryan completed his treble. Armenia duly moved ahead of their visitors and into fifth place on head-to-head record, before the sides' rematch in Ireland on 2 March.
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