Montenegro and Ireland stalemate in Podgorica

Montenegro 0-0 Republic of Ireland
Both sides had chances to claim the spoils but could not find a breakthrough and remain six points adrift of Group 6 leaders Germany.

Montenegro Under-21s prior to their match against the Republic of Ireland
Montenegro Under-21s prior to their match against the Republic of Ireland ©Savo Prelević

Montenegro and the Republic of Ireland failed to close the gap on UEFA European Under-21 Championship qualifying Group 6 leaders Germany after drawing 0-0 in Podgorica.

The duo remain six points adrift of the pacesetters – who were held 2-2 in Romania – having failed to take maximum plunder from their own encounter. Both teams had the chance to steal the spoils but, on a damp surface, neither could find a breakthrough.

The first half reaped little more than a flurry of long-range efforts from the visitors' Sean Murray. The hosts, though, started to take charge after the interval, Stefan Mugoša's 49th-minute header kept out only by Sean McGinty's presence on the goal line. Callum Reilly came close at the other end, Ermin Alić the man on hand to block his close-range attempt.

The contest opened up in the closing 15 minutes, with Luka Djordjević and substitute Vladimir Jovović testing Ireland keeper Sean McDermott from the edge of the area. Djordjević had even better opportunities before the final whistle, first being thwarted by McDermott's legs before firing over with the goal at his mercy on 88 minutes. Aiden O'Brien might have won it for the Republic in the closing seconds yet headed straight at Danijel Petković.

Montenegro, who have a game in hand on both Ireland and Germany, face Noel King's side again in March.

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