FA Cup | Mixed fortunes for Irish strikers in FA Cup shootout

It was a mixed night for two of Ireland’s most promising attacking prospects in the FA Cup on Wednesday night.

Irish teenagers Troy Parrott and Adam Idah came off the bench for Spurs and Norwich respectively in the Canaries’ penalty shootout win at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

Idah, 19, replaced Luka Rupp for Daniel Farke’s visitors in the 72nd minute, with Norwich trailing 1-0 after Jan Verthonghen’s first half header.

Josip Drmic drew Norwich level seven minutes later, converting from close range after Michel Vorm spilled Kenny McLean’s shot from distance, sending the fifth-round tie to extra time.

Republic of Ireland international Parrott, who has had to bide his time at Spurs despite their injury woes, came on in place of Dele Alli six minutes into extra time.

The 18-year-old’s introduction drew a roar from the Spurs fans, who have been itching to see more of the striker.

Idah – a key player for Stephen Kenny’s U21s – had a half-chance to head Norwich into the lead in the 107th minute, but couldn’t keep his header down from 12 yards.

Both players were starved of chances or good service as legs tired in extra time.

Dubliner Parrott, aside from one moment of excellent control and composed buildup play, struggled to get involved or up to the pace of the all-Premier League cup clash.

Jose Mourinho’s hosts created multiple chances in the second half of extra time, with Giovani Lo Celso forcing a save from Tim Krul, and substitute Gedson Fernandes blazing wildly over from a good position.

When the full time whistle came, Idah and Parrott put up their hands for their respective sides to volunteer in the shootout.

Spurs won the toss, and Eric Dier fired a low penalty past Krul, who guessed the right way, to open the scoring.

McLean took Norwich’s first spot kick, but saw his effort saved by the diving Vorm.

Erik Lamela then had a chance to add to Spurs’ lead, but his powerful penalty grazed the top of the bar on its way over.

Up stepped Idah, with the chance to draw Farke’s men level from 12 yards.

The teenager dispatched the penalty with aplomb, sending Vorm the wrong way as he side-footed his shot powerfully into the top right corner.

Lo Celso and Marco Stiepermann both found the net to tie the shootout at 2-2.
Parrott walked forward to take Spurs’ fourth penalty, and decided to take a noticeably large run up to the kick.

He went for the bottom right corner, but Krul anticipated correctly, and got down to parry Parrott’s effort away to safety.

It was a tough blow for Parrott, whose manager Mourinho keeps insisting is not ready for first team football at the north London club.

Todd Cantwell smashed his penalty into the net via the post to give the Canaries a 3-2 lead.

Fernandes assumed responsibility for Spur’s final effort, but his tame low penalty was saved by Krul.

Norwich celebrated wildly, having reached the last eight of the FA Cup for the first time in 28 years after winning their first shootout since 2009.

Mourinho defended Parrott’s penalty after the game, but says the Irish striker is not the second coming of Harry Kane.

“The penalty is nothing,” Mourinho said, in quotes reported by the Independent.

“He is a penalty taker in the under-23s. He was so confident, he wanted to take one, he wanted to take the responsibility, it’s an experience in his career. The problem is not his experience.

“The problem is the 30 minutes. Now people can see that he has to work a lot so don’t think that Parrott is the second Harry Kane because he’s just a young kid that needs to work. Let’s forget the penalty because we all miss the penalties, it was not Troy.”