Stephen Kenny's young team came within a whisker of holding FIFA's third-ranked team in Dublin on Monday night as one error and a remarkable save saw them lose their opening Group B fixture 1-0. Qualification always looked a tall order when the draw was made, but Monday night's performance has increased belief that Ireland can certainly compete in the group.
Scotland stunned the European heavyweights with a hard-fought 2-0 win at Hampden Park on Tuesday evening
The Football Association of Ireland last week called in police after members of the nation's Under-15s boys team were targeted on multiple social media platforms. On Monday evening, Cork-born Norwich striker Idah, who has a Nigerian father and an Irish mother, was part of a Republic squad which included five players with African heritage - Gavin Bazunu, Andrew Omobamidele, Chiedozie Ogbene and Michael Obafemi are the others - for the Euro 2024 qualifier against France.