"My ma doesn't get to watch me that much because I'm abroad." - Phillips provides powerful interview 3 months ago

"My ma doesn't get to watch me that much because I'm abroad." - Phillips provides powerful interview

Killian Phillips said scoring for the Ireland under-21s against Italy was probably the proudest moment of his life.

Phillips had put Ireland one up after 30 minutes and while Italy struck back from the penalty spot to level, through Leeds United winger Willy Gnonto, Ireland were on the cusp of a famous win deep into injury-time thanks to a second from Sinclair Armstrong.

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But Phillips and Ireland were left heartbroken in the sixth minute of added time when Gnonto equalised with the aid of a heavy deflection.

Sitting in second in the group, one point behind the Italians, Ireland remain none-the-less on course for a first ever European championship qualification at this age-grade.

Midfielder Phillips, who plays his club football for Wycombe Wanderers, was named man-of-the-match on the night after another powerhouse performance.

A Kilbarrack native, the 21-year-old began his career at Drogheda United before making a permanent switch to Crystal Palace last year, with Palace remaining his parent club. He hit the headlines a couple of months back for his remembrance day stance, as he stood apart from his team-mates during a moment of silence.

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RTÉ's Darren Frehill caught up with Phillips after the game and while he was 'gutted' with the concession of a late goal, his pride in scoring for his country was clear.

"My first competitive start for Ireland and I'm delighted to score.

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"I'm knackered, I can't even do this interview," said Phillips.

"We gave it our all. It's just gutting. It would have been a huge three points but we've had a good start to the group so we just need to keep pushing on in March.

"It was a good performance from the lads, just that last minute. But no, we'll keep going, and lots of positives to build on."

"It was a bit emotional, to be honest. I've worked so hard. A lot of them late nights and stuff like that, have been made for a day like this. And my ma was here, my ma doesn't get to watch me that much because I'm abroad.

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"But to score in front of her.

"I've wrote it down millions of times to score for Ireland.

"So it probably was the proudest moment of my life. And you probably seen that in my celebration. I was close to tears and yeah, I'm buzzing, I'm delighted. Obviously, I'm gutted but that will stick with me for the rest of my life."

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