Republic of Ireland 1 Switzerland 1 – David McGoldrick rescues a point

Credit: FAI.

Mick McCarthy’s Republic of Ireland side maintained their unbeaten record in the UEFA European Championship 2020 qualifying campaign when they hosted Switzerland at the Aviva Stadium tonight in what was seen as a crucial test for the home side.

Sitting atop their UEFA European Champions 2020 Group prior to kick-off, the Irish side came into this game with three wins and a draw from their four games, with five goals scored and just one conceded, away to Denmark in early June this year.

Before a noisy Aviva Stadium crowd, the home side could have gone into the lead just before the half time break as the industrious David McGoldrick found himself in possession to the right of the box. The marauding Irish striker’s cross lacked the required accuracy to find Callum Robinson who was lurking with intent near the far post, for what could have been a decent effort to break the game’s deadlock.

A ball fell invitingly for Switzerland’s Ricardo Rodríguez in the 26th minute as he let fire from the edge of the box, straight in front of goal. The effort failed to trouble Darren Randolph between the Irish posts as the ball went to his left and wide of the posts.

Glenn Whelan was lucky to avoid a booking in the 28th minute when a tackle from behind gave an opportunity to the visitors, whose free kick deflected off an Irish player and went out for the corner, with nothing resulting from the corner which followed.

In a lively game, the sides entered the tunnel at the break with the sides at 0-0.

A dominant Swiss performance in the opening 15 minutes of the second half saw the visitors planted in the Irish half of the field with the home side defending valiantly. Vladimir Petkovic’s side, despite all their possession and threatening play, failed to score the game’s first goal during this period of domination.

Despite the best efforts of Mick McCarthy’s team to wrest possession from the visitors, the Swiss remained in control of the game before they eventually got the game’s opening goal through Fabian Schar with 16 minutes left to play.

The Swiss player was involved in a lovely 1-2 before calmly slotting the ball to the right of Darren Randolph, who stretched in vain to prevent the score as the ball went beyond his reach and into the corner.

With time running out for the Republic of Ireland side, a cross from James McClean in the 84th minute found David McGoldrick in front of goal, as the ever-busy striker headed an equaliser to the delight of the 44,000-odd crowd inside the Aviva Stadium.

Final score: Republic of Ireland 1 Switzerland 1.

Mick McCarthy’s side’s next qualifying game is away to Georgia on 12th October.

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