Poor Ireland miss chance against Slovakia

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Republic of Ireland 0-0 Slovakia, 7:50pm Aviva Stadium
Full time played

Match Commentary
Full time The ref blows the whistle and the game ends with boos for the Irish. A poor result that doesn’t help us. The 2nd half was an improvement on the first but two fluffed headers aside Ireland didn’t really deserve to win it. Ireland now head to Russia needing a win. Hard for the players and fan tonight, Ireland nil Slovakia nil.
Added time St Ledger and Dunne miss the target with a free header good ball in by Hunt
Added time
Another corner
Added time Ireland with a corner, 90 seconds to go
Added time Ireland still trying but they’ve left it late
90min Ireland looking for a late goal, nothing really happening though. 3 minutes of added time
88min St Ledger has been booked and will miss the trip to Moscow now, its a loss, he’s been good this second half
87min Arms around the neck of Andrews, a penalty surely but Slovakia gets away with it.
85min Dunne fouls in the Slovakia box and another chance goes abegging, free out
84min Hunt on for McGeady. Just the man for a final push – crowd like it.
83min Cox shoots wide but Andrews is going mad with him, he was outside him with no one on him
82min St Ledger has had a good second half, does well again there.
80min Free to Ireland in their own half
78min Andrews fouls Stoch.. dangers position for a free
77min Cox caught in two minds and ends with a nothing effort into the arms of Mucha
77min Good night for Brian Kerr his side are giving Italy a hard time, still 1 nil down though at home though. Can they cause a shock?
76min Upates from elsewhere, England won 3-0, Northern Ireland one nil down to Serbia and Wales winning 2-1 at home to Montengro
74min Mucha booked for time wasting.
74min WHAT A CHANCE!! Great ball from Duff but Keane heads with his shoulder I think.. goes over.
72min Very, very poor from Andrews, wasn’t sure what to do and goes over the touchline.
70min McGeady with a run and shot, goes wide.
69min Wall does it’s job. Cleared to a Slovak though, Slovakia throw. The away side back on top.
68min Given threw the ball then caught it and kicked it, can’t do that. Ref calls a free in the box. Dangerous and no need for it.
67min Weiss with a some good feet gets in the box and crosses it across the face of goal, Ward clears
65min Dunne gets a yellow card for dissent
64min Cox is on for Doyle.. change was needed, is this the one to lift Ireland?
63min Nice cross from O’Shea, better build up. Comes out to McGeady but he does nothing with it.
61min Great block by St Ledger – Dunne was found out bad there for pace.
59min Free to Slovakia, dangerous ball all the way across the box. Great ball.
57min Duff with a wild shot, good build up play
53min Andrew’s with a shot but its poor and cleared
50min Ball is cleared and Slovakia break – slip by St Ledger but he clears.
49min This is better, a first corner of the game for Ireland.
48min Whelan goes down but NO PENALTY
48min Weiss is tackled just outside the box, no free and Ireland clear.
47min Duff lifts the crowd with a nice run behind the defence. His ball is cleared though and Ireland have a throw
46min Second half underway now, big 2nd half needed for Ireland.

Half time Not sure what to say, its been frustrating. Slovakia have posed the greater threat, Trapattoni will need to earn his euro’s with a good half time talk. That said, Duff did have the best chance of the half with good feet in the box and a shot that was saved.
45min One minute of added time
44min Terrible ball from Ward, no one really on him. Good play by McGeady before that.
42min Slovakia to their credit are playing like the home side. No pressure on them.. I remember a certain phrase, “put em under pressure”.. not happening here though. Frustrating to watch and I imagine play in.
40min All too easy for Slovakia, three men on McGeady ball back to Dunne’s who through ball is cleared by Skertel..
39min Over!! from Slovakia, wild volley
38min Weiss shot’s is deflected away, Slovak corner
37min SAVE!! First real chance for Ireland, Duff does well. He gets the shot but Mucha makes the save.
37min McGeady does well under pressure, good defence, doyle win’s a free
34min O’Shea with a loose ball this time, throw to Slovakia. Its hard to find the words at the moment. Pre game enthusiasm gone, for now.
33min Doyle does well to break and he links up well with Duff but the pass from Duff is poor and Slovakia have it again
32min Andrew’s gives away another free in the middle of the field
31min Ireland look devoid of idea’s at the moment, very disjointed last 10 minutes or so.
31min Good run by Cech, but poor control lets him down
30min Freekick is wasted and Ireland get a chance to regroup
28min Doyle gives away a free there, Ireland can’t get on the ball at the moment. Wales one up btw.
27min Dangerous free in by there by Weiss, low and hard. Andrews cleared but only to a Slovakian, the ball is is saved by Given, he had to be alert there
25min Good play by Ward there he intercepts the ball well. Slovakia getting the upper hand now
23min Robbie Keane is caught offside after a long ball from Richard Dunne.
22min Free kick from Slovakia is easily cleared by the Irish defence.
20min Weiss hits a poor shot on goal straight into Givens hands, he should of done better.
18min Shot from Slovakia goes fifteen yards wide.
16min Robbie Keane tries an ambitious overhead kick but it is easily cleared.
16min Duffer wins a free on the half way line.
15min First proper attack by Slovakia is cleared by Richard Dunne.
13min Very tight game so far with neither team getting time on the ball.
11min Dangerous ball from Keith Andrews is slightly too long for Robbie Keane.
10min Referee gives a free out against Sean St Ledger.
8min Kevin Doyle wins a free kick, should be dangerous.
7min Its a bright start for Ireland who have plenty of possession.
5min Chance for Robbie Keane, but Slovakia have lots of men behind the ball.
3min Poor cross from a lively Kevin Doyle is easily cleared.
2min Some good play by McGeady down the wing but he runs the ball out for a throw.
1min The match is underway, the Irish supporters are in full voice tonight.
0min Only Kevin Doyle and Glen Whelan on yellow cards. Match looks like it will be five minutes delayed.
0min Great crowd in the Aviva for this must win Euro 2012 qualifying match.

Republic of Ireland: Shay Given, John O’Shea, Richard Dunne, Sean St Ledger, Stephen Ward, Damien Duff, Keith Andrews, Glenn Whelan, Aiden McGeady, Robbie Keane and Kevin Doyle.

Slovakia: Mucha, Pekarik, Skrtel, Durica, Cech, Weiss, Karhan, Stoch, Hamsik, Kucka, Holosko.
Subs: Putnocky, Jez, Sestak, Vittek, Michalik, Jendrisek, Guede.

Staunton would follow up that historic Croke win over Wales with another 1-0 over Slovakia in their first ever meeting. That win was Ireland’s fourth successive group victory, a feat achieved on only three previous occasions in their history when they qualified for the 1990, 1994 and 2002 World Cup finals and put Ireland on course for qualification for Euro 2008. We all know what happened after that.

Fast forward 4 years and Ireland’s reputation as a footballing nation has been restored after an impressive 2011 which has seen Ireland claim the inaugural Carling cup, beat Italy 2-0 and put themselves in contention for qualification for Poland and the Ukraine with two wins over Macedonia.

Giovanni Trapattoni’s men are currently on a fantastic run of form and come into this game having not lost in five internationals, winning four of those games before their winning run was ended by a 0-0 at home to Croatia last month.

The Italian tactician has named an experienced side for Friday’s clash with Shay Given, Richard Dunne, John O’Shea, Aiden McGeady and Damian Duff all having played in the win over Slovakia 4 year’s again.

Stephen Ward will come in for his competitive debut at left back replacing the injured Kevin Kilbane and will be part of an Irish backline that has kept three consecutive clean sheets at the Aviva Stadium.

However Trapattoni’s side haven’t managed four successive home clean sheets since March 2005 and face a Slovakian side that have scored in each of their last 13 internationals.

In the middle of the park, in form pair Glenn Whelan and Keith Andrews will provide the defensive cover and with both players chipping in with assists and goals of late, don’t bet against one of these two to provide a creative spark for Ireland.

Up front Trapattoni has opted to partner inform Shane Long, who has scored 2 goals in his opening three premier league games, with LA Galaxy’s new striker Robbie Keane. That means that Kevin Doyle, who grabbed the winning goal in Croke Park the last time the two sides met in Dublin, will start on the bench.

Despite being level on points with Ireland at the top of the table and already beaten Russia away, Slovakia will come into the game as underdogs given Ireland’s recent form. Vladimir Weiss’s task has been made all the more difficult as he sweats on the fitness of key man Marek Hamsik who is battling to be fit.

The next 5 days will feel like a lifetime for Irish fan’s with Russia next up for the boys in green two win’s and you’d imagine that Ireland will be almost home and dry while two defeats and well, we all know what two defeats would mean.

Ireland team to play Slovakia: Shay Given, John O’Shea, Ricard Dunne, Sean St Ledger, Stephen Ward , Damien Duff, Glen Whelan, Keith Andrews, Aidan McGeady,Shane Long, Robbie Keane

Recent form:

Ireland DWWWWL

Slovakia WWLWLL

Previous meetings:

Oct 2010 Slovakia 1 Ireland 1
Sept 2007 Slovakia 2 Ireland 2
Mar 2007 Ireland 1 Slovakia 0


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