The Republic of Ireland recorded their first back-to-back wins for the first time since March 2019 as Callum Robinson was the Irish hero at the Aviva Stadium.
Fresh from his two goals last time out, Robinson grabbed his first international hat-trick, followed by a captains goal from Shane Duffy; that ensured Ireland saw off Qatar with a 4-0 win at the Aviva Stadium.
In what was an impressive display from Stephen Kenny’s squad, this paves the way for an exciting encounter with Portugal next month that they will head into full of confidence following tonight's performance.
As was expected Ireland made five changes to the starting line-up with Kelleher, Stevens, Hourihane, Ogbene, McGrath coming into the matchday squad.
The hosts got off to the perfect start, as Robinson netted his first goal of the evening just three minutes into the contest. He latched onto a pass on the edge of the area before hitting a high curling effort that beat Barsham at his near post.
Ireland continued to press forward and got their second goal after Jamie McGrath was taken down under a heavy challenge from Alrawi, with the referee awarding a penalty. Robinson stepped up to send the Qatar net-minder the wrong way and give Ireland an early commanding two-goal lead.
John Egan and Chiedozie Ogbene both had chances to add their names to the score sheet. The best of which fell to Ogbene whose powerful header cannoned back off the crossbar.
Robinson started the second half much like he began this first, as he grabbed his hat-trick following a clever low through ball by Jeff Hendrick that saw him run onto the pass and slot it calmly past the keeper.
Shane Duffy was next to get his name on the score-sheet as he headed past Barsham with a powerful header from a Conor Hourihane corner.
The game lost its pace as both sides opted to bring on replacements with each team pressing forward in fleeting moments, Hendrick had the best of the late opportunities but his effort went high over the bar.
During the course of this game, the fans chanted 'There is only one Stephen Kenny' as fans begin the see the fruits of very difficult labour.
They are invested in this long term project with Irish football beginning to see the benefits from this side.
Ireland’s chances of winning the European Amputee Football Championship 2021 in Krakow came to an end today after a 4-0 loss to reigning champions Turkey.
Goals from Rahmi Ozcan, Aslambek Shakhbulatov and a brace from Serkan Direli saw the holders progress to the semis, sending Ireland to a playoff in the progress.
Turkey wasted no time getting to work in this one. Less than five minutes in, they dispossessed Ireland from a goal kick. The ball found its’ way to Ozcan just inside the area, who found the bottom corner. A fine strike to give the Turks an early lead.
Turkey pushed throughout the remainder of the first half for a second, but couldn’t find the net. This was in part thanks to some excellent goalkeeping from James Conroy.
Just a few minutes after the opener, he denied Turkish captain Erdinc Seyhmus from close range. Right before half-time there was another big save, when Turkey attempted one from range, which he dove to his right to keep out. Ireland were still in this at the break largely thanks to him.
The favourites however got their second a few minutes after the restart. Some nice build up play that started at the back found its’ way to Shakhbulatov, who turned his marker before poking the ball past Conroy. It was a lovely bit of football that Ireland could do little about. Turkey had simply huffed and puffed before blowing the house down.
In the last five minutes the brace from Direli would put the icing on the cake. The first came from some great possession based football. Shakhbulatov turned provider, getting the ball on the left before squaring it to Direli, who had a tap in. The substitute must’ve thought his cameo had gone perfectly there and then.
Two minutes later it got even better. Turkey won a penalty off what seemed to be a handball from Stuart McEvoy. Direli stepped up and although Conroy guessed the right way, the ball still went by him. That was all she wrote on this one.
An unfortunate result for Ireland, but there’s lots to be proud of. They had a remarkable group stage and were unlucky to come up against what might be the best team in the tournament.
Ireland face Italy in a playoff tomorrow after the Azzuri lost 2-0 to Russia earlier. Turkey on the other hand, go marching on to defend their crown.
The Republic of Ireland picked up a hard earned point, following a 1-1 draw at the Aviva Stadium, in tonight’s FIFA 2020 World Cup qualifier, against Serbia.
Despite going 1-0 behind in the 20th minute, Sergej Mikinkovic-Savic with a header from a corner, the Boys in Green managed to get a share of the spoils, following a defensive calamity by Serbia, saw them concede an own goal.
Although just 19 years of age, Gavin Bazunu produced a sensational performance. The Irish goalkeeper made some phenomenal saves, and was unlucky not to deal with the Serbian Goal.
The visitors looked impressive early on, Bazunu keeping Serbia at bay, while Ireland tried to find a route to goal, but failed to create any clear chances.
However, Serbia struck on the 20th minute, Dušan Tadic with an in swinging corner on the right, Sergej Mikinkovic-Savic towering in the Irish box, and his powerful header managed to get past Bazunu in the Irish goal.
It took until the 26th minute for Ireland, to register their first shot on target, Jeff Hendrick striking the ball from a free kick, the effort hit straight at the Serbian goalkeeper Predrag Rajkovic.
Bazunu was still in fine form during the second half, making a fine stop with his feet, before making another close range save to deny Aleksandar Mitrovic.
The Republic of Ireland were starting to produce a fine performance in the second half, the Boys in Green were pushing on to create a clear chance at goal.
Callum Robinson coming off the bench, the forward making an appearance after some recent time on the sideline, he looked sharp running toward goal, as cIreland were starting to cause issues for the Serbian side.
After an intense few minutes of high pressure, the Irish side managed to get the equaliser, albeit in rather strange circumstances, crossing seemed to be Ireland’s main attempt at finding the target, and a dangerous cross by Callum Robinson on the right touch line, was poorly dealt with by Serbia, the ball fell to Mikinkovic-Savic who inadvertently struck his clearance off defender Nikola Milenkovic and into the back of the net.
Shane Duffy’s late header earned the Republic of Ireland their first point of their World Cup Qualifying campaign after a 1-1 draw with Azerbaijan at the Aviva Stadium.
The hosts began the game brightly but allowed the visitors to come into the game as the half wore on and Emin Mahmudov’s injury time goal saw the home side go into the break a goal down.
Ireland were relentless in attack in the second and the pressure proved late on when Duffy’s header equalised for the Boys in Green.
Stephen Kenny's charges started well with runners attacking and opening up the Azerbaijan defence. It looked as if an early goal would surely come as Ireland came close to scoring on several occasions.
Matt Doherty headed wide from an excellently angled Josh Cullen ball, while strong running from Adam Idah posed a huge threat to the visitors. Idah muscled his way into the visitors box at one stage but his cross was defended and went out for a corner as the pressure built on Azerbaijan. Soon after the defence opened up for Seamus Coleman but his attempt to bend the ball into the Azeri net went wide.
Ireland faded gradually though and allowed the visitors into the game however. Azerbaijan fired a number of timid shots at Ireland keeper Gavin Bazunu as they gained confidence and enjoyed possession after the 20 minute mark while Ireland continued to try and get forward but could not break down an improving Azeri defence.
A minute was added on at the end of the half and as the Azeris roamed forward again Ireland appeared complacent. When Emin Mahmudov received the ball outside the Ireland box he found himself in plenty of space and fired a long range shot which beat Bazunu for the game's opener and Ireland went into the break a sickening goal down.
The Republic increased their intensity in the second 45 in search of an equaliser and barely allowed the Azeris into the game at all. Substitute Daryl Horgan was energetic from the off and Jayson Molumby's header from his cross went just wide. Troy Parrott also had a shot as Ireland continued to apply the pressure on the visitors but the Azerbaijan defence stood strong, helped in particular by some great goalkeeping by Sahruddin Mehemmedeliyev.
Ireland continued to attack but just couldn't find that cutting edge and looked as if they would fall to another defeat as the game entered its final stages.
Enter Shane Duffy. The Derry-man had hit a header over earlier in the half but up stepped the big center-back again in the 86th minute onto a great cross to hit a powerful headed ball past the Azeri keeper beaten at last.
Both sides had chances as the game opened up in the final minutes but neither could get a winner and the Republic of Ireland and Azerbaijan's first ever fixture ended in a 1-1 draw.
Along with the visitors, Ireland earned their first points of the World Cup Qualifying campaign, but the side are still without a competitive win under Stephen Kenny's management.
Bohemians were simply sensational as Ali Coote stole the show in their 2-1 win against PAOK at the Aviva Stadium tonight.
The victory gives Keith Long’s men an advantage heading into the second leg of their UEFA Conference League third qualifying round tie, next week.
Bohs fans exploded, as Coote scored from close range after 23 minutes, after a fantastic run from Georgie Kelly.
He then added to his tally with a 25-yard strike, that the visitor’s ‘keeper probably should have dealt with.
Nelson Oliveira halved the deficit with a header with ten minutes to go, making it a nervy finish.
The quality of the opposition was clear to see early on, as the Greek side dominated possession whilst Bohs stayed in shape and absorbed the pressure. Oliveira tested James Talbot in the opening stages with a low shot, as PAOK showed their teeth.
However, the home side were patient, and took their chance when it came. Andy Lyons pumped a long pass down the flank, and Kelly muscled his was past Michalidis. This opened up the opportunity for a pull back, and the onrushing Coote slid in to divert the ball into the net.
The Aviva Stadium was awash with shouts, cheers and celebrations, and there would be more to come.
After keeping hold of the lead into half time, Long’s side had to temper a string of early attacks from the opposition.
Once again though, it was the Dublin outfit that would make the most of their chances. An Anto Breslin corner made its way to Coote on the edge of the area, and the Scot took a speculative shot. It was straight at Paschalakis in the PAOK net, but his effort to punch it clear was calamitous. 2-0 to the underdogs, and once again, an eruption of emotion.
Oliveira made things a little nervy with a late header from a Schwaab cross, but Bohs hung on, to take a valuable lead into the second leg. It will be tricky without their own fans roaring them on in Thessaloniki, but there’s no reason why the Gypsies couldn’t cause another upset.