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Euro 2020 - Republic of Ireland 1 - 1 Switzerland
The Republic of Ireland secured a potentially priceless point on their quest to reach Euro 2020 with as they fought from behind to earn a late draw against top-seeds Switzerland.

The Republic of Ireland secured a potentially priceless point on their quest to reach Euro 2020 with as they fought from behind to earn a late draw against top-seeds Switzerland.

Fabian Schar’s well-taken strike was cancelled out by a late header from striker David McGoldrick who, secured a draw for the hosts to maintain their grip on pole position in Group D.

Having just about seen off the limited threat of Gibraltar last time out with a meagre 2-0 win, Mick McCarthy opted to make one change, with Glenn Whelan dropping back into midfield in place of forward Scott Hogan.

The Swiss, led by manager Vladimir Petkovic, made two alterations from their Nations League penalty shootout defeat to England in Portugal.

Highly-touted forward Breel Embolo came in for Liverpool star Xherdan Shaqiri, while Edimilson Fernandes dropped out in place of Denis Zakaria.  

With 1985 proving to be the last time an Irish side beat Switzerland, the Boys in Green forced an early error from the visitors, Manuel Akanji passing the ball out of play for an early corner that almost yielded result for the hosts.

While McCarthy’s side began in a positive fashion, the Swiss slowly began to exert control on proceedings as the Irish left-hand side became susceptible to danger. Shane Duffy had to be on hand to head clear a dangerous ball into the penalty area.

With just over ten minutes on the clock, the healthy Lansdowne Road crowd showed its first sign of life.

Jeff Hendrick broke through with a surging run from deep, laying the ball off to James McClean, but Yann Sommer eventually cleared the ball comfortably enough.

After a spell of possession and pressure, Ireland were pinned back by the Swiss at the halfway mark of the opening period.

The trio of Duffy, Richard Keogh and Darren Randolph had to remain alert to frantically clear in an intense 30-second spell from the visitors.  

Moments later, however, full-back Ricardo Rodriguez ought to have hit his effort on target, but he could only skew his shot wide of goal after Keogh saw his header clear to the edge of the box.  

After a lively opening, the game reached a natural lull in proceedings, with nothing more than half-chances being created by both sides as the hosts reverted back to a traditional 4-4-2 shape.

However, with the half-time whistle just seconds away, the previously quiet David McGoldrick burst free on the right-flank.

The Sheffield United forward, caught between two minds, opted to cross the ball across the box to Callum Robinson but he could not get on the end of his clubmate’s delivery as the half drew to a scoreless close.

Similarly to how the first half finished, there was a rather mundane start to restart proceedings. However, while the action may have been slow to fester, it was the visitors who threatened early on.

Firstly, Petkovic’s side broke with speed through Embolo, but Keogh was on hand to clear the danger as Haris Seferovic looked set to strike on goal.

Minutes later, Seferovic flashed wide from a snap-shot on the edge of the area that never troubled Randolph in the Irish goal.

On the hour mark, the visitors were presented with a golden opportunity to take the lead through Embolo, but he slipped at the vital moment after some neat passing play inside the 18-yard-box from Denis Zakaria and Seferovic.

After withstanding a period of extended pressure, the Boys in Green, after pressing high up the pitch were almost caught out on the left-flank again, but captain Seamus Coleman was on hand to clear under pressure.

However, the pressure from the Swiss told eventually 15 minutes from time as Newcastle’s Schar was on hand to turn home after ghosting past Hendrick in the middle of the park.

Embolo teed up the central defender who made no mistake from the edge of the area to send the visiting support into raptures at the Havelock Square End of the Aviva Stadium.

With all hope appearing lost after Whelan saw his rasping drive smack off the crossbar, Ireland levelled with just over five minutes to play through McGoldrick.

The 31-year-old got on the end of a McClean cross from deep to head home past Sommer in the Swiss goal, securing a potentially vital point for McCarthy’s side.

While the crowd pushed for a late winner, they were forced to settle with a point – an outcome that appeared highly unlikely prior to the late equaliser from the Boys in Green.

Republic of Ireland: Darren Randolph; Séamus Coleman, Shane Duffy, Richard Keogh, Enda Stevens; Jeff Hendrick, Conor Hourihane (Scott Hogan, 82), James McClean, Callum Robinson (Alan Judge, 58), Glenn Whelan; David McGoldrick (Alan Browne, 90+2).

Subs not used: Cyrus Christie, James Collins, Joshua Cullen, Ronan Curtis, Kevin Long, Callum O'Dowda, Kieran O'Hara, Mark Travers, John Egan.

Booked: Enda Stevens (15), Alan Judge (90+1), Shane Duffy (90+4).

Switzerland: Yann Sommer; Fabian Schar, Kevin Mbabu (Edimilson Fernandes, 90+4), Nico Elvedi, Manuel Akanji; Denis Zakaria, Granit Xhaka, Ricardo Rodriguez, Remo Freuler (Admir Mehmedi, 90); Haris Seferovic, Breel Embolo (Albian Ajeti, 85).

Subs not used: Silvan Widmer, Renato Steffen, Jonas Omlin, Yvon Mvogo, Francois Moubandje, Mario Gavranovic, Christian Fassnacht, Loris Benito, Eray Cumart.

Booked: Kevin Mbabu (76), Fabian Schar (90+4).

Referee: Carlos Del Cerro Grande (Spain).

Posted by voc1967 on Thursday 05 September 2019 - 21:25:28 | Comments (0)  |  printer friendly
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