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Amhrán na bhFiann

Join John O'Shea on his quest to bring excitement back to Irish football
Started on 4 April 2021 by Justice
Latest Reply on 5 August 2021 by TheLFCFan
Spain vs Republic of Ireland - Euro 2021 Group E

Spain Starting XI (4-3-3):
D De Gea; S Roberto, C Azpilicueta, S Ramos, J Gaya; Koke, Rodri, S Busquets; A Fati, A Morata, M Oyarzabal

Republic of Ireland Starting XI (3-4-1-2):
C Kelleher; N Collins, J Egan, K Long; M Doherty, J Molumby, C Hourihane, E Stevens; J Knight; A Connolly, S Long

Roy Keane (Pundit):
"Its a Spain team that's full of talent, as you'd expect it would be. Plenty of experience in there with De Gea, Azpilicueta, Ramos and Busquets. You know you're going to get a very reliable performance from them in defence and midfield. They've got plenty of talent up front too - Fati is playing regularly for Barcelona and the other two have been scoring plenty of goals. It's a dangerous team.

The Irish team is one I think we could have all predicted. Kelleher's been our best goalkeeper, which isn't saying much as he doesn't play for his club. Aside from Shane Long, there's not really many goals in the team. For Ireland it'll be a case of staying solid at the back and try nick something from a set-piece or a counter if the chance falls.

I don't see anything other than Spain winning today. They've got too much quality for Ireland and all of their players are playing regularly in the biggest leagues in Europe. Ireland don't have a chance."

Roy Predicts: Spain 4-0 Republic of Ireland

Both teams are out on the pitch for the national anthems. Plenty of noise from the Spanish supporters here in Bilbao, while the few thousand Irish fans who have made the trip to the north of Spain can be heard too. Both teams are poised for an important opening fixture of the group but who will come out on top?

1' Kick-Off
Spain 0-0 Republic of Ireland
Spain open proceedings from the centre-spot, accompanied by a roar of support from their fans. Can Luis Enrique's Spanish team overcome John O'Shea's fighting Irish?

14' Not all going Spain's way!
Spain 0-0 Republic of Ireland
Spain have had the majority of the posession in the opening stages but they're not the only team showing attacking intent. The Irish have held firm in defence and have probed Spain's defence when they win it back. This game will not be a formality for the much-fancied Spanish team.

20' OUCH!
Spain 0-0 Republic of Ireland
A sore one for Busquets who comes off worse following a collision with Conor Hourihane. He might need to go off.

22' Substitution (Spain):
Sergio Busquets
Saúl Niguez

25' BLOCK!
Spain 0-0 Republic of Ireland
Very important block from the Spanish captain Sergio Ramos to deny Ireland an unlikely opener! It's great play from the Irish who switch the ball from side-to-side looking for an opening. Matt Doherty gets away from Gaya and drills a low cross into Aaron Connolly six yards from goal. The Brighton man strikes the ball first time but the experienced Ramos read the danger and got his body in the way of the shot before clearing the danger. Promising signs for Ireland!

Spain 0-0 Republic of Ireland
Spain nearly take the lead here through Morata but Kevin Long gets in the way to deny him! Ansu Fati had riggled away from the heavy-footed Stevens down Ireland's left and his low cross was controlled by Morata, who spun on the spot before unleashing a low drive at goal, only to see his shot blocked away from Kevin Long who had scrambled across the six yard box to rescue his side.

45+2' CHANCE!
Spain 0-0 Republic of Ireland
Oh so nearly for Spain as Koke drives into the box and finds himself free to shoot from the right, only to see his rasping effort go the wrong side of the post! The Atletico Madrid midfielder has his head in his hands as he must have thought it was going in, but Ireland hang on to keep the scores level late on in the first half.

45+3' Half-time
Spain 0-0 Republic of Ireland
The game goes into the break with the score level. Both sides have come close, but for valiant defending. There are goals in this game, but who will score first when the game resumes?

Roy Keane (Pundit):
"Plenty of positives for Ireland in that first half. Spain have had more of the ball, as we knew they would, but Ireland have shown they can attack with the ball too. They just need to keep doing what they're doing and hope for a chance to break, and maybe they'll get a result from this game."

46' Kick-off
Spain 0-0 Republic of Ireland
Ireland get us under way for the second half with Aaron Connolly from the centre-spot. Can they get a shock goal against Spain?

51' Substitution (Spain):
Carlos Soler

54' WIDE!
Spain 0-0 Republic of Ireland
Ireland very nearly got the opening goal, with Connolly heading just over! It was brilliant work from Shane Long that lead to the chance, as he skipped passed Roberto's challenge before crossing from deep. Connolly had beaten Azpilicueta in the air but couldn't keep his header down. Nearly a dream goal for Ireland!

56' Substitution (Spain):
Ansu Fati
Gerard Moreno

63' Substitution (Republic of Ireland):
Conor Hourihane
Josh Cullen

Spain 0-0 Republic of Ireland
The Irish pressure keeps coming and coming, but Spain hold on! Kevin Long gets on the end of a floated corner and he controls the ball on his chest but his shot is charged down and blocked by Rodri. De Gea remains largely untested in Spain's goal, but he'll have his team mates to thank if that remains the case.

69' Substitution (Republic of Ireland):
Aaron Connolly
Adam Idah

Spain 1-0 Republic of Ireland
Goal - Rodri (Spain)
The opening goal has come from a set-piece, and it is Spain who take the lead! Rodri rose highest to get his head on Gaya's delivery from the right, and the ball trickles in at the far corner, despite Kelleher getting a hand to it. Spain take the lead after Ireland's resillience is broken. Can John O'Shea's men find a way back into the game?

79' Substitution (Republic of Ireland):
Jason Knight
Dan Crowley

80' Yellow!
Spain 1-0 Republic of Ireland
Yellow Card - Jayson Molumby (Republic of Ireland)
A booking for Molumby as he trips Alvaro Morata who was attempting to break from deep.

Spain 1-0 Republic of Ireland
It should be game over for Ireland but their young goalkeeper has just kept them in it! Gerard Moreno broke with the ball from deep and he squares it for Morata on the penalty spot, but his low shot is tipped wide by the outstretched Kelleher who got down well to react. The game is opening up now and a second goal is surely coming, but for who?

87' Pushing for an equaliser
Spain 1-0 Republic of Ireland
Ireland are pushing for a goal to level the scores and are stretching Spain out wide. Adam Idah has been lively since coming on and is getting involved in duels but Sergio Ramos has so far come out on top.

Spain 2-0 Republic of Ireland
Goal - Carlos Soler (Spain)
It's game over now as Spain get a stoppage time second! Ireland's backline has been stretched since Spain scored the opener, and Spain took advantage late on. Mikel Oyarzabal plays a lovely through ball into Carlos Soler that splits Ireland's defence and Soler fires low across Kelleher and into the back of Ireland's net. Game over as Spain have secured all three points in their opening game of the tournament.

Spain 2-0 Republic of Ireland
It's all over here at San Mamés in Bilbao as Spain walk away with all three points following two late goals. The Republic of Ireland can walk away with a lot of pride, having tested Spain's resolve throughout the game, but were unable to truly test David De Gea in the Spanish goal. It isn't the end of the world for Ireland, who play their remaining group games in front of home support in Dublin, but it is certainly a reality check for a side that had impressed prior to the tournament.

Match Overview
Rodri 79'

Carlos Soler 90+4'

Spain (4-3-3): D De Gea; S Roberto, C Azpilicueta, J Gaya; Koke (51'), Rodri , S Busuqets (22'); A Fati (56'), A Morata, M Oyarzabal
Subs Used: Saúl (22'), C Soler (51') , G Moreno (56')
Manager: Luis Enrique

Republic of Ireland (3-4-1-2): C Kelleher; N Collins, J Egan, K Long; M Doherty, J Molumby , C Hourihane (63'), E Stevens; J Knight (79'); A Connolly (69'), S Long
Subs Used: J Cullen (63'), A Idah (69'), D Crowley (79')
Manager: John O'Shea

John O'Shea (ROI Manager):
"It was a tough game for us against one of the best teams in world football. They (Spain) were terrific and scored two really good goals. They made it tough for us when we were on the ball and moved the ball around well when they had it. It's probably the right result but we can be proud of what we did today. We didn't get a positive result but the performance was good and I think we raised a few eye brows with how we put them under pressure at times."

Roy Keane (Pundit):
"The expected result, really. Ireland worked hard and tried their best but they got outdone by a team with more quality. No surprises."

UEFA European Championship 2021 Group E

Ireland's loss to Spain, coupled with Croatia's bruising victory over Wales meant they were third after one game. Having played arguably the best team in the group, however, Ireland should, on paper, have an easier time against their next two opponents.

Nerazzurri, thank you! Not a winning start unfortunately but an exciting start!
Republic of Ireland vs Croatia - Euro 2021 Group E

Republic of Ireland Starting XI (3-4-1-2):
C Kelleher; N Collins, J Egan, K Long; M Doherty, J Cullen, C Hourihane, E Stevens; J Knight; A Connolly, S Long

Croatia Starting XI (4-2-3-1):
D Livakovic; S Vrsaljko, D Lovren, J Gvardiol, B Barisic; M Brozovic, M Kovacic; M Pjaca, N Vlasic, A Kramaric; B Petkovic

Roy Keane (Pundit):
"I'm looking at this Irish side and I just can't pick one player who's a real good player. Maybe Doherty, at a push, but you don't want your best player to be your right back. Shane Long has scored goals but he's getting on a bit now. It isn't an exciting team.

The Croatia side has a lot of good players. We all know about Lovren and Kovacic from the Premier League, and they have Pjaca as well. It is a very strong Croatia team and they look the real deal.

I think Croatia will edge this one. Ireland have home advantage here in Dublin and the fans will be up for it but the team lacks quality and that will show like it did against Spain."

Roy Predicts: Republic of Ireland 0-1 Croatia

The Aviva Stadium is absolutely rocking as both teams prepare for kick-off and I can barely hear my own thoughts with the singing and chanting from the Irish supporters! The rendition of 'Amhrán na bhFiann', the Irish national anthem, left me with goosebumps and they're looking like they can drive their team on to victory from the very start.

1' Kick-off!
Republic of Ireland 0-0 Croatia
Here we go! Ireland get us started here in Dublin with the roar of the supporters behind them. They are up for this!

9' Exciting start!
Republic of Ireland 0-0 Croatia
Ireland have been quick out of the blocks and have looked threatening through their wing backs Matt Doherty and Enda Stevens. They've put in a couple of wicked crosses which have tested Lovren and Gvardiol but so far Ireland are yet to create a notable chance.

18' SAVE!
Republic of Ireland 0-0 Croatia
Ireland's young goalkeeper Caoimhin Kelleher was a busy man against Spain and he's been put to the test early on here in Dublin. Marko Pjaca shows his skills with a mazy run from the right and his shot from the edge of the box looks to be creeping inside the post, only for Kelleher to get two hands to it and turn it away. A solid start to the tournament from the young goalkeeper!

21' CLOSE!
Republic of Ireland 0-0 Croatia
Croatia's influnce on the game has increased with every minute and they come close again through Kramaric. Barisic thunders down Croatia's left wing and his inviting cross was flicked on by Kramaric at the near post, but the ball loops just up and over the goal, much to the relief of the Irish supporters.

28' GOAL!
Republic of Ireland 0-1 Croatia
Goal - Marko Pjaca (Croatia)
There have been warning signs in the last ten minutes and Croatia finally make Ireland pay the ultimate price for not heeding them! Barisic swept in a free-kick from deep that landed at Kramaric's feet. There's a scuffle in the area with challenges flying in from all parties, eith the ball eventually falling to Pjaca who smashes it in from six yards out to give Croatia the lead. Deserved!

31' Yellow Card!
Republic of Ireland 0-1 Croatia
Yellow Card - Josko Gvardiol (Croatia)
Gvardiol booked for Croatia as he gets his body across Connolly to stop the speedy Irishman from darting passed him.

35' Revenge booking!
Republic of Ireland 0-1 Croatia
Yellow Card - Aaron Connolly (Republic of Ireland)
And now Connolly goes into the book for a foul on Gvardiol, as he leans into him with his arm while they both go for a header.

Republic of Ireland 0-1 Croatia
That was so very nearly Croatia's second of the game! It came from another Barisic delivery as the full back whipped in an inviting corner kick. Gvardiol beat Egan to the ball at the near post and his header was heading for the far top corner, only for Caoimhin Kelleher to pull off the save of the tournament (so far) as he launches himself off the ground to tip the ball over the bar. WOW!

Republic of Ireland 0-1 Croatia
Kelleher is really keeping Ireland in this game! He first saves a low shot from Pjaca inside the box, pushing it out before Stevens clears the ball. Croatia retrieve the ball and charge forward through Kovacic who fires a seemingly unstoppable drive from twenty-five yards out which Kelleher gets his fingertips on to tip it just around the post. He's keeping Ireland in this game at the minute!

45+3' Half-time
Republic of Ireland 0-1 Croatia
The resulting corner is cleared by Egan and the referee blows for half-time. Croatia lead by a goal but it could have been more if not for an inspired performance from Ireland's young goalkeeper Caoimhin Kelleher.

Roy Keane (Pundit):
"I said before the game that Ireland lacked quality and they certainly lack that in their outfield players. If not for that young man in goals, this game would be dead and buried now. Something needs to change if they still want to be within a chance of qualifying for the next round."

HT Substitution (Croatia):
Marko Pjaca
Robert Muric

46' Kick-off
Republic of Ireland 0-1 Croatia
Croatia get us back under way here in Dublin with the Irish fans trying their best to encourage their players following a very poor first half.

46' Cynical tackle!
Republic of Ireland 0-1 Croatia
Yellow Card - Josh Cullen (Republic of Ireland)
The first stoppage of the second half comes within eighteen seconds as Cullen trods on Kovacic's ankle with a late tackle. You can't fault the Irish for their intensity so far in the second half but that was a silly tackle!

49' Another save!
Republic of Ireland 0-1 Croatia
The flow of the game continues where it left off from the first half as Vlasic runs through Ireland's midfield with the ball. With time and space on the edge of the area, Vlasic tries to place a low shot into the right-hand corner, but Kelleher is there yet again to keep the ball out.

51' Disallowed goal for Ireland!
Republic of Ireland 0-1 Croatia
Ireland looked to have been level with Matt Doherty firing in a fantastic goal from the edge of the area but it's disallowed with VAR ruling Jason Knight to have been offside in the build up. No goal but better from Ireland.

46' Another yellow!
Republic of Ireland 0-1 Croatia
Yellow Card - Conor Hourihane (Republic of Ireland)
Hourihane will be happy to take that yellow card as he brings down Nikola Vlasic before the Croatian attacker can make a break on the counter attack. The Croatian players are asking for a red card but it'll only be a yellow for Hourihane.

52' Double Substitution (Republic of Ireland):
Aaron Connolly
Shane Long
David McGoldrick
Adam Idah

52' O'Shea unhappy with attacking performances
Republic of Ireland 0-1 Croatia
John O'Shea has cut an angry figure in the Irish dugout and he's had enough of Connolly and Long up front, taking them both off. McGoldrick and Idah replaces them up top. Can they do what the starting strikers couldn't?

59' Wide!
Republic of Ireland 0-1 Croatia
Adam Idah's not been on the pitch long but he's proving to be a threat. The young Irishman picked up the ball thirty yards from goal and turned to run at Dejan Lovren. Instead of trying to take the ball past him, Idah opts to shoot but his long-range effort curls a yard away from goal.

61' Substitution (Republic of Ireland):
Jason Knight
Connor Ronan

Republic of Ireland 1-1 Croatia
Goal - Josh Cullen (Republic of Ireland)
And Ireland are level through Josh Cullen! Enda Stevens has looked like one of Ireland's more creative players so far and he creates the goal with a low driven cross from the left, with Josh Cullen bursting into the box to bury the ball into the bottom left corner to level the score with his first ever senior goal for Ireland. Massive moment in the game!

Republic of Ireland 2-1 Croatia
Goal - Connor Ronan (Republic of Ireland)
They had only levelled the game two minutes ago and now they go ahead! Stevens is the focal point again as he picks out Adam Idah with a near post cross. Idah's goal bound header is blocked and falls for fellow substitute Connor Ronan who pounces on the ball with a half-volley strike which nearly takes the goal frame off the ground as his shot explodes into the back of the net. Pandemonium in the stands at Dublin as Ireland lead!

Republic of Ireland 2-1 Croatia
Croatia can't live with the Irish now and Cullen nearly scores his side's third of the afternoon. His long-range effort is deflected just wide by Josko Gvardiol, with Croatia goalkeeper Dominik Livakovic looking a relieved man as he was well beaten. The whole mood of the game has changed now!

83' Substitution (Croatia):
Sime Vrsaljko
Domagoj Vida

Republic of Ireland 2-1 Croatia
The score should be level as Kramaric broke on a loose ball to go one-on-one. Kramaric lifted his shot over Kelleher but the ball glides wide of the goal as Ireland remain in the lead. He has his head in his hands after that miss!

Republic of Ireland 2-1 Croatia
Another youngster comes to the rescue for Ireland when Kelleher is beaten! Petkovic's cross from the right looked to be looping over Kelleher's head and into the goal but Collins got back on his goal line to clear the ball away from danger! He might have just written his name in the Irish history books if they go on to win!

Republic of Ireland 2-1 Croatia
FULL TIME IN DUBLIN! Ireland have beaten Croatia and their supporters are off their feet in celebration! A historic result for the minnows who claimed an unlikely result following a three minute double salvo in the second half to overturn Croatia's first-half goal. Youngsters Caoimhin Kelleher and Nathan Collins were the heroes at the back, denying Croatia goals throughout the game, as Ireland get three vital points on the board in their Euro 2021 group.

Match Overview
Josh Cullen 64'

28' Marko Pjaca
Connor Ronan 66'

Republic of Ireland (3-4-1-2): C Kelleher; N Collins, J Egan, K Long; M Doherty, J Cullen , C Hourihane , E Stevens; J Knight (61'); A Connolly (52') , S Long (52')
Subs Used: D McGoldrick (52'), A Idah (52'), C Ronan (61')
Manager: John O'Shea

Croatia (4-2-3-1): D Livakovic; S Vrsaljko (83'), D Lovren, J Gvardiol , B Barisic; M Brozovic, M Kovacic; M Pjaca (H/T) , N Vlasic, A Kramaric; B Petkovic
Subs Used: R Muric (H/T), D Vida (83')
Manager: Zlatko Dalic

John O'Shea (ROI Manager):
"That's a tournament-defining win for us! Everybody knows just how good Croatia are and how dangerous they are on and off the ball but we came out with a brilliant three points today. We had to really battle for the win and fight for every single ball but we did that and the boys have written their names in Irish footballing history with that win. I'm a very proud manager right now.

The Wales game will be a tough one and one we have to prepare properly for. We'll see who's fit and who's not and hopefully be in a good position to get a result against Wales."

Roy Keane (Pundit):
"Fair play to Ireland today, that's a very impressive result. But it means nothing if they lose against Wales, who just drew with Spain, so they need to make sure they win that game if they want to qualify. Today's been a great day for Irish football but it can't be celebrated just yet. There's work to be done."

UEFA European Championship 2021 Group E

A win for the Republic of Ireland puts them into second place in their group. Wales produced a surprised draw against Spain, meaning Ireland could still top the group if they beat Wales and Croatia beat Spain in the final round of games in the group.

Republic of Ireland vs Wales - Euro 2021 Group E

Republic of Ireland Starting XI (3-4-1-2):
C Kelleher; S Duffy, J Egan, K Long; S Coleman, J Molumby, J Cullen, D Cirkin; J Knight; A Connolly, D McGoldrick

Wales Starting XI (4-2-3-1):
A Davies; C Roberts, J Rodon, C Mepham, B Davies; E Ampadu, J Williams; H Wilson, A Ramsey, T Roberts; K Moore

Roy Keane (Pundit):
"Ireland will be feeling confident after their win against Croatia and they'll have a spring in their step going into this one. John (O'Shea) has changed things around a little and Coleman and Duffy add a bit of experience and grit that they were probably missing at times in their last two games.

No Bale for Wales is an odd one. Ryan (Giggs) mustn't care about his job that much if he's leaving his star man on the bench for their most important game of the tournament! I still see a lot of quality in that Wales team with Aaron Ramsey obviously being the threat. They'll go toe-to-toe with Ireland today.

I think this will be a draw. There's not much separating the two sides in terms of quality. Ramsey is the standout player but there aren't any other top players in either team."

Roy Predicts: Republic of Ireland 1-1 Wales

Dublin is rocking today! The Irish believe they can qualify for the knockout rounds and they are well up for this game! Ireland versus Wales has been a terrific game over the years with their latest result being a 4-4 draw in Cardiff. Let's hope for another exciting game here today!

Amhrán na bhFiann
Wow.... The national anthems have just been song and the Irish rendition of their national anthem, Amhrán na bhFiann, just sent chills down my spine. The Irish aren't here to take part - they're here to win.

1' Kick-Off!
Republic of Ireland 0-0 Wales

Republic of Ireland 0-0 Wales
From kick-off, the ball goes back to Ireland's Shane Duffy who charges forward and decides to try a pot shot from the halfway line. The ball dips and swerves and has Wales' Adam Davies scrambling backwards, but only succeeds in landing on top of the net. An unusual start to the game but one that has the Irish fans already off their seats!

Republic of Ireland 0-0 Wales
It's been end-to-end so far and Wales create the first big opportunity as Tyler Roberts slides a delicate through ball into Kieffer Moore who charges one-on-one. He strikes a low drive across goal but Kelleher gets down quickly to tip the ball wide. Kelleher has been the best goalkeeper in the tournament to date and he's just added another world class save to his tally!

Republic of Ireland 0-0 Wales
From the resulting corner, Ireland counter quickly through Aaron Connolly who runs at Connor Roberts and Ben Davies. He skips passed Roberts as he drifts into Wales' box but his shot is blocked by Ben Davies he got back quickly to deny him a free effort on goal.

Thrilling start so far here in Dublin!

12' CLOSE!
Republic of Ireland 0-0 Wales
It's been a high-octane fixture so far and Moore comes close yet again. Wales play with the ball on the edge of Ireland's box before Moore finds himself a yard to shoot. His curled effort whistles just over Kelleher's goal, much to the dismay of the travelling Welsh fans. Kelleher looked like he had it covered, though.

Republic of Ireland 1-0 Wales
Goal - Aaron Connolly (Republic of Ireland)
A goal's been coming and it goes the way of the Irish! The game has been end-to-end from the very start but it's Ireland who take advantage of the open game first! Molumby's pinpoint through ball evades Joe Rodon and sets Connolly on his way. The Brighton forward moves into the box and holds off Ben Davies before slapping a low shot beyond Davies and into the bottom left corner.

Advantage to Ireland in Dublin!

Republic of Ireland 1-0 Wales
Ireland maybe should have doubled their lead and skipper Seamus Coleman will be disappointed to have not hit the target here! Molumby is running the show from midfield and he picks out the overlapping Coleman who takes a touch before shooting from just outside Wales' area. His drive is dangerous and has Adam Davies beat in the Welsh goal, but it whistles just beyond the far post. The Donegal-born wing back looks disappointed with that miss.

26' SAVE!
Republic of Ireland 1-0 Wales
Wales retaliate to the Irish goal and charge forward through Tyler Roberts. The young attacker picks out Harry Wilson on the right who cuts in and shoots but Kelleher gets down low to catch the Welshman's goalbound effort.

Republic of Ireland 1-1 Wales
Goal - Kieffer Moore (Wales)
They've been threatening all half and finally score their first of the game! Harry Wilson creates the goal with a deft through ball into Moore's path, who brushes off Kevin Long's challenge before smashing the ball into the roof of the net from close range.

Republic of Ireland 1-1 Wales
Wales nearly go ahead, if not for the woodwork! Tyler Roberts switched the play to Connor Roberts who finds himself free in the box. He shoots low and to his right but his strike rattles off the outside of the post and bounces out for a goal kick.

Republic of Ireland 1-1 Wales
Ireland press back against the Wales danger and create a chance of their own as Jason Knight picks the ball up in the Welsh penalty area. He fires a shot at goal but Ben Davies is there to block the shot.

Republic of Ireland 1-1 Wales
OH NO JASON KNIGHT! It's brilliant play from Enda Stevens down the left and he picks out Knight's ghosting run in behind Wales' defence. The Derby County midfielder finds himself one-on-one with Welsh keeper Adam Davies but Knight scuffs his shot into Davies' hands, letting Wales off the hook.

Republic of Ireland 1-1 Wales
The referee blows the whistle on a half nobody wanted to end! It's been the most exciting game of the tournament so far with both sides creating opportunities, but they go into the break all square following goals from Aaron Connolly and Kieffer Moore.

Roy Keane (Pundit):
"It's been a brilliant game for the neutrals today. You're always worried, going into these type of games, that the teams would play with a bit of nerves and maybe not come out of their shells too much but there's been no sign of that today. Hopefully we get more of the same in the second half."

H/T Substitution (Wales):
Harry Wilson
Tom Lockyer

46' Kick-Off!
Republic of Ireland 1-1 Wales
Wales restart the game with a tournament-defining 45 minutes ahead for both sides!

46' FOUL!
Republic of Ireland 1-1 Wales
Wales are on the offensive from the start and Molumby brings down Tom Lockyer on the edge of the box. Dangerous position here for a free kick.

Republic of Ireland 1-1 Wales
What a tournament this young goalkeeper is having for Ireland! Ben Davies takes the free kick and the ball looks destined for the top left corner, but across flies Caoimhin Kelleher and the young man from Cork pushes the ball wide of the post when everybody thought it was in. WOW!

Republic of Ireland 1-1 Wales
If Ireland progress to the knockout stage, they'll have their goalkeeper to thank! The resulting corner kick is floated towards the back post where Kieffer Moore beats Kevin Long to the ball and heads it towards goal. Kelleher is there, however, to palm the ball wide and out for another corner.

Republic of Ireland 1-1 Wales
Wales will be kicking themselves for not scoring anything in the last three minutes! From the next corner the ball breaks for Ethan Ampadu on the edge of the area who beats Kelleher with a rasping half-volley, but the ball was rising and it crashes off the crossbar before flying over the goal!

54' Yellow Card!
Republic of Ireland 1-1 Wales
Yellow Card - Chris Mepham (Wales)
Mepham booked for fouling Duffy when going for a header. He leaned into the Duffy while the Irishman was in the air and could have caused serious damage. No complaints from Mepham as the referee shows him the yellow card.

Republic of Ireland 1-1 Wales
The opening stages of the second half looked like it could swing the game in Wales' favour but Ireland have regained control of the ball and create going forward. Coleman plays Connolly into space but he fires a speculative shot wide of goal. Encouraging signs for Ireland, though!

56' Substitution (Wales):
Ethan Ampadu
Lee Evans

58' WIDE!
Republic of Ireland 1-1 Wales
Aaron Connolly is looking lively and he nearly creates a goal as he tees up Molumby just inside Wales' box but the midfielder's first-time shot is well wide.

60' Substitution (Republic of Ireland):
David McGoldrick
Troy Parrott

Republic of Ireland 1-1 Wales
Connolly and Molumby link up again on the counter attack, with the latter getting into a similar position as previously before firing a similar shot which goes wide.

Republic of Ireland 1-1 Wales
Kieffer Moore has gotten the better of Kevin Long all game and he does so here again! It's brilliant play from Tyler Roberts on the left, who knocks the ball onto his right foot before playing an incredible cross deep into Ireland's area. Moore beats Long to the ball but his header bounces just wide of the post.

68' Substitution (Wales):
Ben Davies
Rhys Norrington-Davies

71' Double Substitution (Republic of Ireland):
Jayson Molumby
Jason Knight
Dan Crowley
Connor Ronan

Republic of Ireland 1-1 Wales
Troy Parrott and Dennis Cirkin link up well on the left with the lattes switching play to Coleman. The Irish skipper redirects the ball back into the box where Ronan's standing on the penalty spot to fire a header at goal but Adam Davies tips the ball over the bar well. The Irish fans thought that one was going in!

Republic of Ireland 1-1 Wales
Ronan comes close from a free-kick! The Irishman got plenty of whip on it and beat Adam Davies but the ball curls just wide of the left-hand post. A sigh of relief for Davies and his team mates!

Republic of Ireland 1-1 Wales
It's brilliant from the skipper as Coleman wrestles the ball back from Norrington-Davies in Ireland's box before releasing Troy Parrott down the right wing. The young forward wins a corner off Ben Davies and gets his side into Wales' box late on in the game. Is there a goal coming?

Republic of Ireland 2-1 Wales
Goal - Shane Duffy (Republic of Ireland)
HAVE YOU EVER SEEN ANYTHING LIKE IT?!?!?! Shane Duffy rises highest from the resulting corner and slams an unstoppable header into the back of the net from close range. Ireland lead right at the end and Dublin explodes into euphoria! I think my ear drums have burst from the celebrations here! WOW!

Republic of Ireland 2-1 Wales
Wales probe Ireland's defence in search of a timely equaliser but you can't help but admire the noise of the Irish fans here in Dublin. I've never seen anything like it in my life - they're roaring their team on here. Forget about being the 12th man - these supporters are giving their team 1000 men!

Republic of Ireland 2-1 Wales
OH MY WORD! BUILD HIM A STATUE NOW! I've absolutely no idea how Wales aren't level here, and neither does manager Ryan Giggs who has his head in his hands! Norrington-Davies leads the charge forward and slaps a hard shot from the edge of the box. It's parried by Kelleher who then smothers a second shot from Tyler Roberts. The ball rolls across goal and to Connor Roberts who seems to have open goal to volley the ball into but Kelleher's there again as he dives across goal to tip Roberts' shot over! This might just be THE GREATEST goalkeeping display I have EVER seen!

Republic of Ireland 2-1 Wales
AND ITS OVER! The Irish players fall to their knees and rejoice a historic victory here at Dublin! Aaron Connolly and Shane Duffy got the goals for the Irish today but its Caoimhin Kelleher who shone brightest with an incredible TWELVE saves throughout the game, including a stoppage time TRIPLE-SAVE!

It's joy for the Irish who qualify for the knockout stage of the Euros and heartbreak for Wales, who crash out in fourth place in the group! WHAT.A.GAME.

Match Ovrview
Aaron Connolly 18'

33' Kieffer Moore
Shane Duffy 89'

Republic of Ireland (3-4-1-2): C Kelleher; S Duffy , J Egan, K Long; S Coleman, J Molumby (71'), J Cullen, D Cirkin; J Knight (71'); A Connolly , D McGoldrick (60')
Subs Used: T Parrott (60'), D Crowley (71'), C Ronan (71')
Manager: John O'Shea

Wales (4-2-3-1): A Davies; C Roberts, J Rodon, C Mepham , B Davies (68'); E Ampadu (56'), J Williams; H Wilson (H/T), A Ramsey, T Roberts; K Moore
Subs Used: T Lockyer (H/T), L Evans (56'), R Norrington-Davies (68')
Manager: Ryan Woman Beater Giggs

John O'Shea (ROI Manager):
"It's the greatest moment of my managerial career so far, and maybe my career in football in total! You saw the reaction of all of us - players, staff, fans, everybody - when the full-time whistle went. It meant so much to this country and we can be so proud of what we have achieved. It's one of the most memorable victories in this country's history and we can now look forward to playing in the knockout rounds!

He (Kelleher) was absolutely sensational! I've never seen a goalkeeping performance anywhere near that level! We knew just how good Kelleher is but today he's shown the world that he's got what it takes to play at the highest level. The saves he made at the end will go down in history as one of the greatest moments in football!"

UEFA European Championship 2021 Group E

Ireland's win secured second place in the group, and progression to the knockout rounds. Spain topped the group, following a win over Croatia, while Croatia squeezed through in third place. Wales crashed out in last place.

I can genuinely say that I enjoyed your match reports tremendously, although less beating Croatia plz! Kelleher is securing 'legend' status early on in his career, whilst you also have that 'know how' from several of the more experienced players within the squad too. I've always enjoyed signing Shane Duffy on FM, although I haven't been able to in recent years due to the leagues I've managed in. Fantastic player [on FM and IRL] imo.
Beautiful graphics! I look forward to seeing something other than the classic club stories here!

Euro 2021 Second Round Draw


The Republic of Ireland have been handed an exciting opponent in the Second Round of Euro 2021 in the form of fierce rivals England. Following a second-place finish in a tough group which includes Spain, Croatia and Wales, the Irish will play their neighbours at Parken in Copenhagen, Denmark, on 28th June.

It is a fixture that couldn't get much tougher for Ireland as their opponets are currently ranked 4th in the FIFA World Rankings, and boast players of the caliber of Mason Mount, Raheem Sterling and Harry Kane. England progressed from Group D in second place, with Belgium topping the group and Switzerland and Turkey finishing in third and fourth behind them.

Republic of Ireland manager is looking forward to the game and admitted that facing England will give his players a little more motivation in the Second Round fixture, as his side look to cause yet another upset in this tournament.

John O'Shea (ROI Manager):
"I don't think we could have asked for a more exciting fixture in the Second Round. We could look at it as being unlucky that we drew one of the top teams but these are the kind of games we want to be involved in, particularly in a major tournament like the Euros. It's a brilliant opportunity for us to showcase what we're capable of on the big stage.

Yeah the players will certainly be motivated. Aside from Josh Cullen and Connor Ronan, who play in mid-Europe, the rest of our squad play for English clubs. They'll be playing against their team mates, or players they come up against regularly domestically. There'll be a bit of a friendly rivalry and it's a game our players will definitely want to win."

Upcoming Fixtures
28/06/2021 | Euro 2021 Second Round| England | Parken (Copenhagen, Denmark)

J_ames, thank you! Duffy's a useful player, if not a good player, and is also a fantastic leader.
igorlavniokovic26, thank you - I do enjoy international management tremendously!
What a massive result that was against Croatia to start and even more so against Wales. Kelleher has proven himself on the highest level with that game and I wonder if he moves on from Liverpool in the summer and plays more consistently, which will only benefit Ireland. The draw has thrown up an incredible tie now, excited to see how it goes.
Loving the way you've done your match reports, really adds to the excitement. Congrats on getting through the groups, with two huge wins in the process. Confidence must be brimming with England coming up next!

England vs Republic of Ireland - Euro 2021 Second Round

England Starting XI (4-3-3):
D Henderson; K Walker, H Maguire, F Tomori, B Chilwell; M Mount, J Henderson, D Rice; R Sterling, H Kane, M Rashford

Republic of Ireland Starting XI (3-4-1-2):
C Kelleher; N Collins, J Egan, K Long; M Doherty, J Cullen, C Hourihane, E Stevens; C Ronan; A Connolly, S Long

Roy Keane (Pundit):
"An Ireland team we've come to expect now - very predictable. Only real surprise is Connor Ronan coming in for Knight. Knight hasn't done anything special this tournament so there's no surprise there. There's just not enough quality in this team to cause England a threat.

Quality from top to bottom in this England team. Every single player, aside from Declan Rice, is playing for a top team. Very athletic defenders who will win aerial duels, three incredible midfielders and an attack that has plenty of goals in it. What more could you want?

I can only see this going one way. Unless Kelleher has another incredible game, I can't see anybody but England winning here. It should be a very big win for them."

Roy Predicts: England 4-0 Republic of Ireland

It's nearly time for kick-off in an unusual venue for a game of this magnitude. London or Dublin would have been a brilliant venue, but the fans have shown up in their numbers for this game on the other side of Europe!

England 0-0 Republic of Ireland
Harry Kane kicks off the game in this massive Second Round clash! Who will come out on top?

6' Yellow Card!
England 0-0 Republic of Ireland
Yellow Card - Enda Stevens (Republic of Ireland)
Stevens is slow in the tackle on Sterling and trips him. Deserved booking.

England 0-0 Republic of Ireland
His performances in the group stage were incredible, and he's started this game with a world class save to deny England an opening goal! The Irish team looks completely bereft of energy after a gruelling group stage and England are all over them as Chilwell plays a lofted ball over the top for Marcus Rashford to run on to. He holds off John Egan and looks to place the ball to Kelleher's left when one-on-one but the Irish goalkeeper gets down quickly to deflect the ball passed the post.

Early warning signs!

England 0-0 Republic of Ireland
It's the second time in a few minutes Ireland have looked to counter from an England corner and this time they cause trouble for Dean Henderson. Aaron Connolly uses his pace to run with the ball from his own half and gets into England's box but the angle is tight and his shot is comfortably saved by Henderson.

15' Yellow Card!
England 0-0 Republic of Ireland
Yellow Card - Nathan Collins (Republic of Ireland)
Kane is too cute for Collins here as he holds up the ball and turns the young defender. Collins drags him down and gets a yellow card for his troubles.

20' Yellow Card!
England 0-0 Republic of Ireland
Yellow Card - Declan Rice (England)
Cynical tackle from Rice as he goes through Connor Ronan in midfield. A yellow and possibl could have been a red. Very lucky to get away with that one.

England 0-0 Republic of Ireland
England still in control of the ball here and Kyle Walker nearly picks out Rashford at the back post with a cross from deep but Nathan Collins reads the danger and clears the ball with a strong header, just before Rashford can get a touch on it.

29' OUCH!
England 0-0 Republic of Ireland
Matt Doherty looks to be in some discomfort here! The Irish wing back stretched in the tackle and looks to have pulled his hamstring as he went down on the floor in agony. He's back up and playing, but running very gingerly.

England 0-0 Republic of Ireland
Ireland show more threat going forward through Aaron Connolly as he plays a one-two with Shane Lnog before strikling at goal, only to see his shot blocked away by Declan Rice.

38' SAVE
England 0-0 Republic of Ireland
Enda Stevens is struggling with energy on Ireland's left as Kyle Walker rounds him with ease as he burst into the box. He tries to lift a finish beyond Kelleher but the Irishman parries it out for an English corner.

England 0-0 Republic of Ireland
We're at the midway mark now with the scores all level. England have tested Kelleher a few times while Ireland have shown some sort of threat going forward. Who has the fresher legs? Probably the English. Fifteen minutes for Ireland to get some energy back.

Roy Keane (Pundit):
"It's been a good result and performance for Ireland so far. They're in a much better position now than anybody predicted them to be and now have the chance to make something out of it. They look leggy, particularly Doherty and Stevens, and will need to make some changes if they want to continue to compete."

H/T' Double Substitution (Republic of Ireland):
Matt Doherty
Enda Stevens
Seamus Coleman
Dennis Cirkin

England 0-0 Republic of Ireland
Ireland restart the game with two new bodies on the pitch as Coleman and Cirkin look to provide more energy out wide.

England 0-0 Republic of Ireland
Cirkin's only been on the pitch a few minutes and come up big for Ireland here! From a free-kick, Tomori gets onto the end of a loose ball and smashes a half-volley at goal but Cirkin charged down the shot and blocks it away. Important.

England 0-0 Republic of Ireland
Goal Disallowed - Marcus Rashford (England)
England appeared to take the lead but VAR has ruled this one out! Walker cross the ball low towards the back post and Coleman was caught sleeping as Rashford got in beyond him to hammer home from close range but he was fractionally offside. Lucky break for Ireland.

England 0-0 Republic of Ireland
Goal Disallowed - Shane Long (Republic of Ireland)
And now Ireland thought they took the lead, only for VAR to rule out a goal for them! It came from brilliant play as Coleman worked the ball to Josh Cullen in the middle who in turn sent Long through on goal with a crisp through ball. Long slotted the ball beyond Henderson but VAR found him to be a yard offside in the buildup to the goal.

England 1-0 Republic of Ireland
Goal - Raheem Sterling (England)
And that one counts! Henderson links up with Rice in midfield, with the latter placing the ball behind Ireland's defence. Sterling glides in behind them and strikes the ball first time beyond Kelleher to give Ireland the lead.

England 2-0 Republic of Ireland
Goal - Jordan Henderson (England)
AND ITS TWO! Ireland look shell-shocked here and England take advantage from a corner. Mount's delivery is flicked on by Tomori to the back post where Harry Kane is on hand to stick a foot out onto the ball. His shot strikes the post but the rebound falls to Jordan Henderson on the six yard box who pokes the ball beyond Caoimhin Kelleher and into the back of the Irish net.

58' Substitution (England):
Raheem Sterling
Phil Foden

64' Substitution (England):
Harry Kane
Danny Ings

66' SAVE!
England 2-0 Republic of Ireland
England nearly go out of sight here through Harry Kane, only for the defiance of Caoimhin Kelleher! Foden plays him through and he just needs to put it beyond Kelleher but the young goalkeeper tips it wide to keep Ireland in the game.

England 3-0 Republic of Ireland
Goal - Kyle Walker (England)
And that should be that! Rashford runs Coleman inside-out down the left wing before crossing the ball across the Irish box. It makes its way out to Kyle Walker who takes one touch before unleashing a ravaging drive beyond the outstretched arms of Kelleher and into the top corner. Game.Over.

69' Yellow Card!
England 3-0 Republic of Ireland
Yellow Card - Fikayo Tomori (England)
DON'T BE SILLY, TOMORI! Straight after the goal, Tomori is booked for screaming into Connolly's face.

70' Substitution (England):
Marcus Rashford
Jack Grealish

73' Substitution (Republic of Ireland):
Shane Long
Adam Idah

England 3-0 Republic of Ireland
Goal Disallowed - Adam Idah (Republic of Ireland)
Another goal disallowed for Ireland! Coleman crosses low for Adam Idah who's initial shot is saved before he slots in the rebound. VAR say no goal, though, as he was offside.

England 4-0 Republic of Ireland
Goal - Phil Foden (England)
The score line is getting a bit out of hand now as Foden scores a delightful goal. The young attacking midfielder tried to pick out Danny Ings with a cross but the ball bounces back to him. He takes a touch to set it onto his left foot before striking beyond Kelleher from the edge of the area. Exquisite.

82' Yellow Card!
England 4-0 Republic of Ireland
Yellow Card - Jordan Henderson (England)
Not sure why he's done that when they're four goals up. Henderson trips Idah to stop an Ireland counter attack. Pointless yellow to pick up at this stage.

England 4-0 Republic of Ireland
They'll almost certainly lose this game but the Irish fans are still vocal! They're currently performing a spine-tingling rendition of 'Fields of Athenry' which you just have to admire. Win, draw or lose, the Irish fans will never stop supporting their team!

England 4-0 Republic of Ireland
It's all over here at Parken! Despite going into half-time level, England pulled away and won the game 4-0 with an exceptional second half performance! The Irish were completely out of gas after the opening period of the game and they couldn't cope with the English pressure late on. A disappointing result today but a fantastic achievement for them to have reached the Second Round.

Match Ovrview
Raheem Sterling 56'

Jordan Henderson 58'

Kyle Walker 69'

Phbil Foden 81'

England (4-3-3): D Henderson; K Walker , H Maguire, F Tomori , B Chilwell; M Mount, J Henderson , D Rice ; R Sterling (58') , H Kane (64'), M Rashford (70')
Subs Used: P Foden (58') , D Ings (64'), J Grealish (70')
Manager: Gareth Southgate

Republic of Ireland (3-4-1-2): C Kelleher; N Collins , J Egan, K Long; M Doherty (H/T), J Cullen, C Hourihane, E Stevens (H/T) ; C Ronan; A Connolly, S Long (73')
Subs Used: S Coleman (H/T), D Cirkin (H/T), A Idah (73')
Manager: John O'Shea

John O'Shea (ROI Manager):
"A very disappointing result for us. We worked so hard to get here and this one really hurts. I don't think the performances were that far apart but they took their chances and we didn't and they fully deserved to go through.

It's a great learning experience for what is a very young core of players that we have. Hopefully we can qualify for another major tournament and build upon what we've achieved this summer. It's a bad result today but we can be proud of our Euro campaign otherwise."

TheLFCFan, unfortunately not the result we wanted but we can be proud of how far we got!
Nerazzurri, thank you! We were confident but, in the end, ability prevailed.
That was... devastating! :(

That being said, a lot has been learned during this tournament, and the whole nation will be better off as a result.

Euro 2021 Aftermath

Following England's comprehensive victory over the Republic of Ireland in the Second Round, Gareth Southgate's side were surely favourites against Poland.... surely? WRONG! They got their asses handed to them by a stern Polish team featuring an in-form Robert Lewandowski. Poland's win over England in the Quarter Finals earned them a place in the Semi Finals against France, who beat them and went on to win the tournament with a penalty shootout win over Spain in the final.

France's trophy victory meant they had won the Euros three times now, having previously lifted the trophy in 1984 and 2000. Kylian Mbappé was named as the Player of the Tournament, while his compatriot Anthony Martial won the Golden Boot following his 5-goal tally in the tournament.

Republic of Ireland's Performance

  • Reaching the Second Round of the Euros
  • Finishing 2nd in a group consisting of Spain, Croatia & Wales
  • Beating Croatia (2018 World Cup finalists)
  • Beating Wales (rival nation)
  • Victories in both games at Dublin

Star Performers:
  • Caoimhin Kelleher (Goalkeeper) - 10/10
  • Nathan Collins (Central Defender) - 8/10
  • Enda Stevens (Left Wing Back) - 8/10
  • Connor Ronan (Attacking Midfielder) 7/10

  • Losing 0-4 to England
  • Inability to score in 2/4 games
  • Concession of 8 goals in 4 games
  • 0 clean sheets

Poor Performers:
  • Kevin Long (Central Defender) - 3/10
  • David McGoldrick (Striker) - 4/10
  • Seamus Coleman (Right Wing Back) - 5/10

Coleman Gives Up Captaincy

Following the Euro 2021 tournament, veteran wing back Seamus Coleman resigned from his role as captain of the Republic of Ireland national team. The Everton fan favourite became captain of Ireland in September 2016 following the international retirement of legendary striker Robbie Keane and had served as captain of his country for the five years since.

Coleman's reasons for conceding the captaincy were to allow for a new captain to come in to lead the nation in the country's quest for World Cup qualification - a tournament he admitted may be beyond his time as a footballer - and also to hand the reigns to the next generation of Irish footballers, who he was excited for.

Central defender Shane Duffy has been named as Seamus Coleman's interim successor for the role. The twenty-nine year old had recently completed a €3.3M move from Brighton to Championship side Sheffield United, having spent the last year on loan at Scottish giants Celtic, and has captained his country in Coleman's absence in the past. With 39 caps to his name, Duffy will be hoping to help his country reach next year's World Cup finals in Qatar and wants to make his compatriots proud.

Seamus Coleman:
"It was a hard decision for me to make (resigning as captain). Being captain of Ireland has been the proudest moment of my footballing career and I will be forever grateful for the opportunity to do so.

As a young boy from Killybegs in Donegal (north-west of Ireland), I never imagined myself reaching this level. It was always a distant dream and it became a reality for me in 2016 under Martin O'Neill. I've worked with some fantastic managers and players with Ireland and I've learned a lot from every single one of them.

Now it's time for me to pass on the torch. I recognise that I'll probably not be around for the World Cup next year, if we qualify. I'll be 34 years old then and my legs are starting to go already. I'd like for the captain to be someone who can take on the role now and carry it through to the tournament, if we do qualify.

We've a great bunch of young lads coming through, including those who played at the Euros this summer. I think our best performers were probably the young lads and we really do have a lot to look forward to from them. I'm still available to play when Ireland need me to and I'll always do my best to pass on my experience to the young guys. It's their time to shine now."

FIFA World Rankings

As of 1st August, the Republic of Ireland are ranked as the 17th best national team in world football. It marks an incredible improvement from the 34th position they found themselves in when John O'Shea took charge. It marks the highest position they've been ranked in since 2004.

Upcoming Fixtures
01/09/2021 | International Friendly | Serbia (A)
08/09/2021 | FIFA World Cup 2022 Qualifiers Group A | Kazakhstan (H)
09/10/2021 | FIFA World Cup 2022 Qualifiers Group A | Iceland (H)
13/10/2021 | FIFA World Cup 2022 Qualifiers Group A | Poland (A)
10/11/2021 | FIFA World Cup 2022 Qualifiers Group A | Israel (H)
13/11/2021 | FIFA World Cup 2022 Qualifiers Group A | Iceland (A)

J_ames, not the way we wanted to exit but, as you said, plenty to take from it!

September 2021 Internationals

John O'Shea's first Republic of Ireland squad since the Euros in the summer boasted a host of changes. Darren Randolph, Dennis Cirkin (injury), Seamus Coleman, Kevin Long, Conor Hourihane, Shane Long, David McGoldrick and Troy Parrott (injury) all dropped out of the squad. Each of those who were dropped, but not injured, were in their 30s and signals the start of a squad overhaul for the Irish.

The eight who missed out were replaced by Kieran O'Hara, Tayo Adaramola, Cyrus Christie, Eoghan O'Connell, Michael Minhas, Jack Taylor, Adam Odubeko and Callum Robinson. Adaramola, O'Connell, Minhas, Taylor and Odubeko were all called up with the opportunity to earn their first senior caps for Ireland.

  • Tayo Adaramola (17 y/o), Eoghan O'Connell (26 y/o), Michael Minhas (16 y/o), Jack Taylor (23 y/o) and Adam Odubeko (18 y/o) were all in line with earning their first caps for Ireland.
  • Michael Minhas could become Ireland's youngest ever player if he plays.
  • There was a return to the squad for Kieran O'Hara, Cyrus Christie and Callum Robinson - all of whom missed out on the Euros squad.

Serbia vs Republic of Ireland
Dark Lazovic 29'

6' Aaron Connolly

35' Josh Cullen

45' Callum Robinson

78' Ademipo Odubeko

Serbia (3-4-3): P Rajkovic; U Spajic , S Pavlovic (57'), N Maras (63'); D Lazovic , S Milinkovic-Savic, S Lukic (57'), A Kolarov; A Zivkovic (70'), D Vlahovic (70'), F Djuricic (57')
Subs Used: S Markovic (57'), A Katai (57'), N Radonjic (57'), A Terzic (63'), F Stevanovic (70'), U Durdevic (70')
Dragan Stojkovic

Republic of Ireland (3-4-1-2): K O'Hara; N Collins, J Egan (H/T), S Duffy; M Doherty (72'), J Knight (72'), J Cullen , E Stevens (H/T); C Ronan (H/T); A Connolly (H/T) , C Robinson
Subs Used: E O'Connell (H/T), T Adaramola (H/T) , M Minhas (H/T), A Odubeko (H/T) , C Christie (72'), J Taylor (72')
Manager: John O'Shea

Serbia away was always considered a tough trip but the Republic of Ireland made short work of Stojkovic's side. Goals from Aaron Connolly, Josh Cullen and Callum Robinson helped Ireland to a 3-1 lead at half-time, with Lazovic scoring for Serbia. O'Shea used the second half to hand debuts to a number of players, including Ireland's youngest ever player - Michael Minhas. Odubeko made the most of his first ever senior game for Ireland as he scored late on to secure a 4-1 win for his country.

John O'Shea (ROI Manager):
"Great game for us. It can be difficult to get back up and running after a major tournament like the Euros, especially in September when some players might not yet be fully fit, so we're delighted with the performance and the win. We're showing great attacking threat these days and I'm delighted with the options we have."

Republic of Ireland vs Kazakhstan
FIFA World Cup UEFA Qualifiers Group A
Callum Robinson 16'

Aaron Connolly 20'

Connor Ronan pen 69'

Republic of Ireland (3-4-1-2): C Kelleher; N Collins, J Egan (69') , S Duffy; M Doherty (42') , J Knight (64'), J Cullen , E Stevens; C Ronan ; A Connolly , C Robinson
Subs Used: C Christie (42'), J Taylor (64'), E O'Connell (69')
Manager: John O'Shea

Kazakhstan (4-1-4-1): S Pokatilov; R Bauer, N Alip , T Erlanov, G Suiimbaev ; A Abilken (62'); S Muzhyqov (57'), B Islamkhan (67'), B Zainutdinov (80'), R Murtazaev (75'); A Aimbetov
Subs Used: A Beisebekov (57'), A Marochkin (62'), A Merkel (67'), W Evseev (75'), D Shomko (80')
Manager: Michal Bilek

It was a return to competitive action for the Republic of Ireland and they controlled the game from start to finish. Goals from Callum Robinson and Aaron Connolly, who were striking up an impressive partnership up front, gave the Irish a strong lead in the first half. Connor Ronan converted from the penalty spot to put the gloss on a 3-0 win. There was one downside to the game for the Irish, with Matt Doherty going off with a minor injury late in the first half.

John O'Shea (ROI Manager):
"Another good day for us. We were thoroughly professional throughout the game and we got a very deserved win. We looked solid in defence with the back three linking up well and our attack looks good. I couldn't ask for much more."

FIFA World Cup 2022 UEFA Qualifying Group A

Despite only playing one qualifier this month, Ireland remained on top as Poland slipped up against Iceland. The Irish know they're in pole position to secure top spot, and automatic qualification to next year's World Cup, but will need to continue their good form to make that happen.

Upcoming Fixtures
09/10/2021 | FIFA World Cup 2022 Qualifiers Group A | Iceland (H)
13/10/2021 | FIFA World Cup 2022 Qualifiers Group A | Poland (A)
10/11/2021 | FIFA World Cup 2022 Qualifiers Group A | Israel (H)
13/11/2021 | FIFA World Cup 2022 Qualifiers Group A | Iceland (A)
The average age of your squad must've dropped considerably with the changes that have been made, and I'm quite surprised with how many RoI players there are in the MLS atm, considering that they're not over the hill just yet, so a move to the US seems a bit premature. Some cracking results regardless, there's plenty of reasons to be positive if you're an Irish fan, and I look forward to seeing your progress.

October 2021 Internationals

John O'Shea made a number of changes to his squad from the previous internationals. Tayo Adaramola, Cyrus Christie (injury), Nathan Collins (injury), Eoghan O'Connell, Michael Minhas, Jack Taylor and Ademipo Odubeko were all left out, having being involved in the September fixtures.

In their place came Seamus Coleman, Jimmy Dunne, Ryan Manning, Dara O'Shea, Luca Connell, Mark Forde and Troy Parrott. Of the players who came in, only Seamus Coleman and Troy Parrott had played for Ireland previously, having been included in Ireland's Euro 2021 squad.

  • Seamus Coleman and Troy Parrott returned to the squad, having last featured in the summer's Euros.
  • Jimmy Dunne, Ryan Manning, Dara O'Shea and Luca Connell and Mark Forde were all called up with the opportunity to play for Ireland for the first time at senior level.
  • If Mark Forde plays, he would become Ireland's youngest ever player, with Michael Minhas having set the record only one month ago against Serbia.

  • Cyrus Christie and Nathan Collins missed out due to injury, while Dennis Cirkin remained sidelined.

Republic of Ireland vs Iceland
FIFA World Cup UEFA Qualifiers Group A
Callum Robinson 7'

88' J.B. Gudmundsson
Connor Ronan 10'

Connor Ronan 79'

Ryan Manning 84'

Republic of Ireland (3-4-1-2): G Bazunu; S Duffy, J Egan , D O'Shea; M Doherty, J Knight (65'), J Cullen, E Stevens (59'); C Ronan ; A Connolly (55') , C Robinson
Subs Used: A Idah (55'), L Connell (65'), R Manning (59')
Manager: John O'Shea

Iceland (4-2-3-1): P.S. Gunnarsson; V Palsson (79'), H.O. Eyjolfsson (79'), H.B. Magnusson, I.B. Johannesson (79'); A.E. Gunarsson (77'), G Sigurdsson ; J.B. Gudmundsson , A Sigurdsson, A.I. Traustason (77'); A Finnbogason
Subs Used: R.M. Sigurjonsson (77'), A Gudmundsson (77'), K.B. Finnsson (79'), D.L. Gretarsson (79'), Diegui (79')
Manager: Michael Laudrup

The Republic of continued their World Cup qualifying campaign in fine fashion with a dominant victory at home against Iceland. Goals from Callum Robinson and Connor Ronan in the opening ten minutes set Ireland on their way. Ronan missed from the penalty spot just before half time but made amends in the second half as he scored his second of the game before Ryan Manning scored on his debut for Ireland, having come off the bench. Gudmundsson scored a late consolation goal for Iceland to deny Ireland a clean sheet.

John O'Shea (ROI Manager):
"It's an important result for us and puts us on the brink of qualifying for the World Cup. We started very well and continued to probe Iceland throughout the game. We know we've still got work to do and we can't afford any complacency but we can be happy with our performance today."

Poland vs Republic of Ireland
FIFA World Cup UEFA Qualifiers Group A
Arkadiusz Milik 11'

89' Darragh Lenihan
Krzysztof Piatek 44'

Maciej Rybus 88'

Poland (4-3-1-2): W Szczesny; T Kedziora, J Bednarek, S Walukiewicz, M Rybus ; M Klich (72') , G Krychowiak (82') , P Zielinski (67'); S Szymanski (77'); K Piatek , A Milik (61')
Subs Used: D Kownacki (61'), K Linetty (67'), P Dziczek (72'), M Bogusz (77'), M Kaminski (82')
Manager: Paulo Sousa

Republic of Ireland (3-4-1-2): G Bazunu; S Duffy , D Lenihan , D O'Shea; S Coleman, J Knight (71'), J Molumby, E Stevens ; C Ronan (61'); A Connolly (66'), T Parrott
Subs Used: D Crowley (61'), A Idah (66'), M Forde (71')
Manager: John O'Shea

Poland secured a revenge victory over Ireland with a comfortable 3-1 win. Despite star striker Robert Lewandowski being sidelined with injury, Poland showed plenty of attacking intent and first half goals from Milik and Piatek gave the home side a comfortable lead. Rybus and Lenihan scored late on for either side as Poland cruised to victory to keep the fight for top spot in the group up in the air. Mark Forde came on as a sub to become Ireland's youngest ever player.

John O'Shea (ROI Manager):
"Disappointing result today but against a brilliant team. We got out-played in midfield and found it hard to fight back in the first half. We were much improved in the second half but Poland were too good for us. We'll pick ourselves up and push on for the final qualifiers next month."

FIFA World Cup 2022 UEFA Qualifying Group A

Despite defeat in Poland, Ireland were still in the driving seat in the group. Victory in their final two games would guarantee automatic qualification. Should they not secure top spot, they were already guaranteed a playoff spot.

Upcoming Fixtures
10/11/2021 | FIFA World Cup 2022 Qualifiers Group A | Israel (H)
13/11/2021 | FIFA World Cup 2022 Qualifiers Group A | Iceland (A)

J_ames, yeah the age has gone down considerably... hopefully the youngsters can continue to improve and build on their experience to form a golden generation!

November 2021 Internationals

John O'Shea made a handful of changes to his Republic of Ireland squad for the November internationals. Seamus Coleman, Ryan Manning, Dara O'Shea and Mark Forde dropped out as Cyrus Christie, Dennis Cirkin, Eoghan O'Connell and Conor Hourihane replaced them.

Republic of Ireland vs Israel
FIFA World Cup UEFA Qualifiers Group A
Matt Doherty 4'

Jason Knight 13'

Republic of Ireland (3-4-1-2): G Bazunu; N Collins, J Egan, J Dunne; M Doherty , J Knight (62') , C Hourihane (62'), E Stevens ; C Ronan; A Connolly, C Robinson (57')
Subs Used: T Parrott (57'), J Molumby (62'), J Cullen (62')
Manager: John O'Shea

Israel (4-2-3-1): O Marciano; B Bitton (62'), D Glazer, N Lavi, T Tawatha ; G Kanikovsky (83'), D Peretz; Y Cohen (62') , E Zahavi, M Solomon; S Weissman (67')
Subs Used: N Bitton (62'), M Dabbur (62'), L Abada (67'), M Bareiro (83')
Manager: Willi Ruttensteiner

It was a must-win game for the Republic of Ireland and they started strongly with early goals from Matt Doherty and Jason Knight. Despite dominating large spells of the remainder of the game, however, they couldn't score a third. Luckily, Israel were shit. Ireland won.

In the other group game of the evening, Kazakhstan held Poland to a draw, meaning the Republic of Ireland had qualified for the 2022 World Cup with one qualifying game remaining!

John O'Shea (ROI Manager):
"It's a massive win tonight but obviously the big news is we've qualified for the World Cup! It's a brilliant moment for Irish football and one we'll celebrate for a long time. I'm delighted we were able to celebrate it in Dublin and we'll never forget this moment. We haven't played in a World Cup since 2002 and we'll certainly make up for lost time next year!"

Iceland vs Republic of Ireland
FIFA World Cup UEFA Qualifiers Group A
J.D. Bodvarsson (80')

24' Adam Idah

39' Adam Idah

75' Troy Parrott

Iceland (4-2-3-1): P.S. Gunnarsson; Diegui (57'), S.I. Ingasson, H.B. Magnusson (68'), I.B. Johannesson ; A.E. Gunnarsson, A.F. Baldursson (68'); V Valgeirsson (62'), A Sigurdsson, A.I. Traustason (68') ; A Finnbogason
Subs Used: E.I. Omarsson (62'), D.L. Gretarsson (68'), V Palsson (68'), J.D. Bodvarsson (68') , R.M. Sigurjonsson (71')
Manager: Michael Laudrup

Republic of Ireland (3-4-1-2): G Bazunu; N Collins, J Egan (74'), J Dunne (85'); C Christie, J Molumby (60') , J Cullen (74'), D Cirkin; D Crowley (80'); A Idah , T Parrott
Subs Used: L Connell (60'), E O'Connell (74'), J Knight (74'), C Ronan (80'), S Duffy (84')
Manager: John O'Shea

Despite not requiring any result of any kind to qualify, having qualified for the World Cup already, Ireland put on a strong performance with a much-changed side which featured Adam Idah and Troy Parrott up top. Idah's brace and Parrott's goal were enough to light up Iceland, who scored late on through Bodvardsson, as Ireland cruised to victory.

John O'Shea (ROI Manager):
"A very strong way to end the qualifying campaign. I was impressed by the dedication of the ladsd even though they didn't need to get a result today. They've certainly given me a few selection headaches with how good their performances were! We're delighted with 2021 and we hope to have a good 2022.

FIFA World Cup 2022 UEFA Qualifying Group A

Following Poland's draw against Kazakhstan, Ireland cruised to win the group by four points. An incredible campaign for the Irish, albeit in an easier group than most, as they secured qualification to the World Cup next year in Qatar.

Upcoming Fixtures
23/03/2022 | Friendly | Paraguay (H)
26/03/2022 | Friendly | Estonia (A)

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