Six against the best: A decade of playing the top seeds at home

Thu, Oct 11, 2012, 01:00

Compiled by EMMET MALONE

Republic of Ireland 2 Russia 3

(Euro 2012 qualifier, Lansdowne Road)

October 8th, 2010

Ireland lost this one and were flattered by the score with only a storming last half, during which Robbie Keane and Shane Long scored, putting a gloss on things from the home side’s perspective.

Goals from Alexander Kerzhakov, Alan Dzagoev and Roman Shirokov gave the Russians a deserved and what looked an unassailable advantage after they had overrun Giovanni Trapattoni’s men in midfield.

Long and a soft penalty made quite a difference, though, and either side could have scored in the frantic closing stages. If Ireland had it would have been a bit of a travesty. As it was the defeat intensified the debate regarding Ireland’s need for a tactical Plan B.

How they lined out

Given, O’Shea, Dunne, St Ledger, Kilbane; Lawrence (Long, 62), Green, Whelan (Gibson, 62), McGeady; Doyle (Fahey, 71), Keane.

Rep of Ireland 1 Netherlands 0

(World Cup 2002 qualifier, Lansdowne Road

September 1st, 2001

This, the last really great day for Irish football at Lansdowne Road, is starting to feel like it was very long time ago but certain things about it are unforgettable, like Roy Keane letting Marc Overmars know he was about early on and, of course, Jason McAteer’s second-half winner.

In truth, the Irish were outplayed pretty much from start to finish and to add to the injustice of it all from a Dutch perspective, they were denied a pretty obvious penalty when Shay Given bundled into Ruud van Nistelrooy after Steve Staunton had played his goalkeeper into terrible trouble.

But then Steve Finnan took off up the right and teed up McAteer for the goal. The rest, as they say, is (increasingly distant) history.

How they lined out

Given; Kelly, Staunton, Dunne, Harte (Quinn, 87); McAteer (O’Brien, 90), Holland, Roy Keane, Kilbane, Duff, Robbie Keane (Finnan, 60)

Republic of Ireland 2 Italy 2

(World Cup 2010 qualifier, Croke Park)

October 10th, 2009

Giovanni Trapattoni seemed to struggle afterwards with the idea that his side had been denied a victory over the then world champions after being caught on the break trying to push forward so as to double their lead in the closing stages but that’s pretty much what happened.

Glenn Whelan had given the home side the lead with a shot from outside the area after Liam Lawrence had squared a free-kick before Mauro Camoranesi headed home Andrea Pirlo’s corner.

When Sean St Ledger restored the lead it looked as if Ireland might secure a famous victory but a minute from time John O’Shea pushed forward out of position, the Italians broke and Vincenzo Iaquinto set up Alberto Gilardino to score.

How they lined out

Team: Given; O’Shea, Dunne, St Ledger, Kilbane; Lawrence, Andrews, Whelan (Rowlands, 76), McGeady (S Hunt, 78); Doyle (Best, 66), Keane.

Republic of Ireland 1 Russia 1

(Euro 2004 qualifier, Lansdowne Road)

September 6th, 2003

After playing their way into contention with a few decent results on the trot, Ireland’s hopes of qualifying for Euro 2004 began to unravel again when Russia came and earned what proved to be a comfortable enough point.

Damien Duff put Ireland ahead a little over half an hour in with a deflected long range effort that rounded up an impressive run down the left.

Brian Kerr’s side could only keep their noses in front for seven minutes, though, with Sergey Ignashevich equalising from a corner after Shay Given had struggled to clear the danger. Matters weren’t helped by Kenny Cunningham picking up a booking that ensured he would be suspended for the following month’s game away to Switzerland.

How they lined out

Given; Carr, Breen, Cunningham, O’Shea (Harte, 26), Carsley (S Reid, 45), Holland, Kinsella, Duff, Kilbane, Morrison (Doherty, 73).

Rep of Ireland 0 France 1

(World Cup 2006 qualifier, Lansdowne Road)

September 7th, 2005

The home side needed a draw to avoid having to rely on favours in this campaign’s run in but it proved beyond them as Thierry Henry curled home a stunning 68th minute goal to earn the visitors all three points.

Andy Reid, Richard Dunne and Roy Keane turned in big performances on the night but the French had plenty of quality in their line up and Zinedine Zidane almost capped a stylish 70 minutes with a goal at one stage.

Given stopped his free-kick but could do nothing about Henry’s curling shot to the top corner from 25 yards. At the other end, the Irish created a few chances of their own but simply lacked the finish required to beat Gregory Coupet.

How they lined out

Given; Carr, Cunningham, Dunne, O’Shea; A Reid, Roy Keane, Kilbane (Harte, 80), Duff; Morrison (Doherty, 80), Robbie Keane

Republic of Ireland 0 Germany 0

(Euro 2008 qualifier, Croke Park)

October 13th, 2007

The Germans clinched qualification for Euro 2008 with this scoreless draw played out at Croke Park in front of 67,000 and while the result all but ended Ireland’s hopes of making it to the play-offs, it looked a pretty decent result after some of the team’s outings over the course of the campaign.

Robbie Keane might actually have won the game for Steve Staunton’s men had he not fluffed an attempt to chip Jens Lehmann after being sent racing through one on one with the goalkeeper.

Steve Finnan, however, had to clear off the line from Christoph Metzelder and while Shay Given didn’t have too much to do, there was generally a sense that if the visitors had had to find another gear or two they would have.

How they lined out

Given; Finnan, J O’Brien, Dunne, Kelly; Keogh (McGeady, 80), A Reid, Carsley, Kilbane (Murphy, 92); Doyle (Long, 70), Keane.

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