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Dublin: 13 °C Saturday 26 May, 2018


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Hello, and welcome to today’s liveblog.

As always, we’d love to hear your thoughts on the game. E-mail, tweet @the42_ie, post a message to our Facebook wall, or leave a comment below.

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Kick of is at 7.45pm.

Here’s the Ireland team. Wes Hoolahan starts.

It’ll be interesting to see how Ireland line out tonight.

It looks like Meyler will play alongside Brady in midfield, with Hoolahan ahead of them, and McClean and Walters either side of Long.

Whatever formation Ireland use, Martin O’Neill certainly can’t be accused of not going for the win.

It’s just been confirmed that Aiden McGeady is injured and has left the squad.

Ireland subs in full: Westwood, Elliot, O’Shea, Keogh, Whelan, Horgan, Murphy, O’Dowda, Long, Hourihane, Hayes, Arter.

The anthems are done and we’re ready for kick-off here…


Randolph makes a bit of a dodgy clearance that almost falls to a Serbia player early on.

A sign of slight nerves perhaps.


Meyler loses possession and forces Duffy to make a good block from Matić’s shot on the edge of the area.

Ireland have been a little sloppy in the opening stages.


Ireland seem to have started this game with a diamond formation, with Walters and Long up front.

It’s a pretty adventurous call from O’Neill.


McClean, unsurprisingly, is looking lively early on.

He’s just clattered into Rukavina and given away a free kick.


Kostić hits a corner straight out of play.

That prompts the biggest cheer of the night so far.


Duffy puts the ball in the back of the net from a Brady cross, but it’s ruled out for offside.

Replays show it was the correct decision.


Serbia break, but Cyrus Christie makes a good recovery tackle.

It’s been an entertaining start to this game.


Nice build-up play from Ireland.

Eventually, McClean’s shot from distance goes out for a corner.


Hoolahan tries to thread through Walters, but it’s overhit slightly.

It feels like Ireland have already strung together more passes tonight than they managed in the entirety of the Georgia match.


Ireland break again and an audacious Shane Long effort forces the goalkeeper to tip over.

The hosts are definitely on top at the moment.


Christie breaks down the right. Ireland have had some joy in that area.

The Boro man’s cross deflects favourably for Serbia and is collected comfortably by Stojković.


Shane Duffy with Filip Kostic Ireland’s Shane Duffy with Filip Kostic of Serbia. Source: Morgan Treacy/INPHO


Kolarov tries an ambitious attempt from distance and it sails wide.

We’re approaching the half-hour mark — this game has flown by so far.


Shane Long wins a free kick just outside the area.

The Saints striker hasn’t got much from the officials so far tonight, hence the ironic cheers from the crowd.


A long throw from Christie is just missed by the onrushing Duffy.

Ireland have been quite direct at times though they are mixing the play up nicely.


Kostić finds space down the left and his cross finds Mitrović, who forces a good save from Randolph.

That’s Serbia’s best chance of the match so far.


Brady plays a clever pass through to Hoolahan.

The Norwich man’s touch is too heavy and Serbia clear.


Kostić breaks down the left, but Meyler makes a great recovery tackle.

The Hull midfielder has had an excellent game so far.


James McClean makes a very James McClean-like tackle to get the crowd going and stop a Serbia counter-attack.

The West Brom winger has been his usual energetic self this evening.


Kostić breaks down the left. His cross finds Rukavina, whose attempt sails well over.

Christie needs to be careful as Serbia have been getting a lot of joy down Ireland’s right of late.

Ireland had 49% of the possession in that first half according to the BBC.

They had 26% against Georgia overall. Meyler and Hoolahan clearly have helped improve that stat.


Serbia break early on. Tadic’s attempt from just outside the area is comfortably saved by Randolph.

Moments later, Walters can’t quite connect with a Long cross.


Walters hassles and harries Maksimović and forces him to kick it out for a corner.

The subsequent Brady delivery is cleared comfortably by Serbia.


Stephen Ward is down injured following a mistimed challenge from Rukavina. He should be okay to continue.

Moments later, Long finds himself in a promising position, but his shot from just outside the area is comfortably saved.


Serbia play it across the area and the ball falls to Kolarov, whose shot is too powerful for Randolph.

That’s a big blow, and comes after a decent spell for Ireland.


Tadic is in pain after a mistimed challenge from Meyler.

The goal has sucked the life out of this stadium a little.


Ireland make a substitution.

Hoolahan is replaced by Daryl Murphy.


Ireland seem to be playing a 4-3-3 now.

Murphy, Long and Walters are all up top.


Brady produces an inswinging cross.

It’s just too high for Murphy though.


The crowd are getting frustrated now.

That goal has taken the wind out of Ireland’s sails.


Murphy goes through on goal.

He is impeded by Maksimović, who is subsequently sent off for taking him down.


Poor from Brady.

His free kick goes straight into the wall.


Stephen Ward is replaced by Callum O’Dowda.

Looks like Ireland will go three at the back.

Serbia make a change too — Mitrović is on for Kostić.


Christie’s cross is blocked but falls to Meyler.

The Hull man’s shot from the edge of the area goes well wide.


McClean is penalised for a late tackle.

He gets a booking for continuous fouling more than anything else.


Long plays it to McClean.

The West Brom star’s shot from the edge of the area goes well over.


A cross by O’Dowda is cleared away, before Christie can’t find the target with his shot.

Daryl Murphy is livid as the defender was tugging his jersey in the box.


One final change for Ireland and another for Serbia.

Mitrovic is replaced by Prijović.

Hourihane, meanwhile, replaces Meyler.


One last change for Serbia.

Tadic is replaced by Gudelj.


Christie gets the ball on the edge of the area, but can only find the side-netting with his shot.

It’s real backs-to-the-wall stuff for Serbia now.


The ball breaks for Murphy on the edge of the box.

The Notts Forest man’s shot is saved by Stojković.


Hourihane’s shot on the edge of the area goes wide.

The crowd, meanwhile, are getting frustrated with Stojković, who is time-wasting every chance he gets.


There will be five minutes of time added on…


Christie runs into trouble.

The ball then falls to McClean, whose shots sails well over the bar.


Murphy climbs above the defender but is penalised for an infringement.

There are howls of frustration, but it seems unlikely Ireland will get another chance.



Randolph has gone up…

About the author:

Paul Fennessy


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