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Dublin: 11°C Monday 23 November 2020
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Liveblog

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Hello, folks. Welcome along to our liveblog for the Republic of Ireland’s third and final game of a busy international window.

The Boys in Green are at Helsinki’s Olympic Stadium to resume their Uefa Nations League campaign against Finland.

Kick-off is at 5pm Irish time.

In his fifth game in charge, Stephen Kenny will be hoping to oversee his first win as senior manager against a Finland side who were 1-0 winners against Ireland at the Aviva Stadium last month.

It’s a big night for 21-year-old Dubliner Dara O’Shea, who makes his senior international debut alongside Shane Duffy in the centre of defence.

Republic of Ireland: Darren Randolph; Matt Doherty, Shane Duffy, Dara O’Shea, Enda Stevens; Jayson Molumby, Conor Hourihane; Daryl Horgan, Jeff Hendrick, Aaron Connolly; Sean Maguire.

Substitutes: Mark Travers, Caoimhín Kelleher, Kevin Long, Shane Long, Robbie Brady, Jason Knight, Josh Cullen, Ryan Manning, Adam Idah, Ronan Curtis, Cyrus Christie.

Here’s how the opposition will line up…

Finland: Lukas Hradecky; Albin Granlund, Joona Toivio, Paulus Arajuuri, Jere Uronen; Pyry Soiri, Glen Kamara, Tim Sparv, Robert Taylor; Fredrik Jensen, Teemu Pukki.

Substitutes: Jesse Joronen, Niki Mäenpää, Juhani Ojala, Rasmus Karjalainen, Rasmus Schüller, Leo Väisänen, Juha Pirinen, Nikolai Alho, Joni Kauko, Joel Pohjanpalo, Ilmari Niskanen, Jukka Raitala.

The national anthems are currently being played, with around 8,000 fans in the stadium.

The game has kicked off.

Finland 0-0 Republic of Ireland

As expected, Sean Maguire starts as the central striker with Aaron Connolly on the left and Daryl Horgan on the right.

5Mins

Finland 0-0 Republic of Ireland

Finland look to catch Ireland on the break but it’s cut out by some really good tracking back by Horgan. A bright opening from Ireland otherwise.

9Mins

Finland 0-0 Republic of Ireland

We have no idea what the 8,000 Finns in the the stadium are chanting, but after months of watching football being played in empty grounds it sounds absolutely magical.

11Mins

Finland 0-0 Republic of Ireland

Molumby is spoken to by the referee for catching Uronen. Not much in it.

11Mins

Finland 0-0 Republic of Ireland

Stevens plays Maguire in down the left but the Preston striker is flagged offside.

13Mins

Finland 0-0 Republic of Ireland

Excellent link-up play by Maguire and Horgan creates a chance for Hendrick, whose shot from just inside the box is blocked by a Finland defender. Best chance so far.

 

14Mins

Finland 0-0 Republic of Ireland

Jensen goes down under a challenge from Duffy just outside the box, but the referee waves play on.

 

16Mins

Finland 0-0 Republic of Ireland

Good move by Finland ends with Kamara shooting from about 25 yards out. He struck it well but it was straight at Randolph.

 

17Mins

Finland 0-0 Republic of Ireland

Horgan wins a corner for Ireland.

18Mins

Finland 0-0 Republic of Ireland

Hourihane takes the corner but there’s a bit of jostling going on and Duffy is penalised. Free-kick to Finland.

21Mins

Finland 0-0 Republic of Ireland

Horgan does well to tee up Hendrick to send in a cross that searches for Connolly at the back post. The Brighton man is deemed to have fouled Granlund, so Finland are awarded a free-kick to clear the danger.

23Mins

Finland 0-0 Republic of Ireland

Horgan looks to catch Finland on the break. He plays the ball inside to Hendrick, but the Newcastle midfielder loses possession.

23Mins

Finland 0-0 Republic of Ireland

Debutant O’Shea puts in an important block before Finland win a corner from a deflected shot by Pukki.

24Mins

Finland 0-0 Republic of Ireland

Connolly clears.

26Mins

Finland 0-0 Republic of Ireland

Connolly wins a free wide on the left after being absolutely pole-axed by Sparv, who somehow avoids a booking. 

27Mins

Finland 0-0 Republic of Ireland

Lovely delivery by Hourihane but Ireland stray offside.

 

30Mins

Finland 0-0 Republic of Ireland

Clever play by Connolly allows him to create space to curl an effort towards goal, which is comfortably saved by Hradecky.

 

30Mins

Finland 0-0 Republic of Ireland

Connolly gets himself into a shooting position again. This one is well off the target.

 

34Mins

Finland 0-0 Republic of Ireland

Nice skill by Taylor for Finland brings him into a promising position in Ireland’s box. Duffy puts his laces through the ball to clear the danger.

 

36Mins

Finland 0-0 Republic of Ireland

Possibility of an opening for Ireland as Hendrick looks to play Doherty through. Unfortunately the Tottenham man is unable to bring it under control.

 

38Mins

Finland 0-0 Republic of Ireland

Close! Brilliant build-up play culminates with Pukki being played in on goal, but his shot goes across the face of goal. A let-off for Ireland.

 

39Mins

Finland 0-0 Republic of Ireland

A sniff of a chance for Ireland as Connolly tees up Maguire in the box, but his touch is poor and the ball gets away from him.

 

42Mins

Finland 0-0 Republic of Ireland

Half-time approaching and so far it’s been a continuation of what we’ve seen so far under Stephen Kenny. Keeping the ball well, some nice passages of play, but not clinical enough in the final third.

45Mins

Finland 0-0 Republic of Ireland

Pukki goes close again as Finland break, but he drags his effort from just outside the box narrowly wide.

45Mins

We’re now approaching six hours of football since Ireland last scored.

Only San Marino have scored fewer goals in the history of the Uefa Nations League.

46Mins

Finland 0-0 Republic of Ireland

The second half is underway.

Please, Ireland… please give us a goal.

46Mins

Finland 0-0 Republic of Ireland

Niskanen has replaced Soiri for Finland.

52Mins

Finland 0-0 Republic of Ireland

Both sides looking a bit disjointed so far in this second half.

53Mins

Finland 0-0 Republic of Ireland

First change for Ireland sees Robbie Brady replace Sean Maguire. 

54Mins

Finland 0-0 Republic of Ireland

Connolly moves into the centre of the attack, with Brady on the right and Horgan on the left.

55Mins

Finland 0-0 Republic of Ireland

Hendrick releases Molumby on the right but his cross is gathered by the goalkeeper at the near post.

57Mins

Finland 0-0 Republic of Ireland

Relief for Ireland as Finland capitalise on sloppy play by Horgan but Kamara’s shot is blocked.

58Mins

Finland 0-0 Republic of Ireland

At the other end, Connolly gets a sight of goal, only for Hradecky to save his effort rather comfortably.

59Mins

Finland 0-0 Republic of Ireland

Good play between Brady and Doherty, whose low cross is diverted out for a throw.

60Mins

Finland 0-0 Republic of Ireland

Pukki tees up Niskanen in a dangerous position, but O’Shea makes a crucial block.

65Mins

Finland 0-0 Republic of Ireland

Close for Ireland! The ball falls kindly for Stevens in the box and he flicks it against the crossbar. 

66Mins

Finland 0-0 Republic of Ireland

Another chance for an Ireland full-back, this time Matt Doherty, but he drags his effort wide. 

69Mins

Finland 1-0 Republic of Ireland

So unfortunate for Ireland at a time when they were building momentum. Questions over Randolph as the ball is given away cheaply. Pukki squares for Jensen who manages to stab the ball home from close range despite the best efforts of O’Shea.

74Mins

Finland 1-0 Republic of Ireland

Chance for Connolly in a promising position but his powerful strike is saved by Hradecky.

75Mins

Finland 1-0 Republic of Ireland

More changes for Ireland as Ronan Curtis and Adam Idah replace Daryl Horgan and Jeff Hendrick.

77Mins

Finland 1-0 Republic of Ireland

Good delivery from a free-kick from Hourihane. O’Shea is penalised for pushing.

79Mins

Finland 1-0 Republic of Ireland

Appeals for a penalty as Doherty’s cross appears to strike the arm of Uronen. It’s not given, and it would have been harsh.

81Mins

Finland 1-0 Republic of Ireland

Brady sends in a free-kick from the left which is too heavy and goes out of play.

82Mins

Finland 1-0 Republic of Ireland

Brady finds Connolly in the box. He’s crowded out but wins a corner.

83Mins

Finland 1-0 Republic of Ireland

Chance for Ireland as Brady’s corner finds Duffy, who heads over.

84Mins

Finland 1-0 Republic of Ireland

A senior international debut here for Jason Knight, who has replaced Jayson Molumby.

88Mins

Finland 1-0 Republic of Ireland

Close! Good Brady free-kick from the right finds Doherty and his header forces a brilliant save from Hradecky.

88Mins

Finland 1-0 Republic of Ireland

Brady floats in a corner and Hradecky collects it without any bother.

88Mins

Finland 1-0 Republic of Ireland

Idah knocks the ball down with his head for Connolly, whose thwarted on the edge of the box by a Finnish interception.

89Mins

Finland 1-0 Republic of Ireland

Duffy picks out Connolly in the box but he’s unable to get the ball under control. Another opening goes to waste as Ireland desperately look for an equaliser.

91Mins

Finland 1-0 Republic of Ireland

Close! Brady’s cross is helped on by Doherty and Curtis sees his header brilliantly saved by Hradecky.

90Mins

Finland 1-0 Republic of Ireland

An Ireland corner falls to Stevens, whose mis-hit half-volley is easily dealt with by Hradecky.

Now that it’s all over, let this international window never be spoken of again.

Thanks for joining us, folks. Sorry we couldn’t deliver better news.

Good night.

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About the author:

Paul Dollery

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