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Dublin: 6°C Thursday 26 November 2020
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Good evening, folks. Welcome along to our liveblog of Dundalk’s opening game of their Group B campaign in the Europa League.

Filippo Giovagnoli’s side will be hoping to get off to a positive start against Norwegian champions Molde at Tallaght Stadium, where kick-off is at 5.55pm.

If you’re unable to get to a TV (the game is live on Virgin Media Two and Virgin Media Sport) then stick with us here and we’ll keep you up to date throughout the game.

Well that’s from me, folks. Thanks for joining our coverage and we hope to have you with us again soon.

Before you go, have a read of Gavin Cooney’s match report from the Aviva Stadium.

Wales hold Ireland to another goalless draw

Ireland 0-0 Wales

Difficult end for Stephen Kenny’s side who went down to 10 men late in the game following the dismissal of James McClean.

Both sides had their chances to break the deadlock, with Shane Long and Daryl Horgan coming closest for Ireland.

89 mins: Ireland 0-0 Wales

Ireland sub: Josh Cullen comes on for Molumby as Shane Duffy does well to deal with a Wales free-kick and wins a free out in the process.

Four minutes of added time to be played.

Ireland 0-0 Wales

McClean is dismissed for a late challenge on Ethan Ampadu. It’s a second yellow for him after getting booked a few minutes earlier in this half.

With six minutes of normal time remaining, it’s a tough way for Stephen Kenny’s side to bring an already difficult week to an end.

77 mins: Ireland 0-0 Wales

Another chance spurned by Ireland. A cross finds Horgan at the near post. He puts his head on it but gets under it too much and it fires over the bar.

Meanwhile, James McClean receives a yellow card.

74 mins: Ireland 0-0 Wales

Ireland advance strongly again. Stevens and Molumby combine to feed the ball out to Horgan out wide.

He tries to slip the ball back but a half-block kills the momentum of the pass and the Welsh defence clear the ball back up the field.

71 mins: Ireland 0-0 Wales

Ireland double substitution: Sean Maguire and Daryl Horgan come on for Long and Brady.

65 mins: Ireland 0-0 Wales

Wales making a double substitution as the pace of the game starts to dip slightly.

Dylan Levitt comes on for Smith and Wilson makes way for Neco Williams.

60 mins: Ireland 0-0 Wales

Another inviting delivery from Brady. There’s plenty of whip on the cross and it almost looks like an attempt at goal as it sails in.

But no-one is able to get a connection on it and the ball goes out over the endline again.

Ireland look a bit more threatening now down the wings as we pass the hour mark.

54 mins: Ireland 0-0 Wales

MISS!

Shane Long with arguably the best chance of the game. A first-time ball in from Stevens finds Long with a free header that goes wide.

He should have made more of that opportunity.

Ireland 0-0 Wales 

Wales try to create the first chance of the second half as the ball comes across the Ireland box to Ben Davies.

He tries to cut the ball back in but Stevens is quick to close him down and the ball eventually goes out for a goal-kick.

Ireland had some chances too from Brady and Duffy, along with that booming shot from Christie.

Ireland 0-0 Wales 

No major highlights from that half, although Wales will feel they should have been granted a penalty after that incident with Randolph.

45 mins: Ireland 0-0 Wales 

Brilliant free-kick from Brady who tries to get the ball to Duffy in the box. He normally gets his head under the ball in these situations but he slides in to try and put the ball in the net and narrowly comes up short.

Three minutes of added time to be played at the end of the first half.

42 mins: Ireland 0-0 Wales 

Wales call for another penalty for an apparent handball by Shane Duffy. The referee is not interested in their pleas as the play continues.

Ireland come back up the field with some patient build-up play. The ball comes to James McClean but he can’t get through as Ireland get another corner.

Christie drills the ball from distance with a powerful shot, but it drifts over the bar.

33 mins: Ireland 0-0 Wales 

MISS!

Robbie Brady unleashes an attempt at goal but his effort sails wide.

Ramsey tries to poke the ball home at the other end but an Irish leg sticks out to avert the danger.

31 mins: Ireland 0-0 Wales 

Scary moment there. Randolph rises to collect the ball from a corner but fumbles it as he comes back down and gets a free out. But there are calls that Randolph committed the foul and could have conceded a penalty.

29 mins: Ireland 0-0 Wales 

Christie picks up Ireland’s first yellow card of the game as Wales line up a free-kick from an inviting position.

26 mins: Ireland 0-0 Wales 

SAVE!

Randolph reacts quickly to palm away a low strike from Wilson after a quick one-two with Aaron Ramsey. It goes out for a corner, but Wales don’t make any use of it.

25 mins: Ireland 0-0 Wales 

Sub: Long needs to come off as a result of that eye injury. Cyrus Christie will replace him. 

22 mins: Ireland 0-0 Wales 

Kevin Long gets some treatment for a bang on his eye but he’s playing on. Moore gets a yellow card for the challenge.

20 mins: Ireland 0-0 Wales

Decent effort from Robbie Brady who tries a volley that gets blocked away. Enda Stevens and Hendrick were both involved in teeing up the ball for Brady for the final shot.

The first corner of the game comes shortly after. Brady’s delivery ends up going out over the endline and the second corner fails to result in much either.

12 mins: Ireland v Wales

Enda Stevens links up with Jeff Hendrick who tries to swing the ball in on the turn, but it’s headed back away from the box.

Hendrick tries to push forward with the ball again moments later but again, it’s dealt with by the visitors.

8 mins: Ireland 0-0 Wales

Long ball finds Jeff Hendrick who rises highest to get his head to it but the referee calls for a free to Wales.

Jayson Molumby tries to weave his way through the Welsh cover but is closed off. The ball spills out to Robbie Brady who tries to clip the ball in but it comes to nothing.

The pace of the game has quickened slightly but no major threats on either goal yet.

5 mins: Ireland 0-0 Wales

Ireland playing the ball around a lot in defence, spreading the play out wide. No major probing attacks yet.

Wales put the pulses up a bit with a move down along the wing, but Conor Hourihane was alert to the danger and helped the ball back as far as Darren Randolph.

Kick-off! Ireland 0-0 Wales

We’re underway at the Aviva Stadium as the hosts get us underway.

Nearly ready for off

kevin-long-during-the-warm-up Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

shane-long-during-the-warm-up Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

damien-duff Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

If you can’t see the tweet with the Wales team, here it is again:

Wales: Hennessey; C Roberts, Ampadu, Rodon, B Davies; Smith, Morrell; Wilson, Ramsey (C), James; Moore.

Subs: Ward, A Davies, Gunter, N Williams, Cabango, J Williams, T Roberts, Matondo, Brooks, Levitt, Norrington-Davies, Vaulks.

It might not seem it, but the outcome of today’s game is important for Ireland for a number of reasons.

“Firstly, if Ireland are going to use the Nations League as a backdoor to a play-off for the 2022 World Cup, they need to win today. Only group winners are in contention for three play-off places, as Uefa have fixed the glitch that allowed Ireland get the Slovakia game without winning a game in the last campaign. One point from their opening two games has already left them five points behind Wales.

“More pressingly, Ireland can give their seeding for that World Cup draw a fillip by picking up points between now and the end of the Nations League campaign.

“The seeding is determined by the Fifa world rankings, and Ireland are currently in pot three, heightening the prospect of a nightmare draw for Qatar 2022.

“Romania are in the final spot in pot two, but only eight ranking points ahead of Ireland. To illustrate how quickly that gap can be closed: a win today would give Ireland nine ranking points.”

Read more from The42′s Gavin Cooney’s match preview here.

Republic of Ireland: Darren Randolph; Matt Doherty, Shane Duffy (captain), Kevin Long, Enda Stevens; Conor Hourihane, Jeff Hendrick; Robbie Brady, Jayson Molumby, James McClean; Shane Long

Substitutes: Mark Travers, Caoimhin Kelleher, Daryl Horgan, Sean Maguire, Josh Cullen, Cyrus Christie, Jack Byrne 

We go again!
After the disappointment they suffered during the week, Ireland are back in action today to face Wales in the Nations League at the Aviva Stadium.
It’s already been a dramatic morning for Irish football with the news that five players have been stood down from the matchday squad on the back of a positive Covid-19 case in the squad.
We also now know that the case which led to Aaron Connolly and Adam Idah missing out on the Slovakia game may have turned out to be a false positive.
We’ll have the starting line-up for you in the next few moments as we edge closer to the 2pm kick-off.

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