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Dublin: 11 °C Wednesday 20 February, 2019


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Hello, and welcome to tonight’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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The team news is out. More info here.

IRELAND: Randolph, Coleman, Keogh, Clark, Brady, Whelan (c), McCarthy, Hendrick, Hoolahan, Walters, Murphy.

BOSNIA-HERZEGOVINA: Begović, Spahić, Kolašinac, Vranješ, Lulić, Zukanovic, Cocalić, Medunjanin, Pjanić, Višća, Džek.

Some pre-match reading for you…

The lads on the RTÉ panel are a little disappointed with Robbie Brady being picked at left-back.

John Giles and Eamon Dunphy, in particular, are concerned that Ireland won’t be able to get the ball to Wes Hoolahan if he’s playing too far forward.

Republic of Ireland v Bosnia and Herzegovina - UEFA Euro 2016 Qualifying - Play-off - Second Leg - Aviva Stadium Young Ireland supporters show their support ahead of the game. Source: PA Wire/PA Images

We’ve just had a moment’s silence for all those who lost their lives in Paris on Friday night…


Both sides have given the ball away early on.

There are clearly a few nerves out there.


It’s been pretty much all long balls up to Murphy so far.

Ireland have started this game on the front foot.


Some nerves in the Bosnian defence.

A back-pass to Begovic is a little short and Hoolahan nearly closes the keeper down.


Great move from Ireland.

Hoolahan plays through Brady and Walters’ touch is saved by Begovic and pushed out for a corner.

The referee accidentally blocks the ensuing set piece and Bosnia launch a counter-attack.


Danger in the Irish box.

Pjanic gets into the box from the right-hand side before McCarthy clears it away.


Excellent work again from Brady. He plays a one-two with Hendrick before putting a dangerous ball into the box that’s headed clear for a corner.

The subsequent set piece is easily dealt with by the Bosnian defence.


Walters knocks down a long ball but Hendrick can’t quite connect with the shot.

Still, it’s been a good start to this game by Ireland.


Spahic has been booked for a lunge on Hendrick.

Walters did brilliantly in the build-up to control a long ball.


Ireland win another free kick for Spahic pushing Brady on the edge of the box.

Ireland are well on top here.


A cross deflects off a Bosnian hand and the ref awards a dubious penalty.

Jon Walters makes no mistake from the spot.


Spahic is a lucky boy.

The referee opts knock to book him for another late challenge on Wes Hoolahan.



Visca gets in behind Robbie Brady.

However, Ciaran Clark is well placed to cut out the cross and stop the attack.


Medunjanin flashes a shot well over.

Shortly thereafter, Hoolahan charges down Begovic’s clearance but the Norwich man is penalised for handball.


It’s been a good spell for Bosnia these last few minutes.

The visitors are starting to dominate possession and control the game.


Serious pressure now from Bosnia.

The visitors have their opponents pinned back into their own half.

Ireland need to regain their composure with five minutes until half-time.


Hendrick lofts in a cross, but Begovic gets there just ahead of Murphy.

The Chelsea goalkeeper appears to have hurt himself getting the ball.


Spahic commits another foul.

Ronnie Whelan thinks the Irish players should be putting more pressure on the referee to send off Spahic.


Here’s the goal that’s put Ireland ahead.



So at half-time, it’s Ireland 1-0 Bosnia, with the Boys in Green now having a bit more security with that goal.

Ireland started excellently, with Robbie Brady particularly impressive down the left, while Jon Walters and Daryl Murphy have both held the ball up well up top.

The penalty may have been dubious, but it was a deserved goal for Ireland.

Spahic, meanwhile, is lucky to be still on the field after committing a number of late challenges.

Bosnia, however, came into the game more as the half wore on, and were well on top in the last 15 minutes of the half.

“I think several of their players are of weak character.” Liam Brady pulls no punches in his description of Bosnia.


Besic is on for the second half for the visitors.

Bosnia have started on the front foot again.


Close for Bosnia.

A free kick is flighted in that Clark heads out for a corner.


“A number of people at the game reported hearing the word ‘Kurdistan’ also being shouted.”

More info on that poorly observed minute’s silence here.


It’s been a very nervy start to the second half for Ireland, with Bosnia dominating possession.

This is exactly what Martin O’Neill said Ireland should not do.


Visca gets in behind the Irish defence, but Lulic mishits the ensuing cross.

Meanwhile, Ireland have made two substitutions, with Shane Long and James McClean coming on for Wes Hoolahan and Daryl Murphy.


Free kick to Ireland on the edge of the box.

Zukanovic handled a long ball.


That’s disappointing. Brady’s free kick is straight at the Bosnian wall.

Shortly thereafter, McClean is booked for a push on Vranjes.


Controversy there. Kolasinac swings at Coleman off the ball — the referee awards a free kick but does nothing else.

The Bosnian player is seemingly claiming it was accidental.


Ireland have been better in these last few minutes.

There’s been a bit more energy to the side following those substitutions.


Excellent ball by Hendrick to McClean.

The Derry native’s cross deflects out for a corner.


Good tackle by McCarthy to stop a Bosnian counter attack.

Hendrick’s subsequent shot is well off target.


Great ball in from Robbie Brady.

Bosnia only half clear and it falls to Jon Walters, who makes no mistake with a volley into the back of the net.


Before that, Spahic was very fortunate not to be sent off for kicking Walters.

He must have committed at least four bookable challenges at this stage.


Brady rides through a Bosnian challenges, but just overhits his through ball to Long.

Ireland need one more goal to finish the Bosnians off completely.


Long runs through on goal, but scuffs his finish.

There are half-hearted appeals for a penalty, as the Southampton striker got a slight nudge from his opponent as he shot.


A note of caution — Bosnia will go through on away goals if they score twice.

Ireland look fairly comfortable at the moment though.


Ibisevic has replaced Lulic, as Bosnia go in desperate search of a goal.

This evening is the first time Ireland have scored twice in a competitive fixture — excluding games against Gibraltar — since 7 September 2014 against Georgia.



Andy Townsend and Paul McGrath watch on.

Meanwhile, Shane Long has just been booked for kicking Zukanovic in the air as they both go up for a challenge.


Interesting. Spahic’s attempt goes wide for a corner.

The referee then awards another corner, Whelan goes mad, and then the official seemingly changes his mind and gives a goal kick.


Nervousness in the Irish box.

The ball rolls around through a sea of bodies before Randolph collects it gratefully.


Besic’s free kick is lofted past everyone and goes out of play.

The Aviva Stadium cheers loudly.


Walters has just attempted to lob the keeper, but it fails to trouble the Bosnia goal.

John O’Shea replaces Glenn Whelan for the final few moments.

Flag 94Mins


Jubilant scenes as Ireland win 2-0 and deservedly reach Euro 2016.

Jon Walters tells RTÉ that it feels “unbelievable”.

There was nervousness right up until the end, as Ibisevic hit the crossbar from close range, but Ireland survived and got the result they needed.

It was nervy at times, but they definitely deserved to go through on the balance of play.

Right, that’s all from me.

Thanks for reading and commenting — we’ll have more reaction to follow.

About the author:

Paul Fennessy