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Dublin: 2°C Monday 12 April 2021


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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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Kick of is just after 1.30am Irish time.

Some pre-match reading for you…

It’s been confirmed that James McClean will captain the team…

The team news is out, and Daryl Horgan has been handed a first start for Ireland…


Conor Hourihane appears to be playing as the holding midfielder, with Horgan and O’Dowda either side of him.

It’s a very unusual Ireland formation.


Jesús Corona has the first shot of the match.

His attempt from outside the box goes narrowly wide of Randolph’s post.


Big chance for Ireland!

McGoldrick crosses, but Murphy can’t quite get on the end of it.

It’s been a lively start to this game.


O’Dowda has just won a free kick on the right.

It’s been a decent start by Ireland.


Christie fires in a cross that McClean can’t quite properly connect with.

There was a clever pass by Hourihane in the build-up too.


Moreno’s cross finds the onrushing Corona, who scuffs it well wide.

For an end-of-season friendly, this game has had an excellent tempo in the opening minutes.


Mexico counter and Corona beats Horgan and one or two others before firing the ball into the top corner from the edge of the box.

Ireland have looked vulnerable to those sort of breaks and have been made to pay on this occasion.


On a more positive note, Christie has seen plenty of the ball and is causing problems down Mexico’s left.

The Derby defender seems to be enjoying playing in the right wing-back role.


Moreno has just been booked for a late challenge that stopped O’Dowda from counter-attacking.

Mexico certainly look up for this game.


Christie beats Moreno, but then blazes well over.

He’s been Ireland’s best player and biggest threat so far.




A long ball splits open the Irish defence and McClean nudges over Carlos Vela.

Jimenez sends Randolph the wrong way for the penalty.


McGoldrick brings down Herrera. Vela tries to catch Randolph off his line with the free kick, forcing the goalkeeper to tip over.

Ireland look all over the place at the moment.


Horgan plays a lovely through pass to Murphy, who then can’t find McGoldrick with the cross.

Moments later, a Horgan corner is headed away by Jimenez.


Gallardo bursts through on goal, but Egan makes a good tackle to stop him.

Mexico are well on top now and look the much better side.

Ireland have struggled to retain possession and have too often reverted to hopeful long balls up towards Murphy.


Here’s a look at the second Mexico goal…


Ireland just keep giving the ball back to Mexico so easily.

It’s very much apparent that this team has never played together before.


Gallardo plays a lovely one-two with Vela, bursting through the Irish defence in the process.

His finish, however, goes just wide.


“It’s almost embarrassing for the Irish team how little of the ball we’re having,” says Brian Kerr on Eir Sport.

It’s hard to disagree — Ireland have been thoroughly outclassed in this first half.


A brighter moment for Ireland.

Murphy lays it off to Hourihane, whose shot from the edge of the area is deflected just wide.


Vela’s shot is deflected out for a throw-in via the head of Duffy.

Moments later, Jimenez is played through, but his shot is deflected out after a decent challenge by Shane Duffy.


Ireland had never beaten Mexico prior to tonight, and that trend is unlikely to change anytime soon.

The Boys in Green have very much looked like a patched up team unused to playing with one another.

Mexico, by contrast, have looked superb, and have been better than their opponents, technically, tactically, physically and in pretty much every conceivable way.

In terms of positives for Ireland, there haven’t been many — Daryl Murphy and Conor Hourihane both went close, but those two moments aside, Mexico’s defence have scarcely been tested.

Mexico, on the other hand, have had plenty of chances, dominating possession and territory, and looking especially dangerous on the counter attack, with Ireland’s defenders struggling to cope with the pace and movement of the Mexican attack.

Cyrus Christie has had some promising moments going forward, but the Derby man aside, not one Ireland player can be happy with their first-half performance.


No changes for Ireland at half-time

This game could with the guile of Wes Hoolahan sooner rather than later.


Horgan links up nicely with Murphy, but then the Preston winger blazes it well over from distance.

At least they’re trying to do something positive.


Peralta breaks through and forces a save from Randolph.

The ball comes back to the attacker though, and his cross leaves Vela with an easy tap-in.


Reyes throws himself at an inviting cross but just misses it.

Ireland really could do with a change now.


Murphy gets his head on a Horgan corner, but it’s straight at the goalkeeper.

Moments later, McClean makes a last-ditch challenge to stop Vela running through on goal.


Ireland make a triple change.

Kevin Long, Wes Hoolahan and Eunan O’Kane are on for Daryl Murphy, Conor Hourihane and John Egan.


Here’s the third Mexico goal, if you can bring yourself to watch it.


Layun curls in a cross, and Duffy hacks at it rashly, sending the ball just over the bar.

It’s been a tough night for Ireland at the back.


Hoolahan strings a few passes together in midfield.

Ireland will surely be better on the ball now that he’s in the team.


Ireland appear to be playing a 4-5-1 formation now.

Keogh is at right-back.

Meanwhile, Christie is replaced by Browne, who is making his Ireland debut, while Stephen Gleeson has replaced Daryl Horgan.


A McClean cross is only half-cleared and Stephen Gleeson fires home from the edge of the area.

It’s a terrific finish from the Birmingham player.


O’Dowda bursts into life all of a sudden, beating his man and running through on goal.

The Bristol City star’s finish, however, is straight at the goalkeeper.


Duffy makes a good block to prevent Hernandez adding to Ireland’s misery.

There was great work from Aquino in the build-up to that chance.


Good effort by McClean from distance.

His shot is collected by Cota at the second attempt.


McGoldrick gets on the end of McClean’s cross but can’t direct his effort on target.

Ireland have been more of an attacking threat in the second half.

Right, that’s all from me for now.

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

About the author:

Paul Fennessy