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Ireland 3-0 Scotland

Hello, and welcome to this afternoon’s liveblog.

It’s exactly three years and one day since Ireland’s last competitive home win — a 2-0 defeat of Gibraltar — so Stephen Kenny and his team will be especially eager to give the fans something to cheer today.

Ireland come into this match on the back of successive defeats to Armenia and Ukraine, and if they don’t win today, talk of potential relegation from League B will intensify.

Scotland recently endured the disappointment of missing out on the World Cup, but are in a better place than Ireland right now if their midweek 2-0 victory of Armenia is anything to go by.

Steve Clarke’s side will consequently go into this match as slight favourites, but Ireland have responded to setbacks well before during Kenny’s reign and will be hoping to do so again today.

The match kick-off time is 5pm.

Confirmation of the Irish team below — five changes including a first start for Michael Obafemi.

The Scotland team, meanwhile, sees two changes with Grant Hanley and Scott McTominay coming in for Stuart Armstrong and John Souttar. 

stephen-kenny-and-chiedozie-ogbene Ireland manager Stephen Kenny and Chiedozie Ogbene on the pitch ahead of the game. Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

Who do you think will win?

Poll Results:

Scotland (376)
Ireland (358)
Draw (115)

Some Ireland-related pre-match reading for you…

Elsewhere in the group, it’s finished Ukraine 3-0 Armenia.

That leaves the Ukrainians top of the group on six points, though Scotland could join them there with a win today.

Meanwhile, three points for Ireland would see them go level with Armenia.

We’re underway…

Already Scott McTominay is down receiving treatment after a challenge from Jason Knight, though the Man United man should be okay to continue.

Not much else has happened yet.

Browne’s cross just misses the head of Parrott but still has to be parried away by Gordon.

Decent start from Ireland.

Not too much of note has happened in the last few minutes.

Scotland have seen more of the ball but haven’t done much with it.

Obafemi steals possession from Hanley.

He then plays it to Knight who lips it to the onrushing McClean but the Derry native’s cross from a promising position is wasteful.

Down the other end, Irish defenders have to make a few last-ditch blocks as Scotland break with menace.

As I type, Duffy gives it away when trying to play it out from the back.

The subsequent shot from McGinn is tame, however, and Kelleher saves it with relative ease.

That’s the start the hosts were looking for and it’s a fairly familiar type of Irish goal.

McClean’s corner finds Duffy, who heads across goal for Browne to help over the line from close range.

Some people may have been surprised to see the Preston star slot in at right wing-back, but Kenny’s selection has paid off in that instance.

Obafemi picks out Parrott with a superb lofted through pass and the onrushing Tottenham man heads home.

All of a sudden, things appear to be clicking for Stephen Kenny’s side.

Moments before the Ireland goal, McGinn side-footed just wide from the edge of the area.

It came from more sloppy play as Ireland conceded possession trying to play out from the back, so it hasn’t been all plain sailing for the hosts.

An incredible stat…

More positive play from Ireland.

Knight bursts towards the area before his shot is deflected wide.

McClean finds Duffy again from the ensuing corner, but the defender’s header is parried out of play by Gordon.

Another nervy moment for the Scots as Gordon has to tip McClean’s corner onto the crossbar.

It wouldn’t have counted, however, as the ref blows up for an infringement.

After a spell of Scottish pressure, Robertson finds himself in a good position but badly overhits his cross.

It hasn’t been as easy as the scoreline suggests for Ireland, but the visitors have been pretty wasteful when finding themselves in attacking areas.

A Scottish corner from McTominay is cleared.

Ireland break on the counter, before Knight is cynically taken down by Christie, who gets booked as a result.

From the ensuing set-piece, Collins appears to be bundled over by Ralston as he attempts to head the ball, but the referee ignores Irish protests.

Well, that was a far more encouraging first half from an Irish perspective than many people were expecting.

The Aviva crowd have been treated to what feels like a feast of goals given the well-documented attacking issues that have preceded this fixture.

It’s interesting that four out of the five players that Kenny has brought into the side today were instrumental in the goals.

For the first one, McClean’s corner was ultimately covered by Browne. And for the second, Obafemi and Parrott combined brilliantly.

Yet the 2-0 scoreline possibly flatters Ireland slightly.

The Scots have gone close on a few occasions, often from Ireland nearly causing their own downfall by conceding possession while playing out from the back.

It will be an interesting second 45 — Ireland will be hoping to press home their advantage and secure their first-ever Nations League win, while Scotland given the position they find themselves in would certainly settle for a draw at this stage.

The Boys in Green will go level in the table with Steve Clarke’s side should they win, albeit having played a game extra.

troy-parrott-celebrates-with-his-teammates-after-scoring-his-sides-2nd-goal-of-the-game Ireland's Troy Parrott celebrates with his teammates after scoring his side’s second goal of the game. Source: Tom Maher/INPHO

The second half is underway.

One change for Scotland at the break, with Billy Gilmour on in place of Jack Hendry.

Scotland have started the half on the front foot.

Andy Robertson finds himself in a decent position wide left but his cross is cleared for a corner.

Ireland really are in dreamland now.

Obafemi receives the ball from Parrott on the edge of the area and fires a stunning strike past Gordon for his first senior international goal.

The Swansea star has certainly staked a claim for a more sustained run in the team with his performance today.

Slight worry for Ireland now as Obafemi is receiving treatment.

He didn’t seem him take a knock so he may just have pulled up.

Kenny decides to take no risk and replaces him with Scott Hogan.

More changes for Scotland

Brown, Armstrong and Stewart replace Adams, McGinn and Christie.

As I type, Duffy gives it away and then cynically trips Robertson, picking up a booking as a result.

McClean crosses for Hogan whose header is just about cleared off the line by Hanley.

The striker runs away to celebrate thinking he’s scored but it’s not given even after a VAR check.

This game is becoming very stretched now with Scotland throwing bodies forward.

As I type, Collins plays an excellent through ball for Parrott, but the Tottenham youngster’s subsequent cross is too close to Gordon.

Another change for Ireland.

Hourihane replaces Jason Knight.

Scotland make another change.

John Souttar comes in for Scott McKenna.

The game has gone a bit flat since the raft of substitutions.

The Scots look like a beaten team now.

Robertson’s cross finds Stewart. However, Egan does well to get a last-ditch block in.

Ireland now are making a double change — Hendrick and Robinson come on in place of Parrott and Molumby, both of whom have impressed today and must be in strong contention to retain their places against Ukraine.

michael-obafemi-celebrates-scoring-his-sides-third-goal-with-jayson-molumby Ireland’s Michael Obafemi celebrates scoring his side’s third goal of the game with Jayson Molumby. Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

Robinson has been booked for a late challenge on Stuart Armstrong.

The Scottish player appears to be in some pain and is receiving treatment on the sideline.

Not much happening, as the game peters out.

There will be four minutes of stoppage time.

Stewart sends a header wide after a misplaced pass from Hendrick in the build-up.

The home crowd are in fine voice with a loud rendition of ‘come on you Boys in Green’ being sung.

Obafemi gets a deserved official man-of-the-match award.

So that’s that.

Out of nowhere, Ireland have produced a performance they can be proud of.

The three points has put an entirely different outlook on this international window, as the Boys in Green end a three-year wait for a competitive home win.

Obafemi, Collins, Parrott and McClean were all particularly impressive as things finally seemed to click in an attacking sense for Kenny’s side.

Scotland will feel they played better than the 3-0 score suggests, and missed a couple of decent chances to make it a closer game amid a few nervy Irish defensive moments, but there is no doubt the hosts deserved the three points.

However, it’s vital now that they follow it up with another positive performance in Poland on Tuesday against a Ukraine team that is likely to be stronger than the one they met in Dublin and will now surely be considered favourites to top the group.

michael-obafemi-sees-his-shot-go-past-craig-gordon-to-give-his-side-a-3-0-lead Ireland's Michael Obafemi sees his shot go past Scotland goalkeeper Craig Gordon to give his side a 3-0 lead. Source: Tom Maher/INPHO

Right, that’s all from me for now.

Thanks for reading and following.

You can read our match report here and we’ll have more reaction to follow on the site shortly.

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Paul Fennessy


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