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Dublin: 9 °C Sunday 24 May, 2020

International minute-by-minute: Ireland 3-0 Wales

Ireland ran out 3-0 winners with goals from Darron Gibson, Damien Duff and Keith Fahey. We had all of the action from tonight’s Carling Nations Cup opener in our minute-by-minute coverage here.

Darron Gibson unleashes hell to wake us all up. It really was a cracker.
Darron Gibson unleashes hell to wake us all up. It really was a cracker.
Image: ©INPHO/Morgan Treacy

Parting Shot That’s it from me. Thanks to everybody who e-mailed, tweeted, texted and commented. We’ll have more reaction to the game later on this evening if you haven’t already had your fill. Adrian will be back with all the goals from tomorrow night’s Nations Cup gem between Northern Ireland and Scotland as well as the rest of the international fixtures.

In the meantime, I’m off to watch some clips on the Montreal Screwjob, a genuine moment of betrayal which I should have included in last week’s Magnificent Seven. Thanks for the reminder, Charlie.

90+4 min: Full Time. Ireland 3-0 Wales Sky are calling it “a wonderful night for the Irish”. I wouldn’t quite go that far, but it was a decent enough second-half performance after the most insipid opening 45 I’ve had to sit through since the last time I watched Liverpool.

The goals were good when they came, three lads got their first caps, and nobody got injured. All in all, I think Trap will probably be happy enough

90+2 min: Long has a chance to really rub salt in the wound but his shot skews off the edge of his boot and spirals away harmlessly.

90+1 min: Clark takes a wander forward to see if there’s anything going on up that end of the pitch. There isn’t. He’s done well tonight, but there has been very little asked of him really.

90 min: Four minutes of added time. As this one peters out, here’s Gibson’s cracker. Get it while it’s still hot.

85 min: Seán O’Cheafarcaigh has reminded me that after the events of the Premiership last weekend, I probably shouldn’t pronounce games over at 3-0. I think I might be safe enough here. Darren O’Dea is on to replace an as yet undetermined member of the Irish team.

82 min: GOAL! Ireland 3-0 Wales He lined it up pretty well I think you’d have to say. Fahey curls it with his right peg around the wall and into the bottom left-hand corner. Game over.

81 min: Free-kick on the edge of the box. Fahey is lining it up …

80 min: Another one for you debut watchers. Stoke’s Marc Wilson is on for Darron Gibson for the last ten.

78 min: It’s all gone a little bit flat out there now. Dan Kerins wants to know why Ireland are playing in white tonight. Anybody know? It’s not as if the green clashes with Wales red strip. My money is on the FAI trying to boost the coffers with increased sales of the white shirt. What do you reckon?

75 min: Green on for Whelan. I’ll behave myself, I promise.

73 min: Adam Lowe, who clearly overestimates my philanthropy, e-mails in to ask me to “write something profound and pretend it came in on an e-mail from me”. Eh, no. Cheers for the e-mail though!

70 min: Duff off, Keogh on for Ireland. Unless somebody does something special, Duff is my Man of the Match on the basis of those 70 minutes.

66 min: GOAL! Ireland 2-0 Wales For some reason, Chris Gunther decides not to put the ball into the stand when under pressure. Jonathan Walters knicks it and squares to Damien Duff who rams it home from ten yards out. Well deserved by Duffer, his first international goal in five years apparently.

65 min: Decent strike by Church takes a nick off Sean St Ledger before it spins wide. No corner though. Them’s the breaks, Churchy.

64 min: In all my excitement, I forgot to mention that Joe Ledley is on for Wales. Vaughan makes way.

62 min: Take a bow, Mark Hobbs. Take. A. Bow. (see 7 min)

59 min: GOAL! Ireland 1-0 Wales To be fair, that was nearly worth waiting for. Glenn Whelan feeds Darron Gibson about 20 yards out and he unleashes a sweet, sweet strike which bends inside Hennessey’s left post. As first international goals go, that was very, very nice.

58 min: Debutant watch: Coleman is off, replaced by Birmingham City’s Keith Fahey.

57 min: It’s getting a bit more lively now. Another chance for Ireland, but the angle is tight for Walters from ten yards out and Hennessey deals comfortably.

55 min: A long ball from Glenn Whelan goes through Danny Collins’ legs and finds Duff one-on-one in the Welsh box. He’s slipping though and get get any real direction on the ball which goes straight at Hennessey.

53 min: First yellow card of the night goes to Darron Gibson for unceremoniously dumping King on his backside.

51 min: Two of the 17 spectators are on the pitch. The stewards seem rather unconcerned, adopting the tried-and-trusted parenting tactic of letting them run around as much as they want until they tire themselves out and fall over. Which the pair duly do.

49 min: A CHANCE. FINALLY A CHANCE. Oh dear. Whelan breaks over the half-way line and slots it to Duff. The winger carries it into the box before playing it to Shane Long who is in loads of space. The Reading striker opts for power over placement however and skies it from eight yards.

48 min: A nice bit of movement by Duff creates some space for Walters but his strike from 18 yards out is straight at Hennessey. Could’ve been a decent chance.

47 min: Actually, the most exciting thing to come out of the half-time analysis was the announcement that both sides will be able to make six substitutions each tonight. Presumably so that the clubs don’t start withdrawing all of their players before the next round of matches.

46 min: We’re back underway. Yipee.

Substitutions: Long on for Doyle. Chris Gunther replaces Neal Eardley for Wales.

Don’t ask me how they’ve managed this, but the powerful people at Sky have managed to get their hands on the Carling Nations Cup. It looks like a glorified vase.

John Ley (@statmanjohn) is clearly in a charitable mood over on the Twitter. “Wales-Ireland dull but Gary Speed will be pleased mistakes at a minimum and a clean sheet so far”. Well, my mam always told me that if you can’t say anything nice, say nothing at all …

Just in case you’re too lazy to scroll all the way to the bottom, Declan Smyth has been in touch to say “It’s so bad that I switched over to TV3 for a minute and forgot to switch back after the ad break.” He’s not wrong you know. If you are that way inclined however, you could probably do worse than having a mooch over here for some live tweets.

Half-time: And with that, we’re done. Thankfully. Back in a few. Make sure you keep e-mailing and tweeting. Alternatively, follow the traditional route and leave us a comment below.

45+1 min: The industrious Doyle gets into a promising position, but his attempt to square it is knocked behind by Collins. The resulting corner comes to nothing.

45 min: Church hits one from 20 yards out which takes a bit of a kick just in front of Given. The Irish keeper is clearly a bit cold as he spills it to the side, but luckily for him the sodden turf kills it stone dead.

43 min: Ruairi Sparks has been in touch via email to say “International Silverware?! I heard Trap was due for a hip replacement but I didnt think the FAI would be so craven to put it on the line in this game”. Anyone who doesn’t get the joke needs to head back to 19:33 for some much-needed background info. The rest of you should follow Ruairi’s lead though and send in an e-mail.

41 min: St Ledger is in the running for most impressive bit of skill of the night, heading the bobbling ball clear despite the fact that he is sprawled on the deck. Judging by the size of the cheer he receives, the Aviva crowd are clearly getting restless.

39 min: Turns out there were two balls on the pitch while that last bit of action happened but nobody noticed. Might I be the first to say that the reputation of the once-prestigious Carling Nations Cup is now tarnished beyond repair.

38 min: Coleman wins a free-kick out by the corner flag after a sneaky little kick by Rickets. The free is played short to Coleman who chips it to his fellow debutant, Ciaran Clark, who heads just wide. Best chance so far.

37 min: Doyle, who is one of the few lively players out there tonight, swings one in from the left, but Seamus Coleman’s header is blocked and cleared pretty easily.

34 min: First decent chance of the night. Doyle cuts in from the left, beating Eardley and James Collins before striking straight at Hennessy from the edge of the box.

33 min: Simon Church is outrun by Darron Gibson as he tries to latch on to a long ball down the line. Yup, you read that correctly.

31 min: Earnshaw puts that one higher and wider than any of the dismal dead-ball efforts we’ve seen so far tonight.

30 min: Ciaran Clarke concedes a free about 20 yards out with a mistimed tackle on Rob Earnshaw. Dead centre.

29 min: Walters crumbles under a tackle from James Collins in a dangerous position out on the right. Gibson swings in a decent ball to the far post, inviting a team-mate on to it, but Ricketts gets his head to it to clear before any of the Irish players can.

26 min: Coleman may have been lucky not to give away a peno there. Little bit of a tug on the shirt of a Welsh player (not sure who, sorry) as he cut inside him. The ref was perfectly positioned though and gave nothing, so I agree with him.

25 min: I wasn’t joking about the empty seats by the way (via @stingray353)

22 min: Kev Coleman has been in touch to ask how Wales managed to get permission to play both Bryan Robson and Nwankwo Kanu. Must be something to do with the “grandparent rule”. Or because it’s just a friendly.

20 min: The Irish back four aren’t massively impressive in dealing with balls into the box from Robson-Kanu. But that’s ok, because there aren’t really any red jerseys in there anyway.

17 min: John O’Shea lifts the splendidly-monikered Robson-Kanu high into the Dublin sky but gets away without a caution. There are no yellow cards in friendlies anyway, are there?

15 min: Wales coming into this a little bit now, knocking the ball around, trying to poke a few holes in the Irish defence. All comes to nothing though.

13 min: Eoin Ó Súilleabháin is the latest bringer of witticisms, encouraging me to just set the MBM up to repeat 0-0 at 60 second intervals for the next hour and a half. Right so, I’m off home lads. See you tomorrow.

12 min: I think that’s the first time Wales have done anything of attacking note. Given gathers the cross easily with his first touch.

9 min: High and wide by Glenn Whelan from the free. Bit of a waste that.

8 min: Another free in a decent position for Ireland – about 25 yards out on the left hand-side. It’s cleared by Wales, but when the ball breaks, Coleman stoops to head and wins the free-kick because the Welsh foot is high. We’ll do it again …

7 min: Mark Hobbs has been in touch with a very wise prediction of what lies in store. “Not sure what the odds are, but I will be backing Gibson to shoot any time he comes within 45yards of the Welsh goal.”

6 min: Duff sticks a looping cross in from the right which drifts over Wayne Hennessy’s head and clips the post before bobbing off to safety. He did not mean that.

5 min: Debutant watch: Coleman has started brightly, getting up and down the line.

3 min: A brutal decision from the lino to get the night off on the right foot. A lovely chipped through ball sets Duff free, but he’s pulled back for offside. Which he wasn’t. By about a yard.

1 min: Irish free-kick in a decent position out on the right. Duffer’s free-kick is half-cleared by James Collins and Glenn Whelan skies the rebound high and wide from the edge of the box.

O min: We’re off. Great.

19.45 There are not 30,000 people in the Aviva tonight. Not sure how many, but definitely far less than expected.

19.42 Without disrespecting the national anthems, has anybody got any bets on tonight’s action? Not gonna lie to you, that 0-0 at 7/1 is looking pretty tasty.

19.40 Sky manage to get the name of the Lord Mayor of Dublin, Gerry Breen, right on this occasion. When Ireland took on Andorra here a few months back, former Ireland centre-half Gary Breen was on mayoral duties. Apparently.

19.38 The teams are in the tunnel. The most exciting fixture since … emm … the last time Ireland took on Wales is only minutes away.

19.35 New Welsh gaffer Gary Speed has rather selflessly claimed that tonight is about the players rather than him. What a true gent.

19.33 Just in case anyone was wondering, the Sky Sports hype machine applies to meaningless international friendlies as well. Apparently, both teams are playing tonight “in search of that most elusive of things – international silverware”. The mind boggles.

19.30 The stadium is filling up slowly. Very slowly. Somewhere out there, a football exec is twitching nervously.

19.29 Sandwich update: good, but nothing special. 7/10

19:18 Weather update: it’s drizzling lightly in Dublin at present, as attested to by my slightly damp curls following a trip to the shop for my dinner (which is a ham roll, just in case you’re interested)

Team Update Gibson gets the nod over Green in central midfield. My “professional reputation” breathes a sigh of relief.

Just so I don’t get the feeling that I’m talking to myself here this evening, your contributions would be most welcome. Send in an e-mail or if you’re more of a Twitterer, come have a chat with @thescore_ie. We’ll be tracking the #nationscup hashtag as well for your pearls of wisdom. Say something witty or insightful and prepare to have minor celebrity status bestowed upon you …

Teamsheets The team-sheets are almost in. We’re still trying to figure out who’ll be partnering Glenn Whelan in the middle of the park – at this stage, one suspects that Trap might not even know himself – and we’ll bring you the news as soon as we get it.

Ireland: Given, O’Shea, St Ledger, Dunne, Clark, Coleman, Whelan, Gibson, Duff, Walters, Doyle.

Wales: Hennessey, Eardley, James Collins, Danny Collins, Ricketts, Vaughan, Crofts, King, Church, Earnshaw, Robson-Kanu

Opening Salvo So here we are at the dawn of a brand new adventure as TheScore gingerly dips its baby toe into the unchartered waters of minute-by-minute coverage of a sporting event. If the old maxim about your first time being your best is true, then you guys are in for a treat this evening.

Which is just as well, to be honest, because we can’t really make any promises about the standard of footballing fare which will be on show at the Aviva tonight. Yes, what could have been just another meaningless February friendly has been all dolled up as the exciting premiere of the Carling Nations Cup …

Who are we kidding? If Shay Given says it’s a friendly, and players are dropping out of the squad like it’s a friendly, then it’s a friendly. Silk purses and sow’s ears etc etc.

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About the author:

Niall Kelly

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