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Dublin: 11 °C Wednesday 23 October, 2019
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Liveblog

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Hello, and welcome to our liveblog on an important night for Martin O’Neill and the Ireland team.

No news on the teams yet, but interestingly, in tonight’s other game, it’s Georgia 0-0 Poalnd at half-time.

It could be a big boost for Ireland if the Poles fail to emulate their win in Tbilisi, and the hosts have gone close to scoring on a few occasions, though Poland have hit the woodwork as well.

Ireland and Scotland supporters in Glasgow 14/11/2014 Source: Donall Farmer/INPHO

(Ireland and Scotland supporters in Glasgow ahead of tonight’s game)

Unfortunately for Ireland, it’s now Poland 1-0 Georgia.

Kamil Glik has given the visitors the lead.

We’ve obviously had extensive build-up coverage of this game in recent days. Linked below are some articles you may have missed.

Krychowiak puts Poland 2-0 up, before Milik makes it 3-0.

15 minutes remain but it’s effectively all over now.

The Scotland team for tonight is as follows:

Marshall, Whittaker, R.Martin, Hanley, Robertson, Maloney, Mulgrew, Brown (c), S.Fletcher, Naismith, Anya.

James Morrison is injured, with Charlie Mulgrew coming into the team.

No Robbie Keane in the Irish team?! Huge call, what do we think of that.

The RTÉ panel agree that it was “the right call” to drop Robbie Keane.

“The players are confident and we’re all confident that we can win the game,” Martin O’Neill tells RTÉ.

He says Robbie Keane will be “chomping at the bit” to get on, and neglects to reveal what position Aiden McGeady will be starting in.

Managers

According to Sky, Martin O’Neill has a slightly better managerial record than Gordon Strachan statistically.

Eamon Dunphy on THAT decision: “It’s a big call and it’s the right call, it’s a brave call.”

More reaction here.

We’re underway…

2Mins

Good positive start from Ireland.

Walters has just tested Marshall with a pot shot, while moments before, James McClean blasted a free-kick straight into the wall.

3Mins

Now Scotland get a chance, as Steven Fletcher heads over from a well-delivered corner.

It’s being played at a very high tempo, as you’d expect.

7Mins

Aiden McGeady is getting booed every time he touches it, unsurprisingly.

Meanwhile, Seamus Coleman has started well, showing he has the pace to match Scotland’s dangerous winger Ikechi Anya.

9Mins

The ball drops on the edge of the box to Gibson, but his shot isn’t powerful enough to trouble Marshall.

Shortly thereafter, Hanley is lucky to escape with only a yellow after taking down Long, who was through on goal (though the ball was well ahead of him).

13Mins

Long’s had a good start to this game.

He’s clearly working hard off the ball, and is holding it up well too.

20Mins

John O’Shea isn’t happy with Steven Naismith amid suggestions that he threw an elbow.

Shortly thereafter, he heads the Everton striker’s cross away for a corner.

21Mins

The Irish fans are impressively vocal, given that they are few and far between if reports are to be believed.

They’re currently loudly chanting McGeady’s name.

25Mins

McClean does well to block a cross, but then frustratingly runs it out of play.

Scotland have had the better possession and territory so far, though Ireland continue to look a threat on the counter-attack.

28Mins

Jeff Hendrick has just been booked for a poor high tackle on Whittaker.

At the moment, a red card looks almost inevitable at some point.

33Mins

Good cross by Maloney and Mulgrew heads just wide.

Scotland are well in the ascendancy now.

40Mins

Maloney does well to get a cross in, but the onrushing Fletcher can’t connect.

Scotland are getting closer as Ireland continue to toil.

42Mins

A long ball comes to Long, but the striker’s cross goes straight out of play.

Ireland, it’s fair to say, has been fairly mediocre in the final third so far.

HALF-TIME: SCOTLAND 0-0 IRELAND

So 0-0 at half-time, but Scotland’s dominance increased as the half wore on.

One or two decent chances went begging for the hosts, while Martin O’Neill’s men have offered little in the final third, as hard as Long and Walters have worked.

Ireland have defended well under intense pressure, but they’ll certainly be happy to get a point from this game based on how the first half has panned out.

45Mins

The second half is underway…

46Mins

Good, patient build-up play by Ireland at the start of the half.

McGeady looks like he could be operating more centrally now, with Walters on the wing.

49Mins

Robertson overhits a pass to Naismith and the ball goes harmlessly out of play, causing more frustration for Scotland.

The Irish side continue to look well organised at the back, while looking quite ineffectual up front.

However, as I type, McGeady plays in a great cross and Walters’ header is deflected over.

52Mins

Chance for Ireland! Walters heads on from a corner but Long’s header is too weak to trouble Marshall.

Meanwhile, Scotland make a change, with Chris Martin (the Derby player, not the Coldplay singer) replacing Fletcher.

58Mins

Another chance! The ball is only half cleared and McGeady’s volley from just inside the box is parried wide by Marshall.

The subsequent corner by McClean is straight into the goalkeeper’s arms. Ireland’s set pieces have been very disappointing this evening.

60Mins

Ireland well on top now.

Marshall does well to collect a McGeady cross under pressure from the Ireland attackers.

63Mins

Decent spell of possession for Scotland ends when Naismith finds Martin with a cross and the Derby man’s cross goes just wide of the post.

With just under half an hour to go, this game really could go either way.

67Mins

Anya causes problems for Coleman again before overhitting his cross.

Ireland’s first substitutions are made — Long and Gibson are replaced by Quinn and Brady.

69Mins

Brady immediately gets in behind the Scottish defence, but it’s headed clear for a corner.

Still no sign of Robbie Keane coming on, as Ireland look to be content enough with a point.

The corner is easily cleared away, before Roy Keane argues with the referee on the sideline.

73Mins

GOAL FOR SCOTLAND!

74Mins

Great goal from a Scotland perspective but poor by Ireland.

Maloney plays a one-two from a corner, before nutmegging Hendrick and curling the ball beautifully into the net.

77Mins

Robbie Keane is on for Ireland.

Jeff Hendrick, who hasn’t had the best of nights, has gone off.

79Mins

Here’s a look at that Maloney goal.
https://vine.co/v/O5bJtD75g6L

82Mins

Good play from Keogh, who collects a loose ball an wins a free kick in a dangerous area.

Brady’s subsequent free kick is headed away for a corner.

83Mins

Keogh collides with Marshall as he collects Brady’s corner.

The Scottish players are not happy but there wasn’t much in that.

85Mins

Ireland produce pass after pass but McGeady, in particular, dwells on the ball, and fails to get a shot away.

Eventually the opportunity dissipates and Scotland clear it.

87Mins

Coleman is very lucky to get away with a second yellow.

He commits a lunge on his opponent, but the referee plays advantage, and the Everton man gets away with it.

90Mins

Quinn commits another bad challenge in this fiery game and gets booked.

There’ll be four minutes of stoppage time.

92Mins

Ireland have a free in a good area…

93Mins

Drama as a Scottish player hits his own crossbar from a dangerous free kick in before it’s cleared…

94Mins

FULL-TIME IRELAND 0-1 SCOTLAND

So that’s that, and it’s a fairly disappointing night for Martin O’Neill and Ireland.

Scotland’s 1-0 victory was ultimately deserved, as the hosts looked sharper and passed the ball better for the most part.

Ireland came close to scoring at the end, but for the most part, chances were few and far between, as the visitors struggled to create chances and to control the play.

Maloney’s moment of genius won it, but it was hardly fitting in a game that was short on quality otherwise.

Right, that’s all from me.

Thanks for reading and commenting, and commiserations to all the Irish fans out there.

About the author:

Paul Fennessy

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