It’s ‘only’ the Faroes… but this was a big one. Under-pressure manager Giovanni Trapattoni may be facing into his final hours as Ireland boss while the Boys in Green attempt to keep our World Cup hopes alive.
Full-time: Faroe Islands 1 Ireland 4
18.34 – So here we go again… Ireland are 30 minutes from kick-off in Torshavn and Giovanni Trapattoni’s date with destiny. For Ireland, this is a must-win clash after last Friday night’s humiliation against Germany in Dublin. For Trap, a win may not even be enough.
Meanwhile, we’re hearing reports from the Faroes that the manager has cancelled his scheduled, routine press conference at Dublin Airport. Instead he’ll head home to Milan. Do you think he realises the writing is on the wall?
18.44 – Here’s the story on Trap ducking out of tomorrow evening’s press event. Funny one.
Do you reckon he should walk away? The lads at 25/7 Sports put this interesting infographic together today.
18.55 – Gilesy reckons it won’t be a high-scoring game but we’ll get the win while Liam Brady says he’s looking forward to checking out his namesake Robbie. Trap’s former assistant admits the regime has probably accepted change too late in the day however. The teams are on the artificial pitch — which hasn’t impressed co-commentator Ronnie Whelan — and we’re ready for the anthems.
18.58 – Right, let’s have a last check of the team before kick-off shall we?
Ireland: Westwood, Coleman, O’Shea, O’Dea, Wilson, Brady, Andrews, McCarthy, McGeady, Keane, Walters.
19.02 – Bright enough start from Ireland — who are in an entirely green strip tonight. Robbie Brady curled in an inviting corner and centre-half Darren O’Dea got on the end of it, but headed wide.
19.08 – Robbie Keane tried to play in his new strike partner Jon Walters for the first time tonight as the Stoke City forward tried to get in behind. Keane’s ball along the astroturf was cut out however and put out of danger, when Walters was begging for it to be played over the top. The visiting fans are signing that traditional Irish ballad, Just Can’t Get Enough for the first.
As type, Brady — on his senior competitive debut, let’s remember — Robbie Brady cuts in from the wing and tries to curl one into the far corner but it skids wide. Encouraging though.
19.15 – Ireland turn a Faroes corner into attack with a quick break as Walters runs the right channel and whips in for McGeady, but his marker heads behind. Brady plays the Spartak Moscow winger with a short corner and his cross is head agonisingly wide by Keith Andrews from close range. Should really have scored the opener there.
19.17 – One of our readers on Facebook writes: “I hope Ireland lose just to show how shite they are.”
19.20 – Daniel Udsen just gave Keiren Westwood the fright of his life. The Faroes’ No 9 lashed in what looked like a cross but ‘the wind caught it’ according to Ronnie Whelan and the Irish ‘keeper was forced to back-pedal and claw the ball out from under his bar. Seamus Coleman cleared the danger, but that was a scare.
19.22 – Another chance for Ireland. McGeady gets down the line and away from two defenders before whipping in a lovely cross which Jon Walters heads over.
19.25 – Pictures from Inpho’s Donall Farmer are just starting to drop in. This is the XI that took the field almost 30 minutes ago.
19.29 – Things are getting a little nervy here, Jeff. The referee just awarded a free out after the ball bounced about inside the six-yard box, moments after another effort was nudged wide via Jon Walters.
19.39 – If someone who knew nothing about soccer tuned in 10 minutes ago, they wouldn’t know which side was the so-called minnows. The Faroes earned a corner after Justinussen tried another long-range shot, which Keith Andrews deflected wide. John O’Shea then diverted the corner behind for another before Robbie Keane garryowened it clear. Moments later the hosts earned their fifth corner of the game but Ireland managed to hod on. That was a siege.
19.44 – We’re 42 minutes in and Ronnie Whelan reckons the Irish lads look happy not to have conceded. Reader Gary writes, meanwhile: “Have to say postman pat and that chap that works in the local tesco there putting up a good fight to an Irish team of alleged professionals”.
We’ve heard what each Faroes player works as so far from George Hamilton, in fairness.
19.46 – Half-time Well if nothing else, the half-time analysis should be a bit of craic. The whistle has gone for the interval in Torshavn and the teams are traipsing in for what may be Trap’s last team talk.
19.52 – Brady: It’s a very balanced game, we should be one up. The Faroes are slightly advantaged by the artificial pitch.
Dunphy: Robbie Keane is contributing nothing, I’m not sure if he’s fit. We need to bring Shane Long on.
Giles: This is a different Faroes side, they’re very good. They’re confident and they’re posing a threat all the time and I’ve been very impressed by them.
19.56 – How are ya gettin’ on, John?
The FAI chief in Torshavn earlier. Pic: INPHO/Donall Farmer
20.00 – What about elsewhere then? Well the Germans are already 1-0 up on Sweden thanks to Klose. He’s some man and that’s the result we want.
20.02 – And there’s some craic in Warsaw where the England game against Poland looks to be off. The pitch is under a carpet of rain as the Polish hosts failed to close the roof. The referee is currently rolling a ball around the surface and there’s no way he can let the match go ahead.
20.05 – GOAL! Faroes 0 Ireland 1, Marc Wilson, 46′ In the first minute of the second half, Marc Wilson scores his first goal for Ireland. The Stoke City defender cut in from the sideline and unleashed a powerful drive that nestled in the top corner — via a deflection, admittedly. And after a half-time interval in which Dunphy spoke of Shane Long in hushed tones… Simon Cox is on for Robbie Brady.
20.06 – Germany are gone two-up against Sweden and the German TV commentator says: “this team makes everybody look like Ireland,” according to the unbearably smug Rafael Honigstein.
20.11 – GOAL! Faroes 0 Ireland 2, Jon Walters 52 Robbie Keane peels away in celebration and tries to claim it but that was surely Walters’ goal. The Stoke striker headed a corner towards goal, his skipper threw a leg at it and it nestled in the bottom corner. Whoever scored, Ireland are now in a much better position obviously.
20.23 – Ireland have been down to 10 men for the past few minutes because Walters shorts were ripped or something and the fourth official was being picky. We were waiting for John Aldridge to storm in and start effing and blinding at a man in a white baseball cap.
20.26 – GOAL! Faroe Islands 1 Ireland 2, Arnbiorn Hansen 67 The kindergarten teacher — as we’re told — puts the cat among the pigeons again. A cross comes in from the right and John O’Shea beaten once again in the air. Ireland are under more pressure now.
20.28 – Good play from Ireland. McCarthy and McGeady combine on the edge of the box to open up the Faroes. When the ball is played back from the dead-ball line Cox failed to take advantage and then Andrews miscued his shot. Wasteful.
20.31 – GOAL! Faroe Islands 1 Ireland 3 Justinissen OG, 73 The two-goal cushion is restored thanks to a bad own goal. Jon Walters gets down the left with the ball at his feet and gets in a cross. The Faroes defender contrives to turn the ball into his own net however. Robbie Keane might claim that one too.
20.33 – John Delaney’s to-do list, spotted earlier today, according to Freshmilk:
20.36 – Shane Long is on for Robbie Keane — the West Brom man has 10 minutes to contribute.
20.43 – It’s half time in Berlin and Germany are 3-0 up on Sweden. So mathematically, we’re not as bad as the Swedes right?
20.46 – GOAL! Faroe Islands 1 Ireland 4 O’Dea 87′ Aiden McGeady floats in a corner and the Toronto Fc man nods in his first international goal while one of the Faroes lads hangs off him. James McCarthy gets Ronnie Whelan’s man-of-the-match. He’ll never get that piece of crystal home on the two-propeller plane from Torshavn.
20.48 – David Meyler trots on for the last few moments in place of Keith Andrews. We’re into the 92nd minute.
20.50 – So that’s all she wrote. Ireland get the job done with a professional performance in the second half. What did you make of it?
21.01 – It’s kicking off in Montrose. Get to a telly if you’re near one. There’ll be blood on the floor by the time Cold Case is on. Austria are 2-0 up on Kazakhstan by the way, the German are still three-up.
21.14 – How’d you rate that performance? Here’s our impressions.
21.38 – Right, let’s leave it here shall we? Hopefully Liam Brady is gone off for a soft drink and he’ll chill out a little before bed-time. Keep the comments coming and keep an eye on the site for more analysis and reaction tonight and tomorrow morning. You stay classy, Torshavn.