IRELAND PLAY THEIR last competitive game until September as minnows the Faroe Islands visit Dublin.
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Ireland 3-0 Faroe Islands
Good evening and welcome along. It’s another cracking evening in the capital (I’m beginning to get used to this) and we’re 45 minutes away from the World Cup qualifier between Ireland and the Faroe Islands.
It made me chuckle this week when someone referred to the game as ‘The Brian Kerr Derby’. The Dubliner managed the minnows for a two-year period after his stint in charge of Ireland and is siding with the underdogs tonight.
If they got a result, if they get a draw – which is very unlikely – in the match, I’d be happy for them even if it damaged Irish prospects,” he said on Today FM’s Savage Sunday.
19.05 – The Faroes Islands arrive in town with no chance of qualification and hoping to cause an upset by claiming an unlikely draw. Their record during the current campaign reads as follows:
- Played – 4
- Won – 0
- Drew – 0
- Lost – 4
- Goals for – 2
- Goals conceded – 15
One of their two goals came against Ireland in Torshavn back in October when the visitors won 4-1 – with substitute Anbrion Hansen adding a consolation.
Here are the goals, including Marc Wilson’s first goal for Ireland:
YouTube credit: MyP4ddy
19.22 – The teams are currently out warming up. Here are the two line-ups:
Ireland: Forde, Coleman, Wilson, O’Shea St Ledger, Whelan, McGeady, Hoolahan, Walters, Keane (c), Cox.
Faroe Islands: Nielsen, Jonsson, Justinusen, Frederiksberg, Baldvinson, Gregersen, Vandsdal, Samuelsen (c), Olsen, Holst, Klettskaro.
The big news is Wes Hoolahan’s inclusion in the midfield. The 31-year-old makes his competitive senior debut and will be looking to pull the strings in the middle of the park and link up with the frontmen.
Ireland fans Eddie Delaney and Shane Doherty before the game. Credit: INPHO/James Crombie
19.26 – It’s a big night for Ireland’s captain and record goalscorer Robbie Keane. The LA Galaxy striker earns his 126th senior cap this evening, meaning he breaks Shay Given’s previous record. His four-year-old son Robert is one of the mascots while the fans will mark his achievement in the 10th minute.
19.35 – Hanging in the West Stand:
Credit: RTE Player
19.43 – Right, let’s do this. Team are out, anthems done and dusted, so we’re about to get underway.
19.49 – Half chance for Ireland early on. Jon Walters wins a corner and when Aiden McGeady skips by his man, space opens up. The winger scuffs the shot, however, and it rolls harmlessly wide.
19.51 – GOAL! Ireland 1-0 Faroe Islands (Robbie Keane)
Four minutes played and Ireland are ahead. Hoolahan finds McGeady out wide, and his cross is diverted home by Keane for his 57th in a green jersey.
Just the started home fans wanted.
19.58 – A section of fans sing out ‘Keano, Keano’ in the 10th minute as the striker puts Walters through in the Faroes box. Full-back Jonhard Frederiksberg comes across to make an excellent challenge just as the Stoke man is about to pull the trigger.
20.05 – Ireland are in complete control here at the moment. McGeady has the beating of his man on the left while Whelan and Hoolahan aren’t having any trouble in the middle. Keane has looked to drop deep to bring others into play and you would expect more goals sooner rather than later.
20.11 – Hoolahan flicks a pass to McGeady then receives it back. His cross goes all the way out to the opposite side but Ireland retain possession. When the ball is sent back in, Keane attempts a bicycle kick but doesn’t make contact.
Ireland have a free-kick 30 yards out from goal now. It’s smartly taken to Walters, who puts Keane through brilliantly but Gunnar Nielsen gets a hand to it.
20.12 – A header back to Nielsen is short and Walters gets a toe to the ball. The Faroes keeper gets the luck of the bounce, however, and finds the ball in his hands.
20.16 – Elsewhere in Group C, Austria have taken the lead against Sweden in Vienna. A David Alaba penalty means they hold a 1-0 advantage with 29 minutes on the clock. Ireland will hope that one ends a draw.
20.18 – Make that 2-0 Austria – Marc Janko has doubled their lead.
20.21 – Rocket of a strike by Robbie Keane. Who did that stay out? McGeady gets further joy, his cross is headed away by Gregersen but only as far as Keane and Nielsen palms over superbly.
20.25 – Aiden McGeady is Ireland’s best outlet right now and Frederiksberg can’t get near him.
20.28 – Nielsen holds a well-hit effort from McGeady and goes long. It leads to Holst having the Faroes’ first attempt on goal but it’s wide of the mark.
20.34 – Half-time: Ireland 1-0 Faroe Islands
20.46 – The second half is off. No changes from what I can see.
20.51 – Ireland break down the right with Coleman, who finds Walters. The ball is played to the opposite side where Keane and McGeady both cross. Hoolahan gets onto the second attempt but heads over.
Whelan then storms forward but his through-ball is over-hit. Second later, Walters gets in with a ball over the top, He checks and is hassled out of possession.
20.55 – Vandsdel shoots over for the Faroes but the linesman has given offside anyway.
20.57 – GOAL! Ireland 2-0 Faroe Island (Robbie Keane)
Similar type of goal to the first – Hoolahan with a good ball to Coleman, he puts the ball across the box and Keane is again on hand to prod past Nielsen.
21.02 – Almost a third. Hoolahan sets up the attack with a cross-field ball then nearly tees up Sean St Ledger of all people but the defender’s touch is a bad one.
21.06 – The first substitution of the night and it’s for the away team. Joan Simun Edmundsson is on for Pall Klettskaro.
Ireland have a corner to defend and Forde catches confidently. That’s probably his first piece of genuine action… 64 minutes in.
21.08 – Smashing pass from distance by McGeady to Cox. He tries to cut the ball back but it’s put out behind the end line.
21.12 – Good work from Hoolahan and Coleman in the last few minutes. Cox swings in a free-kick for McGeady who makes contact but referee Mattias Gestranius signals a free out.
Here comes Conor Sammon.
21.13 – Hoolahan booked for a pull on Holst and that substitution will be made. It’s Sammon for Walters.
21.17 – Aiden McGeady, who has had an excellent game, will be replaced by James McClean with 14 minutes to play.
21.18 – Suni Olsen with a Faroes free-kick and Gregersen makes great contact with the header but it falls onto the top of the net.
21.22 – GOAL! Ireland 3-0 Faroes Islands (Robbie Keane)
And that’s the hat-trick! The two subsitutes McClean and Sammon link up and the latter slips the ball in for Keane to slot in from a couple of yards out.
21.24 – Keane has the chance to play in a team-mate but he can’t pull the ball back. Simon Cox then fires over.
Marc Wilson has gone off for Stephen Kelly in the past few minutes.
21.34 – Full-time: Ireland 3-0 Faroe Islands
21.36 – It wasn’t spectacular but a 3-0 win was well-deserved and the three points are in the bag. A special night for Robbie Keane and Wes Hoolahan has given Trap something to think about with an excellent performance in midfield.
In Vienna, it’s currently Austria 2-1 Sweden with injury time to play.
That’s all from me. Check back in for post-match reaction.