Ze Germans are in town and we’re going minute-by-minute for Ireland’s second game of the World Cup 2014 qualifying campaign.
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Ireland 1-6 Germany
19.33 – Hit by a string of injuries, Giovanni Trapattoni announced his team yesterday. His German counterpart Joachim Loew has opted to keep his cards close to his chest but his starting XI has been handed to us.
Ireland: Westwood, Coleman, O’Shea (c), O’Dea, Ward, McCarthy, McGeady, Andrews, Fahey, Cox, Walters. Subs: Forde, McShane, Long, Meyler, Kelly, Wilson, Clark, Keogh, Brady, Clifford, Randolph.
Germany: Neuer, Schmelzer, Khedira, Schweinsteiger (c), Ozil, Muller, Badstuber, Mertesacker, Boateng, Reus, Klose. Subs: Zieler, Ter-Stegen, Howedes, Westermann, Schurrle, Podolski, Kroos.
19.40 – We’re not being given much of a chance by most quarters, but a look at Ireland’s recent record against Germany might give you a hint of optimism.
In the past five meetings, it reads: one win, three draws and one defeat.
Players lined up on the pitch now so we’re not far from getting underway.
19.47 – Anthems done and dusted, let’s get going. Ireland will pack the midfield and attempt to stop the likes of Ozil, Muller, Reus and Schweinsteiger playing. Jon Walters, who gets the nod ahead of Shane Long, is tasked with leading the line on his own.
20.04 – Germany have gone with Boateng, Mertesacker, Badstuber and Schmelzer, Reus and Muller on the flanks (Reus was initially right but they’ve since swapped), Khedira and Schweinsteiger controlling the middle of the park, and Ozil backing up Klose in attack.
Reus, who has changed wings again, crosses for Muller but the Bayern Munich man heads well over.
20.09 – It’s early days but Walters is looking a worthy outlet for the home side. His job is to put the opposing backline under pressure with his physicality… and he’s doing exactly that. Former Man City defender Jerome Boateng gets a pass back to his keeper but only just.
Germany have a short spell of controlled possession with Reus, Ozil and Klose involved but are unable to muster up a chance. They are beginning to show their class, however.
20.18 – Seamus Coleman, starting his first competitve senior game tonight, makes a darting run through the middle of the park before picking out Walters, who in turn controls the ball excellently. He finds Cox in a more central role but the Nottingham Forest man allows play to break down.
20.48 – After a decent start, Ireland fall asleep for a 10-minute spell and are severely punished. According to RTE, the visitors had a whopping 98% of the possession between the first and second goal. If they continue in this manner, it could well finish four or five nil. Trap needs to change it but whether he does is another question.
20.59 – A great passage of play and Ireland aren’t far away from getting their first of the night. Cox is put in on the left and drills the ball to the front post but Andrews has not been on the same wavelength. From the next passage of play, Walters heads at Neuer.
The home fans then give their biggest cheer of the first 51 minutes as Shane Long is introduced in place of Keith Fahey. The Tipperay native lines up alonside Walters as they go to 4-4-2.
21.31 – GOAL! Ireland 0-6 Ireland (Toni Kroos)
Another cracking hit by Kroos from the edge of the box and he’s just ensured Ireland will suffer their biggest ever competitive defeat at home.
It matters little, but Robbie Brady is on for Simon Cox.