vs Ireland, Euro 2016 qualifier: as it happened

SHAFAQNA – Full time What an exceptionally diligent performance from Ireland. Full of endeavour, clever positioning and tenacity. Persistence and belief got them a deserved point in the end in true “who writes your scripts?” style for John O’Shea as Germany threw two points away. Germany have too many dazzling midfield talents to struggle for long but the defence looks shaky and they need to work on options to stop teams flooding the centre of the field as the best way to thwart them. Thanks for joining us tonight. Bye!

GoalGOAL!! Germany 1-1 Republic of Ireland (O’Shea) Blimey! What a way to celebrate a century of caps! McGeady heading towards the right corner flag turns, rolls it back to Hoolahan who crosses long into the box. Hendrick controls it and knocks it back into the centre of the six-yard box and O’Shea finishes with a lunge. The last kick of the game!

90+2 min Free kick for Ireland just inside the Germany half, taken long to the left of the box where McClean shoots low on the half-volley. He connects well but the powerful shot is blocked.

90 min There’ll be four added minutes as Germany take the sting out of it by keeping hold of the ball. But two times in a minute Kroos gives away the ball, the first time McGeady failing to spot Hoolahan’s run and losing it to Hummels. Agonisingly blinkered, his decision there.

89 min Rudiger plays keepball with Boateng and Kroos, enticing Neuer out to clear when they roll the ball back to him. Wilson heads it back upfield but Germany are in we hold what we have mode.

86 min Excellent work from Walters up the left gets the ball out and into the near post for Hoolahan’s near-post run. He doesn’t have quite enough space to go for the near-post shot so turns it across goal with a firm shot that is blocked by Durm. What a chance!

85 min Ward is back on.

83 min Stephen Ward is on the grass after falling unchallenged. Lengthy treatment follows.

81 min Bellarabi has a couple of runs at Ward, the second time cutting back to Kroos who taps it to Muller on the edge of the box. He dinks a lovely pass to the right of the penalty box to Gotze who turned quickly and tried to chip it over the keeper. Forde saved well from close range.

79 min Rudiger and Gotze combine to win a corner as Rudiger smacks a low shot cum cross into Ward’s shin pads.

76 min Germany have dominated possession all night but there does seem to be a little less intensity now to the pressing of Ireland. Where do they go from here? Wes Hoolahan comes on for Stephen Quinn.

74 min Hummels brings the ball upfield and keeps going as he approaches the penalty area. Walters has to track him all the way, leaving Ireland with no out ball when Hummels gives up the ghost.

GoalGOAL!! Germany 1-0 Republic of Ireland (Kroos) About 25 yards from goal, Stephen Quinn goes to close him down, thinks again and backs off, letting Kroos advance a couple of yards and spank a shot in off the bottom of the left post.

71 min Germany substitution. Kruse on for Draxler.

70 min Germany think they should have had a penalty when Durm spins in a pass to the box and it’s laid off to Gotze and O’Shea wrestles him out of the way.

68 min Cross from Rudiger into the box. Only Muller is there for Germany and four Ireland defenders. Muller is penalised for a non-existent foul as he goes up for the header.

67 min Some of the zip has gone from the game. Kroos, on the ball in the centre of his own half, advances then spins a pass out to Bellarabi on the right. He taps it into Gotze but Ireland again squeeze out his space until he has to go backwards.

65 min Muller claims for a free-kick when Wilson yanks his shirt at the edge of the box but the referee declines to give it. Walters is playing the lone striker role, now, McGeady taking his place on the right.

64 min Farewell Robbie Keane. Greetings Darron Gibson.

62 min Sharp intervention from Meyler as Draxler clipped a pass between the full-back and O’Shea for Podolski’s run around the outside.

61 min Oh dear. Ward has a chance to support Hendrick and McClean. They thought he’d be there but he had retreated and the ball goes out of play.

59 min Big Germany shout for a penalty when Podolski goes flying in the box. The ref whistles and gives Ireland a free-kick. He did lose his footing and collide with Wilson. Did he dive? I think he did.

58 min Another Germany corner, taken by Gotze flicked on by Hummels and Muller, back to goal in the six-yard box, tries to flick in as he’s challenged by McClean. Quinn clears.

57 min They take the corner quickly, short then the cross that Meyler and then Quinn manage to block.

56 min Whelan has to depart, replaced by Hendrick. Long shot from Kroos, a dipping beast from 25 yards that Forde has to arch backwards to palm over for a corner.

54 min Whelan is soldiering on but is hobbling badly after a clumsy tackle. Forde again has to come to his side’s rescue when Kroos hit a long diagonal from the left touchline to the back post. Bellarabia controls it well and fires a low shot at Forde who blocks it with his arms.

52 min Draxler and Gotze link up with a couple of deft touches, Draxler putting his foot under the ball and lofting it from the edge of the box for Gotze’s run around the back. Gotze tapped a cross towards Muller who hadn’t made the run his team-mate had anticipated. Earlier Podolski spanked a low shot to Forde’s right, the keeper diving at knee-height to push it firmly into touch.

49 min Podolski’s dreadful back pass allows Keane a run at the home defence and he gets the ball out to McClean wide on the left. A fizzing cross to the near post, designed for Keane’s run, is snuffed ou tby Neuer’s brave dive at the centre-forward’s feet.

48 min Walters has a chance to unlock the Germany defence when he takes the ball off Whelan on the right and has McGeady, unmarked, spinning out to the touchline. But he dawdles too long and his options narrow.

46 min Podolski is going to start the second half on the left. Germany free kick when Keane shoves Hummels with a straight arm hand-off in the ribs.

Substitution Podolski on for Ginter.

Half time Serbia v Albania has turned very ugly with brawls between players and missiles being thrown on to the pitch following a low-flying drone carrying an Albania flag being attacked by a Serbia player. The match is currently suspended.

John McEnerney says

E-mailAfter losing their last game I can see the Germans ripping us apart (the backlash after the Polish defeat) once they get into gear. We will do our dogged best as we always do but it won’t be enough against the world champs against any other side it would be but not tonight. I’ve never known a German national side to lose tw on the bounce. On a positive note Ireland look more organised than the Trapp days!

Half time Stilted from Germany but they have had chances. Ireland are playing well defensively in general and as a unit but an individual error does seem likely, because they’re playing on such fine margins. All it would take is for Draxler, Gotze or Muller to beat one of the defenders off the mark to one of the many attempted threaded passes. If Germany, however, tell Bellarabi to stick to the right touchline for 10 minutes and Draxler to the other, they might give Ireland a different kind of test.

45 +1 min … until Muller drops off the front, spins and plays in a pass to Draxker’s run between the right-back and O’Shea. The pass takes him wider than he would have wanted, making the angle very difficult and Draxler thumps his shot at the diving Forde. That’s half-time.

45 min The fields of Athenry is resounding around the stadium. Germany, apart from the 15 minute spell from 5-20 have been curiously laboured …

44 min The free-kick is about 25 yards out to the right of the Germany box. Quinn spins it in with his left foot towards the back post where Rudiger failed to spot Wilson peeling off. The ball spins out of play but had there been another two yards of grass Ireland could have capitalised on Rudiger’s lapse of concentration.

43 min Ireland free-kick when McGeady tries to control Walters’ flick-on on his chest with his back to goal and Durm flies in all elbows, head and shoulders. Durm is down for a minute and is being given a concussion check when he is led off for treatment.

41 min Whelan is booked for an impetuous foul just in Germany’s half.

40 min Germany free-kick wide on the right after McClean’s foul on Draxler. Kroos spins in a cross towards the penalty spot where Ginter, between Wilson and Ward, heads wide.

39 min Muller shoots from 25 yards with his left foot but again Wilson has stayed with him and closed down the space so effectively that it his the defender’s calf and bobbled out for a corner.

37 min Germany are not being allowed to play through the middle of their attack, but still they keep trying, Hummels attempting to force it up to Muller but tenaciously and with discipline, Ireland stop their progress by staying in shape.

35 min McClean suckers Rudiger with some proper Waddlesque wing-play, stopping, committing the defender and then sprinting past him. His first touch was ace. His last, the cross, garbage as he welllied it far too deep across the area.

33 min It doesn’t matter how good your shape is when Marc Wilson running the ball out of defence makes an error born of overconfidence or a poor touch, passing it straight to a Germany player whose heavy touch then let Forde race out to belt it clear. Only he didn’t do that, he passed it straight back and left his goal open. The shot from 30 yards, though, was cut out by O’Shea.

31 min You can tell that Ireland have been working on their shape defensively and their tactic is to allow Germany to come at them from the flanks but to flood the centre of the park.

30 min Ward and McClean combine well up the left, McClean going on the overlap and thundering in a low cross to the near post. Keane darted there but was too late off the mark and Boateng shinned it away.

28 min Germany so far are playing like England in that they’re going for killer threaded passes far too often. This time it’s Ginter looking for Bellarabi’s run in from the left. Meyler tracks him all the way and squeezes him out of space.

26 min Another extended spell of possession from Germany, recycling the ball from one side of the Ireland box to the other, until Kroos thinks sod this, goes for a shot and spanks it wide.

24 min Long ball out to McClean who’s in a good position on the left and he squares a header straight to Boateng. This allows Germany to break quickly, Gotze spraying a diagonal clipped pass down the inside left channel towards Draxler who had beaten Meyler but the ball strikes Draxler on the back of the head. To feet and he would have been in.

22 min Bellarabi is one of those players who enthiuses crowds with his pace and verve. They shriek when he runs at Ward though his control isn’t as sticky as it should be and he knocks it too far ahead at the crucial moment – it may even have been a badly-placed pass – and Ireland clear.

20 min Draxler draws Whelan towards him and then opens his body to thread a glorious pass between O’Shea and Myler that would have been perfect if Gotze hadn’t been on his heels, which allowed Ireland off the hook.

18 min Ireland free-kick when Hummels goes through the back of Keane, wide on the right, 35 yards out. McGeady swings in a cross to the penalty spot but Germany clear it comfortably.

16 min Rotten shot from Kroos who was 20 yards out to the left of centre when found by Draxler who had taken Meyler and Walters out of the game with his run and pass. Kroos wrapped his right boot around it and screwed it wide with his instep.

15 min Excellent training ground free-kick routine, Kroos from a central position about 25 yards out, curls it to the left of the box, where Muller had bent a run and took up an unmarked space. He headed it across goal to Rudiger’s run who had a free header on goal which he miscued horribly wide.

14 min Draxler and Kroos move the ball around 40 yards from goal, trying to pull the eight-man Ireland defensive lines out of position. They hold on to the ball by pinging it this way and that for a good 40 seconbds until O’Shea, the 100th cap man, shoves Gotze in the back when the ball is played into the World Cup winner’s feet 25 yards out.

12 min Nice turn from Quinn just outside the centre-circle, showing a better tempo but Meyler is not as quick in possession to move it on and finds himself closed down and losing possession to Bellarabi.

10 min Ireland free-kick when Rudiger leaves his arm in Keane’s face as he tries to turn him. They play it short up the line to McGeady who is 30 yards out and is thwarted in his attempt to dribble past Rudiger.

9 min Long raking cross from Durm on the left flies across the box and Ward has to tuck in from left-back to welly a header away. This is Germany with their swagger back.

8 min Muller is causing all sorts of havoc between O’Shea and Wilson. They don’t know whether to go tight or try to keep him at a distance. He buzzes about, playing in Ginter who wastes his cross.

6 min Goodness me Bellarabi! He goes on a very rapid spring up the inside right challenge, leaving Whelan for dead and putting the crwod on its feet. When the ball is played out to Durm he taps it up to have a looping volley that crashes into the bar and away.

4 min Bad mistake by Whelan who is caught dithering in possession and is robbed by Draxler who rolls the pass across the edge of the box where Rudiger screws a tame shot wide.

3 min Rudiger picks up the ball on the right of the box, switche sit infield to Draxler who tries to shift it quickly back out to the right where Bellarabi has a run at Ward who is helped out by McClean’s covering run.

1 min We’re off and Walters immediately decides to have a run at Durm , winning a throw-in on the right when Walters beats the full-back to Meyler’s pumped ball.

19.43 Erik Durm is a midfielder, I think, by preference. Much of the pre-match analysis points out his weakness at left-back. Howedes was hardly Paolo Maldini, though. One of the problems is that you get very little help from Gotze and Muller if you play at full-back for Germany. Let’s see if that has changed today.

19.41 The national anthems are enthusiastically, nay lustily, sung.

19.38 The players are in the famously odd Gelsenkirchen tunnel, and out they come. Ireland all in green, Germany in all white.

19.29 Speaking of Lukas Podolski I had thought he might play tonight. He’s scored 47 goals in 119 games, an amazing record and yet rarely plays any more. I’ve seen very little of Max Kruse apart from on YouTube. He looks a talent.

19.20 Here’s how Karim Bellarabi made history


19.12 Ray Houghton is a very good pundit. That is all. (He says McGeady will have a free role. That’s not what makes him a good pundit. His ability to explain things lucidly is what makes him a good pundit.)

19.10 Those teams in the traditional style:

Germany Neuer; Rudiger, Boateng, Hummels, Durm; Ginter; Bellarabi, Kroos, Gotze, Draxler; Muller. 
Subs Zieler, Mustafi, Rudy, Podolski, Kruse, Weidenfeller.

Rep of Ireland Forde; Meyler, O’Shea, Wilson, Ward; Walters, Quinn, Whelan, McClean; McGeady; Keane. 
Subs Elliot, Clark, Hendrick, Long, Pilkington, Gibson, Stokes, Brady, Hoolahan, Pearce, Doyle, Westwood.

Referee Damir Skomina (Slovenia)

19.03 My colleague Evan Fanning says that there is no need for a team talk from O’Neill tonight. Just pin this on the dressing room wall

A German tourist, Ludolf von Munchhausen, visited Ireland in 1591. He kept a diary. Here are some of his thoughts

QuoteThe people are dirty, uncouth and lazy. They have brains enough for roguery, but are ignorant of arts and the more subtle craftsmanship. They delight in idleness, they are no good for work; rather than cultivate their fields they stay at home and rest around their fires, barely dressed. I myself have seen how seven people have dragged at one piece of timber without hardly moving it. I would have been well able to move it on my own.

It is a great pity that such beautiful countryside should lie unused, covered by wild grass and shrubs. Most of the land stays uncultivated; because of the laziness and ignorance of the people there is neither plowing nor sowing. Compared to other countries Ireland is a very poor country, yet it is also known that mining is possible; it is not undertaken because of the natives are lazy and inflexible. Possibly they don’t want to know or else they fear that the English crown would grudge them their wealth, because, even though they are poor, they are very much inclined towards rebellion.

His full diary is available here

18.40 Did you also know that Robbie Keane can sing?


And that his cousin Morrissey sums him up in vivid style:

QuoteHis chin is my chin, my chin is his. He is a gentleman of the highest caliber (or, if you must, calibre), and to watch him on the pitch – pacing like a lion, as weightless as an astronaut, is pure therapy. Robbie, the pleasure, the privilege is mine.

18.35 And for a quick trip down memory lane, here’s Chris Davies’s match report for the Telegraph from Kashima

QuotePlaying with passion, pace and pride, the Republic of Ireland stunned Germany with a last-minute equaliser from Robbie Keane which put Mick McCarthy’s side within touching distance of a place in the knock-out stages of the World Cup.

One way or another a Keane continues to dominate the headlines for Ireland and as Robbie cartwheeled away in celebration, it was tempting to ask – who needs Roy?

“This is as good as it gets,” said Niall Quinn, who laid on the goal that rekindled Irish hopes and denied Germany the distinction of being the first to qualify for the second round.

“It’s a wonderful feeling and you could see it in the young lads’ eyes. They were starstruck,” Quinn added. “This is up there with the great moments, because we had to answer a few questions.”

A draw against Cameroon, the African and Olympic champions, and now Germany, who have won the World Cup three times, has given Ireland a chance of a place in the second round for the third time in their three appearances in the finals.

McCarthy took a gamble with two second-half substitutions, bringing on Quinn and Steven Reid and switching from 4-4-2 to 3-4-3 in response to Miroslav Klose’s 19th-minute goal for Germany.

“You may as well lose 3-0 as 1-0,” said McCarthy, who had told his team at half-time: “Don’t play Germany off the park and lose 1-0. Be the better side and get a result.”

Two minutes into added time, Mark Kinsella hoofed the ball forward and hoped for the best, Quinn rose to flick it on and there was Keane to score the equaliser from seven yards. Though goalkeeper Oliver Kahn got a touch, the ball went in off a post.

“It was pure instinct that Robbie read my header,” Quinn said. “To be that alert in the 92nd minute after a game like that is tremendous. I knew Robbie was a gem but tonight he showed he is a star.”

McCarthy said: “I put Quinn on to cause problems for Germany and that is exactly what he did. He had won a few balls in the air and got a lovely flick from the diagonal pass. That will o’ the wisp Robbie Keane did the rest.”

Blackburn provided the game’s outstanding player in Damien Duff even though FIFA – who too often look no further than the scorer of the decisive goal – officially chose Keane as man of the match.

Duff was terrific, teasing the Germans with his speed, subtlety and skill. There is a strong argument that Duff gave the best individual performance of the finals so far.

He twisted and turned opponents, and had Kahn not made a stunning save from Duff’s 57th-minute, point-blank effort the striker would have been rewarded with the goal his dynamic display deserved.

“The Germans defended well, but they had to,” said McCarthy, whose side had 58 per cent of the possession. However, it was poor defending by the Republic that had allowed Klose – who hit a hat-trick against Saudi Arabia in Germany’s first Group E tie – to open the scoring.

Michael Ballack’s long pass caught Ireland’s central defenders out of position and with Ian Harte the wrong side of Klose, the striker headed past Shay Given.

“I was disappointed with our marking for the goal,” McCarthy said. Yet his players responded positively to increase their impressive record. The Republic have lost only two of their last 21 World Cup ties and four out of 31 competitive games.

Given saved well from Dietmar Hamann and Carsten Jancker lobbed the ball over the Ireland goalkeeper, but it went wide.

They were rare scares because the Republic, playing their 11th game at the finals, were dominating Germany in their 80th match on the world stage.

It looked as if time had run out for Ireland but Keane, who had gone close with an acrobatic overhead kick, earned the draw.

As things now stand, the group could be decided by who scores the most goals against Saudi Arabia. They play Cameroon today.

“We have to beat the Saudis in our last game and finish off the job,” McCarthy said.

That tie will be Steve Staunton’s 101st for Ireland. Before his 100th, Steven Reid, the youngest player in the party, presented the captain with a watch on behalf of the squad and technical staff.

“It was a lovely touch and underlined the spirit in the squad,” said McCarthy, whose players can choose between a round of golf or a visit to Japan’s Disneyland on their day off.


18.30 Project Babb is reliving the time when Ireland beat the world champions in the build-up to the 1994 World Cup. As someone who watched Garry Kelly probably 200 times, it’s a lovely reminder of his spirit and the way he simply relished playing the game. So I won’t re-cover the same ground. I’ll opt for the 1-1 from the 2002 World Cup and Robbie Keane’s late equaliser, the only man not called Ronaldo to beat Oliver Kahn during the tournament.

Here he slips the ball past the keeper.

And here the then Leeds United striker sets off to cartwheel and do his Robin Hood.

Good evening Well, well, well … I’ve rarely know optimism so high for the Republic of Ireland going into a game against the world champions. And all because of Germany’s shaky victory over Scotland and that defeat by Poland last weekend. There is no doubt that Germany are finding Philipp Lahm difficult to replace, as one would expect. He’s a world-class talent as a player and a leader. The novice full-backs Antonio Rudiger and Erik Durm have copped a gargantuan slice of criticism for their performances against Poland but I actually thought Rudiger played quite well as did Karim Bellarabi. The absences, though, continue to be a problem. Already deprived of Benedikt Howedes, the wonderful Marco Reus, Sami Khedira, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Mesut Ozil, Mario Gomez and the calamitously unfortunate Holger Badstuber, this week they have lost Christoph Kramer to injury and Andre Schurrle to flu. If it seems like a good time to play them, that’s because it is, though whether James McClean and Aiden McGeady will have the guile to attack the full-backs and Darron Gibson, Glenn Whelan and Jeff Hendrick can stop the runs of Toni Kroos, Thomas Muller and Mario Gotze is another issue entirely.

To whett your appetites our chums at Project Babb have thought of 16 reasons Ireland will beat the Germans tonight

And here’s a preview of the match from AFP.

The Republic of Ireland travel to face besieged Germany in Tuesday’s Euro 2016 qualifier with Martin O’Neill’s side looking for a first win over the world champions in 20 years.

Ireland enjoyed a 2-0 win over Germany in May 1994 when Tony Cascarino and Gary Kelly scored either side of half-time in a Hanover friendly and the Republic are hoping to catch their hosts off-guard again in Gelsenkirchen.

Joachim Loew’s Germany are in a vulnerable state following Saturday’s shock 2-0 defeat to Poland in Warsaw – the Poles’ first win over their neighbours at the 19th attempt – which left the Germans fourth in Group D after two matches.

In contrast, the Irish are in buoyant mood having crushed minnows Gibraltar 7-0 in Dublin to go second in the group behind leaders Poland.

Ireland’s captain Robbie Keane wrapped up a hat-trick within 18 minutes of kick-off and says the goal-fest gave his side a welcome confidence boost.

“There is no reason why we can’t go there and get something out of the game,” said Keane.

“It’s going to be tough, they are the world champions and it will be completely different from the game against Gibraltar, but we are going there with confidence.”

Keane’s tally left him with 65 international goals as he also set a new record of 21 goals in European qualification matches, but even he is not sure of his place against the Germans.

O’Neill did not involve Glenn Whelan, Stephen Quinn, Jon Walters or Shane Long against Gibraltar as he used the depth of his squad and the 34-year-old Keane insists he is more concerned about the result than facing Loew’s world champions.

“Everyone wants to play, there’s no question, but the manager has to pick what’s right for the team,” said Ireland’s captain.

“As long as we get a result, I couldn’t care less.”

Germany have failed to impress in their three games since winning the World Cup, but Loew sees no reason to panic as he beds in a new team.

With defender Philipp Lahm, Per Mertesacker and striker Miroslav Klose retired, Loew has a new-look team without the likes of injured Bastian Schweinsteiger, Sami Khedira, Marco Reus and Mesut Ozil.

“It’s not surprising that every team now wants to give a few more percent (effort) against the world champions and there have been significant changes to our team since the World Cup,” said Loew.

“In the next two years, our players will pick up experience from which they will learn.

“We have to learn our lessons and take something from it, but I am sure we will turn things around.

“I don’t see any major problems with qualifying.

“The fact we now need to take maximum points is clear, we lost here, but it continues on Tuesday.”

Loew is set to make changes against the Irish with Arsenal’s Lukas Podolski a candidate to start on the left wing having come on and hit the crossbar in Warsaw.

Bayer Leverkusen’s Karim Bellarabi is poised to win his second cap on the right wing having been one of the few to impress against Poland.

“We expect Ireland to use similar tactics from recent years, they are a side who predominantly defend and mainly plays on the counter-attack,” said Loew.

“We will mainly talk about our shooting and how we exploit our opportunities. We had good combinations against Poland, we just need to take our chances,” added the manager whose side failed to convert 28 chances compared to Poland’s four.

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