GAME REPORT- IRELAND V RUSSIA
IRELAND 2- 3 RUSSIA
After two wins in Ireland’s opening two games, we were brought back down to earth with a decent thud thanks to. After giving up three goals in the first 50 minutes of the game, we decided to show some character and put up a fight for our own home fans, and answer with two goals, however it was too late and we were unable to come back from such a large deficit.
How did the game go for us, though? Here’s how:
In the first few minutes of the game, there was open chances for both sides, and not really the close and slower paced game we are probably used to under Trapattoni, which probably would foreshadow what would happen. Ireland had a glorious chance to score in the 7th minute of the game, starting with a McGeady shot that the Russian keeper was unable to contain, offering a juicy rebound for Keane, who was unable to get a good touch on the ball. Keane was able to chip it across and unluckily off the cross bar, with a few more passes around the box, only for McGeady to miss the goal on his shot.
Even though we looked threatening early, the Russians were the ones to take control of the game only a short while later, in the 10th minute. Off of what I felt a weak foul by Dunne on the wing, the ensuing cross off the free kick bounced off, was crossed by Russia and then knocked in from close range through our defense. Our defense is definitely at fault here, since they decided to just sit around and watch the ball, which the Russians took to their advantage and converted their chance.
Our defense continued to be weak and measly, allowing the Russians to keep up pressure and attack and pepper Given with shots. Whenever we had the ball, we either tried to pass it long and give up possession, or try to do too much with it and end up losing possession that way. McGeady tried to create something on the left wing, but was unable to find anyone since he was being double or triple teamed by the Russian defense.
Russia would strike again 28 minutes in this time, as Kilbane gave acres of space on the right wing. The Russian midfield pressured our defense, laid off a lead pass along the right side for the Russian winger to get a hold of, who laid a low cross across the field which was easily tapped in for Russian goal #2. I guess when you give someone that much time to do whatever they want with the ball, they will score on you, which is exactly what they did. There was no chance for Given to stop the shot, but just sit there and ask his defense what they were thinking about, because it obviously wasn’t how they could stop the Russian attack. Maybe where they were going to take their girlfriends or wives out for dinner and a movie after the game? Who knows.
What I do know is that our luck didn’t change in the second half. Five minutes after the restart, and we find ourselves down three, however on a lucky deflection for Russia. The ball deflected off of Richard Dunne, and curled right inside the near post by a sprawled out Given, who could only sit there and wonder why. There really is no explanation for the goal aside from a lucky bounce, but it was a lucky bounce for the better team.
Things would get better for those in Dublin, as Ireland finally got the wheels running a little bit smoother in the latter parts of the game. Things turned our way with a little luck of our own, with a penalty awarded for a Russian defender “taking down” in the box. I say “taking down” because if you look at the replay, Keane essentially tripped over his own two feet with little or no contact from the defender, but we’ll take it as it gave us some life and boosted the crowd a bit. Keane took the penalty himself and put it past the keeper diving the wrong way, making the score 3-1.
It only took a few minutes for Ireland to put another one past the Russians, after some more pressure and attacking prowess from the Eire. A high cross into the box led to an original shot from McGeady which was parried by the Russian Keeper, but the rebound clear attempt by his defense failed, and, a sub, capitalized and put it past and gave a shot of life for Ireland to try and steal a point. There were a few more half chances here and there, but ultimately nothing fell through and we had to live with the fact that we didn’t start well, and our sloppy play lead to a defeat at the hands of Russia.
Our continual attempts at trying to break through the Russian defense did not work for anything, which should have been seen early and lead to a change in plans. But, instead of trying something different, we just kept tripping over the same stick and face planting in front of the Russian defense. I don’t know if Trap had anything as a plan B,or if it wasn’t used. If he didn’t have a plan B, this is something that should be thought of so that Ireland doesn’t dig a huge hole making it difficult for us to get out of.
The loss leaves us tied with Slovakia and Russia for top of Group B, with all teams having 6 points from 3 games. Our next opponent is Slovakia, which may not be a do or die match, but it is important and would make things a lot easier if we do well against them on Tuesday. If we can get points early on we can make things a lot easier for us in the future and end of the qualifying for Euro 2012, and hopefully lead to us making a major tournament appearance, which we have missed the past 4 times around.
Slainte agus tainte!
Good to see the Irish World Cup Blog up and running again. It was a poor performance on Friday. It’s been better tonight though we should be ahead. Keane missed a sitter and a penalty. Him not getting game time at Spurs could really hurt us in the long run.
Posted from Ireland
Comments are closed
MORE EUROPE BLOGS
1,026 articles | 12,643 comments
201 articles | 1,850 comments
196 articles | 324 comments
1,035 articles | 5,228 comments
687 articles | 5,278 comments
1,063 articles | 32,761 comments
2,566 articles | 73,525 comments
489 articles | 7,796 comments
562 articles | 10,664 comments
208 articles | 1,511 comments
347 articles | 3,327 comments
227 articles | 386 comments
270 articles | 452 comments
119 articles | 14,877 comments
231 articles | 217 comments
134 articles | 2,134 comments
129 articles | 124 comments
112 articles | 166 comments
16 articles | 8 comments
49 articles | 314 comments
78 articles | 281 comments
111 articles | 122 comments
72 articles | 149 comments
4 articles | 8 comments
49 articles | 59 comments
62 articles | 17 comments
52 articles | 112 comments
33 articles | 28 comments
18 articles | 20 comments
43 articles | 133 comments