Cyprus (0) – Ireland (1)

Watched the match last night with Dave down in the Ball Alley. Ireland are under pressure to qualify for the World Cup after continually letting wins turn into draws so we basically had to win last night. A “win” generally suggests that you are better than the other team but that was not the case last night. Ireland got off to a great start and Stephen Elliott got his first senior goal with a smivelling half volley after a knock down from Robbie Keane. What happened after the goal was unbelievable though. Ireland simply switched off. It was like they had decided that now they had scored they were going to sit back and let Cyprus attack and pass the ball about.

We have one man to thank for Cyprus not scoring: Shay Given. Shortly after Elliott scored, Richard Dunne, a big, slow central defender brought down a Cypriot player in the box. The ref duly signalled a penalty but Given pulled off a fantastic save to deny them. Thereafter he made a string of high quality saves as the rest of the squad seemed to have fallen asleep. The second half wasn’t much better and we were lucky to hang on for the win. A lot needs to change before Wednesday’s crunch game against Switzerland. We’re hampered by the fact that Damien Duff will probably miss the game due to a knee injury he picked up while trying to add some zest into the game. I just hope to God we do it but looking at last night’s performance doesn’t instill me with confidence.

6 replies on “Cyprus (0) – Ireland (1)”

That performance by the Irish team was pants. I believe that the team isn’t by any means a bad one… But what the hell were they doing out there? Is anyone somehow claiming that what we were watching was football? No way, that was some sort of bizarre performance art geared towards wasting everone’s time.

Dear Lord, make them stop it now. That is what I thought while watching that match.

I agree about Given though, he really was the man out there. Given for Taoiseach I say!

garisson sports, foreign games, get out ye brits….

it’s not the team thats the problem it’s brian kerrs terrible tactics, he plays 11 man defence
“score a goal robbie, then drop back to the edge of the are for the rest of the game ok son,” “the edge of their penalty area gaffer?” “jaysus, no son, the edge of ours”

Trev: I don’t think it’s tactics at all. They just got lazy and sloppy after they scored.

you’re right it was the players, and not the tactics, same as the israeli games same as all our bloody draws wake up tony, the man plays tyrone football, everyone behind the ball.

Tony: I have to agree a good bit with Trev there, the players aren’t bad but Kerr doesn’t look like he’s getting them to attack, he’s getting them to play safe and play for time, even when they could be getting the shots in. That’s not their decision to make, unless they’re making their own plans in which case he’s a crap manager for letting that happen.

Sure after France scored against Ireland the Irish team started playing for time, what the hell was that?

[…] I also spent plenty of time trying to get Garret out to watch the football game on Saturday afternoon. The idea originally was to help him with painting and assembling the odds and ends he needs to finish for their (himself and Nora, his girlfriend) house. We didn’t get too much done, and with a bit of economy of truth I got him out of the house over to Kenny’s, where we watched the Irish team put on a remarkable display of not doing very much against the Cypriot team who, while not being a fantastic team, did their best to play a game of football. In fact, they would have won by a comfortable margin if it hadn’t been for the Irish goalkeeper, Shay Given, who put on a performance worthy of the Matrix movies in keeping Ireland in the game, leaping diving and generally defying gravity. This is all the more interesting in light of the fact that Cyprus is already out of the tournament on points; in other words, for them it was a matter of honour rather than staying in the tournament, and they could have gone home having lost 10-0 and it wouldn’t have made any odds to them. Nonetheless, they put up a spirited fight to the end which is more than can be said for the Irish team. It’s a moderately contentious issue with Ireland fans. It was after that, when we went to do something more interesting which was hang out in the Dice Bar, when I cleared off for the previously mentioned night of bedlam. […]

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