13.06.2015 at 17:00 Aviva Stadium
Republic of Ireland
1 - 1
Referee: Nicolas Rizzoli
European Cup Qualifier-match
David Mc Goldrick
James Mc Clean
Aidan Mc Geady
Ireland have to settle for draw with Scotland
REPUBLIC OF IRELAND 1 SCOTLAND 1
The Republic of Ireland had to share the points with Scotland in front of a superb atmosphere in their UEFA 2016 European Championship qualifier at Aviva Stadium.
Having fought back to draw with Poland in their previous qualifier, Martin O’Neill went into the game hoping to secure their third victory of the campaign. And they looked to be heading that way when Jonathan Walters put them in front.
Pouncing on a save from Scotland goalkeeper David Marshall on 38 minutes, the Stoke City attacker fired in after Daryl Murphy originally met Robbie Brady’s corner kick and forced the ball to drop kindly for Walters.
By that stage, Ireland were largely dictating the tempo and pushing their visitors onto the back foot. Clever play by Wes Hoolahan allowed the home team to stretch their opponents and open up space, yet few chances fell their way.
Glenn Whelan registered their first shot on goal on 16 minutes when his piledriver flew just wide. That was in response to a chance from Scotland’s Steven Naismith, while Steven Fletcher forced goalkeeper Shay Given into a finger-tipped save.
Up the other end, Ireland continued to press forward with Murphy’s looping header testing the alertness of Marshall, who tipped the ball over his crossbar to concede the corner kick that Walters would score from.
After the break, Scotland came flying out with a shot from Shaun Maloney taking an unfortunate deflection off captain John O’Shea and spinning into the net past Given. It was a cruel goal to concede for O’Neill’s men.
Yet, Ireland never gave up. Murphy, who got the nod to start the game, was terrific and he almost fired Ireland back in front when he broke free on the left side but Marshall pulled off a superb save with his feet.
Record goalscorer Robbie Keane was sprung from the substitutes’ bench and he nearly weaved some magic within minutes as his shot from distance was straight on goal, but again Marshall was alive to the danger.
Ireland piled on the pressure late on in search of a winner and looked the most likely team to get the next goal, but it never arrived. They had to settle for a point, which leaves them on nine points after six qualifiers with four games remaining.
Republic of Ireland: Given; Coleman, O’Shea, Wilson, Brady; Walters, Whelan (McClean 68), McCarthy, Hendrick; Hoolahan (Keane 73); Murphy (Long 80).
Scotland: Marshall; Hutton, Martin, Mulgrew, Forsyth; Brown (McArthur 85), Morrison; Ritchie (Anya h-t), Maloney, Naismith (Berra 90+2); Fletcher.