31.05.2016 at 19:45 Turners Cross
Republic of Ireland
1 - 2
Friendly / Prog-match
Aidan Mc Geady
James Mc Clean
Statto Callum O Dowda makes his debut ;
The Republic of Ireland lost their final warm-up game before Euro 2016 as they were beaten 2-1 by Belarus at Turners Cross in Cork on Tuesday.
Martin O'Neill had made 11 changes from the Ireland side that drew 1-1 with the Netherlands on Friday and was without talismanic captain Robbie Keane, as a brilliant goal from Mikhail Gordeychuk and another from Maksim Volodko saw them slip to defeat.
Stephen Ward hit home the reply for the hosts, but despite plenty of pressure and substitutions, the Republic couldn't find another and saw their 12-match unbeaten run on home soil come to an end.
Manager O'Neill named his 23-man squad for the tournament in France in ten days time following the game, but will be without Harry Arter who pulled out of the squad with a thigh injury just before kick-off.
Ireland started the game brightly, and had the first chance inside the opening minutes as Jeff Hendrick played in Ward on the left, but despite a fizzing cross, there were no green shirts to steer it goalwards.
Belarus were soon starting to find their feet and took the lead on the 20-minute mark with a stunning strike from Gordeychuk, who took a touch before curling the ball from the top of the box, firing past a leaping Shay Given.
From then on, O'Neill's men offered very little in response during the first half. Their best chance came from David Meyler, who thundered an effort into the hands of Belarus goalkeeper Sergei Chernik after James McClean's blocked free-kick fell at his feet.
The visitors could have added another wonder goal before the break, as Volodko let fire from the top left of the box but Given managed to get a vital touch to the effort at the near post to see it out for a corner.
Ireland could have got level mere seconds after the restart as Aiden McGeady got away down the right-hand side and fired a ball into the box for the rising Daryl Murphy - but he could only fire his header over the bar.
Chernik was certainly the busier of the two goalkeepers in the second 45 minutes, and pulled off a fantastic double save just before the hour mark, pushing away a Clark header and Hendrick's rebounded effort, before another corner saw the Aston Villa defender head just wide.
But it was Belarus who struck again in the 62nd minute as Volodko and Nikolay Yanush played a give and go at the top of the box, with the former racing down the left flank, cutting behind Cyrus Christie before bobbling a shot through the box and squeezing it in at the back post.
O'Neill made some changes, with fan favourite Shane Long entering the fray, and it didn't take long for him to have an impact. Christie's throw-in was initially cleared by Sergi Kislyak but fell to Long, who played in Ward on the left and he fired home into the bottom corner.
Ireland continued to press for an equaliser and brought on plenty of firepower, with David McGoldrick coming the closest as his shot was deflected wide by Nikita Korzun - but Belarus held on for the win.
Shay Given: Could do little about either goal. Made a couple of good saves to keep the Republic of Ireland in the game at 1-0, especially to keep out Maksim Valadzko's long-range effort just before the break. 6 out of 10.
Cyrus Christie: Struggled to contain Belarus' attacking players and his defending was suspect throughout the game. Was at fault for the second goal, allowing Valadzko to cut past him too easily. 4.
Richard Keogh: Perhaps Martin O'Neill might have wanted to see more leadership qualities from the Derby captain when Ireland were rattled and lost their shape a little after going 1-0 down. 5.
Ciaran Clark: Had a couple of chances with headers in the second half but was caught out of position a couple of times at the end that mattered - in defence. 5.
Stephen Ward: Had a lot of joy down the left early on as Ireland threatened an early goal. Caused Belarus problems for most of the evening and was rewarded with a goal. Put in a decent shift defensively too, most notably making a timely interception just before half-time to prevent a likely second goal for Belarus. 7.
Aiden McGeady: Was involved more in the second half as Ireland improved markedly after half-time as he put some decent crosses into the box - one of which should have been headed home by Daryl Murphy. 6.
Darron Gibson: A fairly solid showing although his distribution at times with the long ball was a little awry. Typically combative. 6.
David Meyler: Played it simple but without being overly effective. 5.
James McClean: Looked up for it from the start and really got the crowd going with a couple of firm challenges on Dzyanis Palyakow early on. 6.
Jeff Hendrick: Always wanted the ball and did not hide when the going got tough. 6.
Daryl Murphy: Largely starved of service, especially in the first half, and had a thankless task up front. Should probably have scored at the start of the second half but headed the ball over the crossbar. 5.
Shane Long (67 mins for Murphy): Took less than five minutes to make an impact, setting up Ward to score. Made a difference when he came on and might even have scored but poked the ball narrowly wide. 7.
Wes Hoolahan (67 mins for Gibson): Struggled to get involved as much as he would have wanted to and his delivery from a couple of set-piece situations was disappointing. 5.
David Forde (68 mins for Given): Had very little to do following his introduction, owing to Ireland's vastly improved second-half showing. 5.
Eunan O'Kane (74 for Myler): Looked lively and eager to get involved. 5.
Callum O'Dowda (75 mins for McGeady): Showed energy and enthusiasm on his international debut. 5.
David McGoldrick (78 mins for McClean): Hit a free-kick into the defensive wall, wasting a good position, but came very close to an equalising goal in injury time with a thunderous effort which went just wide. 5.
Ireland: Given; Christie, Keogh, Clark, Ward; Meyler, Gibson, Hendrick, McClean, McGeady; Murphy.
BELARUS: Chernik, Martynovich, Polyakov, Sivakov, Kisliak, Korzun, Stasevich, Hardzeichuk, Valadzko, Hleb, Yanush.