Battling Irish draw with Russia at Deaflympics
The Ireland Men's Deaf Football Team secured a creditable 0-0 draw against European Champions Russia at the 2013 Deaflympic games in Bulgaria on Saturday.
This was a courageous performance from the Irish lads. They withstood periods of sustained pressure but forced three good late chances themselves which could have snatched victory.
In a cagey opening 45 minutes Ireland were superbly organised and while Russia had the majority of possession they struggled to create clear openings and impressive Ireland keeper' Roy Keating dealt confidently with anything that did breach the resolute Irish defence of Stuart Foy, Roy McKee, Richard Dougherty and Bobby McAra.
Ireland could even have taken the lead with Brian Babb and Jonathan Cosgrave heading over from difficult chances.
Russia began to threaten more on the restart with the Irish midfield quartet of Darren Dunne, Joe Watson, Sean Young and Stephen Millar all working incredibly hard to deny the opposition time and space.
As the second period progressed the introduction of fresh legs from substitutes Mark Sinclair, Andrew Wynne and Jason Maguire aided a 15 minute passage of Irish dominance.
Indeed Wynne hit the post from a free-kick and Sinclair fired over after fine work by Young before Babb went closest of all, turning the Russian defence superbly and forcing a great save from the Russian Keeper' in the 80th minute. Russia had a late chance in injury time but Keating proved equal to the task.
Assistant manager Geoff Foy praised the players stating the commitment, shape of the team and mental toughness was excellent. Having beaten Nigeria and drawn with Russia Ireland know a victory against Japan (3.30pm ko Irish time 29th July) will see them safely through to the quarter finals.