Republic of Ireland 1 - 2 Serbia
Ireland suffer narrow defeat to Serbia
Republic of Ireland 1 Serbia 2
The Republic of Ireland fell to a narrow defeat in their 3 International Friendly with Serbia at Aviva Stadium.
Shane Long opened the scoring for the boys in green before an own goal from James McCarthy and a strike from Filip Dordevic gave advantage to the away side in front of a crowd of 37,595.
In what was Martin O’Neill’s third game in charge, Ireland played with a solid structure and a game-plan of counter-attacking at speed. And it worked too with Serbia stretched all over the pitch and forced onto the backfoot.
As early as the second minute that pressure led to an opening when captain Glenn Whelan connected with a cross from James McClean, but the goal did not stand as Wes Hoolahan had strayed offside.
Ireland, though, continued to press forward at every opportunity and got their goal just six minutes later when Long provided the perfect finish to beat goalkeeper Vladimir Stojkovic – much to the delight of the home supporters.
The goal was all about Long as the Hull City frontman chased down a long ball, used his upper body strength to hold off Milan Bisevac, before intercepting a back pass from Branislav Ivanovic to lob the ball into the back of the net.
Now chasing the game, Serbia attempted to hit back with Bisevac testing the alertness of keeper David Forde before Lazar Markovic did the same with a snap shot. Both efforts were comfortably held by the Irish No 1.
Serbia, who are ranked 29th in the FIFA World Rankings, kept the pressure on and were dangerous at set-pieces with Chelsea defender Ivanovic denied a certain goal by James McCarthy’s headed clearance off the line.
In general play, it was Ireland who moved the ball with more purpose and had a lot of joy whenever Hoolahan dropped deep to get involved. The Dubliner weaved some magic on the half hour to show just what he can do.
With Serbia breaking forward, the ball broke to Hoolahan just outside his own penalty area, he surged up the pitch before sliding the perfect pass into Long, who forced Stojkovic into two quick saves.
The chances on goal didn’t stop there with Marc Wilson heading wide and McClean trying his luck from distance as the home team made the most of their momentum. And Forde played his part too, saving from Dusan Tadic.
Serbia, though, found their way back into the game two mintes into the second half when McCarthy put the ball into his own net when attempting to stop striker Dordevic from having an easy finish.
Long could have put Ireland back into the lead on 53 minutes, and grabbed his second of the night, when he again linked up with Hoolahan, but the striker’s attempted chip from distance failed to hit the target.
It was the visitors who got the next goal on the hour mark when Dordevic fired in after controlling a low cross, turning and getting some luck with his shot deflecting in off Forde.
Ireland looked to bounce back with substitute David Meyler heading just over the bar and another sub Anthony Pilkington shooting from 30 yards out. But that second goal would not come despite their best efforts.
Next up for O’Neill’s team is a home friendly at Aviva Stadium against Turkey, although he can take a lot of positives from this performance as they build for their UEFA European Championship qualifiers.
REPUBLIC OF IRELAND: Forde; Coleman, Keogh, Wilson, Ward (Clark 64); McGeady (Murphy 73), McCarthy (Meyler 61), Whelan (Quinn 80), McClean; Hoolahan (Pilkington 61); Long (Walters 72).
SERBIA: Stojkovic; Rukavina (Gudelj 89), Bisevac, Ivanovic, Kolarov; Fejsa, Matic; Basta (Tosic 59), Tadic (Ljajic 81), Markovic (Sulejamni 75); Dordevic (Scepovic 87).
Referee: Viktor Kassai (Hungary).
Martin O'Neill names provisional 29 man squad to face Serbia
Martin O'Neill today (Thursday) named a provisional 29 man squad to face Serbia in a Three International friendly in Aviva Stadium on March 5. The squad will be shortened ahead of the squad meeting up on March 2 to facilitate injuries etc.
Martin O'Neill has spoken to Robbie Keane, who will remain with LA Galaxy as they prepare for the start of their season on March 8.
Speaking at today's press conference in Limerick County Hall, the Republic of Ireland manager said, 'Our game against Serbia will provide us with great preparation ahead of the first of our European qualifiers in September. I enjoyed working with the players in November for my first taste of international football, and am looking forward to assembling the squad once again in March.'
Tickets for the Serbia game in Aviva Stadium on Wednesday, March 5 are now on sale from www.fai.ie at just €10 for children and starting at €20 for adults.
|David Forde||Millwall FC||20/12/1979||15||0|
|Darren Randolph||Birmingham FC||12/05/1987||2||0|
|Rob Elliot||Newcastle FC||30/04/1986||0||0|
|Richard Keogh||Derby County FC||11/08/1986||2||1|
|Marc Wilson||Stoke City FC||17/09/1987||14||1|
|Seamus Coleman||Everton FC||11/10/1988||20||0|
|John O’Shea||Sunderland AFC||30/04/1981||94||2|
|Alex Pearce||Reading FC||09/11/1988||2||1|
|Stephen Kelly||Reading FC||06/09/1983||37||0|
|Damien Delaney||Crystal Palace FC||20/07/1981||8||0|
|Richard Dunne||QPR FC||21/09/1979||79||8|
|James McCarthy||Everton FC||12/11/1990||22||0|
|Ciaran Clark||Aston Villa FC||26/09/1989||9||1|
|Stephen Ward||Brighton Hove Albion||20/08/1985||19||2|
|Glenn Whelan||Stoke City FC||13/01/1984||54||2|
|Paul Green||Ipswich Town FC||10/04/1983||20||1|
|Andy Reid||Nottingham Forest FC||29/07/1982||29||4|
|Aiden McGeady||Everton FC||04/04/1986||63||3|
|Anthony Pilkington||Norwich City FC||06/06/1988||2||0|
|James McClean||Wigan Athletic FC||22/04/1989||18||0|
|Stephen Quinn||Hull City FC||04/04/1986||2||0|
|David Meyler||Hull City FC||29/05/1989||4||0|
|Wes Hoolahan||Norwich City FC||20/05/1982||9||1|
|Shane Long||Hull City FC||22/01/1987||43||10|
|Daryl Murphy||Ipswich Town FC||15/03/1983||8||0|
|Jon Walters||Stoke City FC||20/09/1983||24||4|
|Kevin Doyle||QPR FC||18/09/1983||57||12|
|Anthony Stokes||Celtic FC||25/07/1988||8||0|
|Simon Cox||Nottingham Forrest FC||28/04/1987||27||4|
Republic of Ireland
- 1 Vladimir Stojković (G)
- 2 Antonio Rukavina
- 6 Branislav Ivanović (C)
- 4 Milan Biševac
- 11 Aleksandar Kolarov
- 15 Ljubomir Fejsa
- 14 Nemanja Matić
- 18 Dušan Basta
- 10 Dušan Tadić
- 21 Lazar Marković
- 9 Filip Djordjević
- 7 Zoran Tošić
- 19 Miralem Sulejmani
- 17 Adem Ljajić
- 20 Stefan Šćepović
- 3 Nemanja Gudelj
- 5 Nenad Tomović
- 8 Radosav Petrović
- 22 Nenad Krstičić
- 23 Željko Brkić (G)
Minute by Minute Commentary
- 8" Shane Long (Republic of Ireland) scores!
- 45" Wes Hoolahan (Republic of Ireland) is cautioned by the referee.
- 48" James McCarthy (Republic of Ireland) scores an own goal.
- 59" Zoran Tošić (in) - Dušan Basta (out) (Serbia)
- 60" Filip Djordjević (Serbia) scores!
- 61" Anthony Pilkington (in) - Wes Hoolahan (out) (Republic of Ireland)
- 61" David Meyler (in) - James McCarthy (out) (Republic of Ireland)
- 64" Ciaran Clark (in) - Stephen Ward (out) (Republic of Ireland)
- 72" Jon Walters (in) - Shane Long (out) (Republic of Ireland)
- 73" Daryl Murphy (in) - Aiden McGeady (out) (Republic of Ireland)
- 75" Miralem Sulejmani (in) - Lazar Marković (out) (Serbia)
- 80" Stephen Quinn (in) - Glenn Whelan (out) (Republic of Ireland)
- 81" Adem Ljajić (in) - Dušan Tadić (out) (Serbia)
- 82" Branislav Ivanović (Serbia) is shown a yellow card.
- 86" Nemanja Matić (Serbia) is booked.
- 86" Stefan Šćepović (in) - Filip Djordjević (out) (Serbia)
- 89" Nemanja Gudelj (in) - Antonio Rukavina (out) (Serbia)
- Republic of Ireland
Shots on Target
Republic of Ireland
- 1Yellow Card(s)2
- 0Red Card(s)0
- 1Shots on Goal1
- 0Shots Wide0
- 0Shot(s) Blocked0
- 1Total Shots1
- 0Fouls Committed0