Republic of Ireland 3 - 2 Latvia | 2023 - Senior Men Friendlies | 999948510

Senior Men Friendlies International Friendly | Aviva Stadium, Dublin
Wednesday, March 22, 2023

Republic of Ireland 3 - 2 Latvia

  • Report
  • Preview
  • Lineups
  • Minute by Minute Commentary
  • Statistics

Report | Ireland 3-2 Latvia - Ferguson nets first goal

The Republic of Ireland defeated Latvia 3-2 in a friendly that was part of the side's preparations for their upcoming contest against France in the Euro 2024 qualifiers. Goals from Callum O’Dowda, a full senior debut goal for Evan Ferguson and a Chiedozie Ogbene winner gave Ireland the victory in the Aviva Stadium.
2463977 (1).jpg
27th Mar 2023

Stephen Kenny chose Evan Ferguson to make his first senior international start as well as Caoimhin Kelleher started in goal.

Ireland opened the scoring after five minutes when Even Ferguson played the ball wide right which found the path of Smallbone whose cross to the back post was met by Callum O’Dowda as he headed past Šteinbors.

Evan Ferguson was to score his first international goal as an initial cross to the back post was not dealt with by the Latvian defence as Obafemi kept it in play to put the ball into the path of Ferguson who slotted home from six yards.

Latvia had an opportunity to reduce the deficit as Gutkovskis got free from the Irish defence but his half-volley failed to trouble Kelleher as it went wide. Alan Browne forced a good save from Šteinbors as he broke from midfield and cut onto his left as his effort was well stopped.

Callum O’Dowda forced a corner when his attempt on goal from a volley following Smallbones’ cross could only be parried wide by Šteinbors. Smallbone was to go close with his attempt on the edge of the Latvian box but his effort just went wide of the post.

Latvia was to reduce the score as Roberts Uldriķis scored from outside the Irish area that struck the top corner of the net in what was a well-taken goal by the Latvian striker.

They were then to equalise just on the stroke of half time as Ireland was attempting to clear a free kick that saw Zjuzins strike a low effort from the edge of the area that took a deflection en route to the goal.

Both Gutkovskis and Ferguson had attempts on goal early in the second half but neither effort tested the keeper. Ireland continued to press but found it hard to make the breakthrough Ireland was to regain the lead following a break down the left that saw Michael Johnston strike the post before Chiedozie Ogbene slotted home the rebound moments after coming on.

Johnston was to go close to scoring a fourth for the home side as he cut inside the area but for his effort en route to goal took a deflection to set it wide for a corner.

Ireland plays their first qualification match next Monday where they face France at the Aviva Stadium as Stephen Kenny and his side make their first steps for qualification to Germany in 2024.

Republic of Ireland: Kelleher, Omobomidele (Egan 62), Collins, O'Shea; Doherty © (Ogbene 62), Browne, Molumby, O'Dowda (McClean 76), Smallbone (Hendrick 82); Obafemi (Johnson 62), Ferguson (Parrott 72).
Subs not used: Bazunu (GK), Travers (GK), Egan, Cullen, Hendrick, Keane, Knight, McGrath, Sykes.
Latvia: Šteinbors (GK), Sorokins, Černomordijs ©, Tobers, Balodis (M. Ošs 46), Gutkovskis (Krollis 56), J. Ikaunieks (Jaunzems 65), Savaļnieks, Cigaņiks (Varslavāns 71), Zjuzins (Saveljevs 71), Uldriķis (D. Ikaunieks 81).
Subs not used: Ozols (GK), Puriņš (GK), Dubra, Toņiševs, Stuglis, Birka, Dašķevičs.

Booked: None
Player of the Match: Will Smallbone.
Referee: Andrei Chivulete (ROU)

Match Preview | Republic of Ireland v Latvia

Republic of Ireland face their first test of the 2023 campaign when they welcome Latvia to the Aviva Stadium on Wednesday night.
21st Mar 2023

Stephen Kenny's side will use the international friendly against the Baltic State, only the sixth meeting between the two sides, as perfect preparation for the UEFA EURO 2024 qualifier against France on Monday, March 27.

Match Details

Fixture: Republic of Ireland v Latvia
Competition: International Friendly
Date: Wednesday, March 22
Kick-off: 7.45pm
Venue: Aviva Stadium
TV: RTE & ViaPlay

Match Officials

Referee: Andrei Chivulete (ROU)
Assistant Referee 1: Mihai Marica (ROU)
Assistant Referee 2: George Florin Neacsu (ROU)
Fourth Official: Rob Harvey (IRL)

Team News

Stephen Kenny has confirmed that striker Evan Ferguson will make his first international start for Ireland against Latvia on Wednesday night.

The Brighton and Hove Albion forward has impressed with seven goals this season for the Premier League side and will be named in the starting line-up for his country for the first time.

Adam Idah has reported for duty but will play no part in the international friendly against Latvia as he aims to be fit for the UEFA EURO 2024 qualifier against France.

What he said - Manager Stephen Kenny

On Evan Ferguson: "His career is in its infancy. He's had a great start to his Premier League career and is scoring some goals in the Premier League, the FA Cup and League Cup. We have known about Evan for a few years now, coming through the system in Ireland with Bohemians and coming through the underage international teams.

"At 18 years of age now, he's showing he is ready to come into the team and he will make his first start tomorrow in the game."

On Latvia: "It's our ambition to win the game. In all international games, you can't take anything for granted. Latvia's ranking is low but they have had some very good results. Drawing 3-3 with Turkey, 0-0 with Norway, beating Lithuania 3-1, 1-0 with Holland, they have shown the capacity to put in some good performances so you have to earn the right in every international game."

What he said - Defender Matt Doherty

On Evan Ferguson: "I believe he is playing very well. I haven’t seen all of the games, but from the highlights and the goals he is scoring, he is scoring some good goals with great composure for someone who is only 18.

"Hopefully it will be the same for this camp, and not only for this camp but for him, personally, for the rest of the season and for the rest of his career, as I am sure he is going to have a good one."

On his move to Spain: "It’s going well for me in Spain. It’s a different experience completely, different culture, different preparation for games. I’m enjoying my time there even though I’m not playing that much.

"The reason I left was, initially, it was just to go on loan for the rest of the season and then obviously we had the problems with too many loans, so then it was a case of I couldn’t really say no to that type of experience and a manager of his calibre."


Opta Facts - Republic of Ireland v Latvia

- Republic of Ireland have won all five of their matches against Latvia in all competitions, scoring 14 goals and conceding just once.
- Just one of Republic of Ireland’s five meetings with Latvia in all competitions was a friendly, with the Boys in Green winning 3-0 in November 2013 after goals from Robbie Keane, Aiden McGeady and Shane Long.
- Republic of Ireland lost their last home game, losing 2-1 to Norway last November in a friendly. They haven’t lost consecutive home games since May 2014.
- Republic of Ireland have lost just two of their last 14 friendly matches (W7 D5), losing 3-0 away at England in November 2020 and 2-1 at home to Norway in November last year.
- Republic of Ireland’s Evan Ferguson has appeared twice as a substitute for Eire, against Norway and Malta in November. Should he score in this game, he would be the youngest (18 years, 154 days) Ireland scorer since Robbie Keane in October 1998 vs Malta (18 years, 98 days).
- Callum Robinson has scored five goals in his last seven friendly appearances for the Republic of Ireland, including a hat-trick against Qatar in October 2021.

Republic of Ireland Squad - Latvia & France

Goalkeepers: Gavin Bazunu (Southampton), Caoimhin Kelleher (Liverpool), Mark Travers (AFC Bournemouth)
Defenders: Seamus Coleman (Everton), Matt Doherty (Atletico Madrid), Andrew Omobamidele (Norwich City), Nathan Collins (Wolverhampton Wanderers), John Egan (Sheffield United), Dara O'Shea (West Bromwich Albion), Callum O'Dowda (Cardiff City), James McClean (Wigan Athletic).
Midfielders: Josh Cullen (Burnley), Jayson Molumby (West Bromwich Albion), Jeff Hendrick (Reading), Alan Browne (Preston North End), Jason Knight (Derby County), Will Smallbone (Stoke City, on loan from Southampton), Jamie McGrath (Dundee United), Mark Sykes (Bristol City).
Forwards: Chiedozie Ogbene (Rotherham United), Michael Obafemi (Burnley), Evan Ferguson (Brighton and Hove Albion), Adam Idah (Norwich City), Troy Parrott (Preston North End, on loan from Tottenham Hotspur), Will Keane (Wigan Athletic), Mikey Johnston (Vitoria, on loan from Celtic)


22/03 - Republic of Ireland v Latvia, International Friendly, 7.45pm
27/03 - Republic of Ireland v France, UEFA EURO 2024 qualifying, 7.45pm

All you need to know | Republic of Ireland v Latvia

Republic of Ireland are set to welcome Latvia to the Aviva Stadium for the first match of 2023 in an international friendly.
4th Jan 2023

Ireland will kick-off their UEFA EURO 2024 campaign at home to France on Monday, March 27 and the international friendly against Latvia will provide perfect match preparation on Wednesday, March 22.

The match, set to kick-off at 7.45pm, will be the first match of the year for the 23,000 FAI Season Ticket holders to enjoy, a record number of sales for the association.

Match Details

Fixture: Republic of Ireland v Latvia
Competition: International Friendly
Venue: Aviva Stadium
Date: Wednesday, March 22
Kick-off: 7.45pm
Tickets: TBC

Last Five Matches

Ireland: WLWLD
Latvia: DDDLW

Ireland have secured two wins and a draw in their last five matches with two defeats coming against Norway and Scotland. Stephen Kenny's side secured victories over Malta in an international friendly in Ta'Quli and an excitjng 3-2 win over Armenia at the Aviva Stadium, with the draw coming against a strong Ukraine team, a 1-1 draw in Łódź.

Latvia's recent run of form has seen the side lose just once in the last five matches with two recent draws in the Baltic Cup against Estonia (5-3 p) and against Iceland. A disappointing result saw them pick up a draw in Andorra after their defeat against Moldova. Their only victory in the last five matches came against Liechtenstein in June.

Head-to-head - Republic of Ireland v Latvia

Games Played: 5
Games Won: 5
Games Lost: 0

09/09/1992 - Republic of Ireland 4-0 Latvia - FIFA World Cup
09/06/1993 - Latvia 0-2 Republic of Ireland - FIFA World Cup
07/09/1994 - Latvia 0-3 Republic of Ireland - UEFA European Championships
11/10/1995 - Republic of Ireland 2-1 Latvia - UEFA European Championships
15/11 2013 - Republic of Ireland 3-0 Latvia - International Friendly

Famous Game - Latvia 0-3 Republic of Ireland - September 1994 (pictured)

Ireland Goalscorers: John Aldridge (15), John Sheridan (29), John Aldridge (75 pen)
Venue: Daugava National Stadium, Riga
Attendance: 3,226
Referee: Anders Frisk
Ireland Team: Alan Kelly (GK), Phil Babb, Denis Irwin, Gary Kelly, Steve Staunton, Paul McGrath, Jason McAteer (Eddie McGoldrick 81), John Sheridan, Andy Townsend (c), John Aldridge, Niall Quinn (Tony Cascarino 71).