Bulgaria 1 - 1 Republic of Ireland | 2021 - UEFA Nations League | 2029975

UEFA Nations LeagueGroup Stage | Natsionalen Stadion Vasil Levski , Sofia, Bulgaria
3 September 2020 - 21:45 (local time)

Bulgaria 1 - 1 Republic of Ireland

Kraev(56) Full-time Duffy(90+ 3)
Bulgaria Republic of Ireland

REPORT: Bulgaria 1-1 Ireland - Duffy secures point

Stephen Kenny's tenure as Republic of Ireland boss started with a 1-1 UEFA Nations League draw in Bulgaria as Shane Duffy struck an injury-time equaliser.
4th Sep 2020

After an encouraging first-half display, Kenny's side were caught out by Bozhidar Kraev (56) after he found space in between Ireland defenders Duffy and John Egan. 

Ireland showed fantastic determination and stuck to the game plan throughout, building from the back and eventually got their reward in injury-time.

Robbie Brady's incredible determination, where he blocked down a clearance and won a corner, saw him find the head of Duffy from a right-sided corner to level the tie.

It was as much as Ireland deserved with plenty of promising early signs.

"It was certainly a match we want to win for sure. There was a lot of good wing play and we had a lot of chances which we didn't take," said Ireland boss Stephen Kenny.

"To be fair, Bulgaria had some great chances as well, a great counter-attacking team but I always thought we controlled the game. You'd like to think that with the nature of a last-minute equaliser, it is a point gained but we'd like to win these matches.

"Shane Duffy's equaliser, a terrific equaliser, a fantastic header at the back post. Robbie Brady did brilliantly to chase it down and then the corner kick itself so there was no way we deserved to lose the game.

"It's our first game together after a really short period of time and we need to get ourselves turned around and ready for Finland now."

Bulgaria: Georgiev; Popov, Zanev (Galabov 79), Dimitrov, Nedyalkov, Malinov, Kostadinov, Ivanov, Kraev, Delev (Karagaren 76), Nedelev.
Republic of Ireland: Randolph, Doherty, Duffy, Egan, Stevens, Hendrick, McCarthy (Brady 70), Hourihane, O'Dowda (Robinson 74), Idah (Long 77), Connolly.
Referee: Manuel Schuettengruber (Aut).

POST-MATCH INTERVIEW | Stephen Kenny | "We need to win these matches" | WATCH HERE
POST-MATCH INTERVIEW | Callum O'Dowda | The 'Three' Man of the Match | WATCH HERE 

Highlights will be available on FAI TV following the conclusion of the embargo at midnight tonight. 

Preview | Bulgaria v Ireland - UEFA Nations League

Ireland manager Stephen Kenny has stressed the importance of tomorrow's UEFA Nations League fixture against Bulgaria.
2nd Sep 2020

The match in Sofia on Thursday, September 3, with kick-off at 7.45pm (Irish Time) will be Kenny's first match in charge of the national team ahead of a potential eight matches between now and November.  

The Ireland squad landed in Sofia on Tuesday night and trained at the Vasil Levski Stadium this evening ahead of match day tomorrow. 

Despite the short period of time Kenny has had to work with the Ireland squad, he has stressed the importance of playing for Ireland and has encouraged his players to display their talents. 

"You've got to have values and you've got to stand for something, and I think that's important in the way the team will evolve," said Kenny.

"Always having that desire to play for Ireland and the realising the importance of playing for Ireland. I always want my team to have confidence in possession and also to want to show the full array of your talents. 

"The last couple of days, we've been working on how we're going to play. It's been a really short time and it had to be modified as players played pre-season friendlies at the weekend. 

"So, these games against Bulgaria and Finland are important to us because every international game for Ireland is important."

Ireland go into their Group Four match tomorrow evening looking to start their campaign on a positive note before Sunday's fixture in Dublin against Finland.

The UEFA Nations League represents a chance of 2022 World Cup qualification and this is a fact that isn't lost on Ireland manager Stephen Kenny.    

"The winners of the group also have a chance, a good chance, of a World Cup play-off and we can't dismiss that. It's a tough group, with Wales as well, and there is a lot of football to be played, six matches, and then the Euro play-offs. It's a challenge but it's a challenge we're going to embrace," continued Kenny. 

"We've only had two days. It would be great to have a good start. Bulgaria have had a couple of good results recently, beating the Czech Republic in the Euro qualifiers. 

"Since their new coach has come in, they've played well so anything we get in Sofia, we'll have to earn." 

FIXTURE
Bulgaria v Ireland - Vasil Levski Stadium | 7.45pm (Irish Time)

VIDEOS 
Pre-match press conference | HERE 
Stephen Kenny FAI TV interview | HERE 
Seamus Coleman FAI TV interview | HERE 

WHERE YOU CAN WATCH THE MATCH
Sky Sports will be showing live coverage of the match with their build up starting at 7pm on Sky Sports Football. Virgin Media will also be showing extended highlights of the match on Virgin Media Two with the programme starting at 10pm on Thursday night.

SOCIAL MEDIA  
#BULIRL
#COYBIG 

Stephen Kenny names squad for Bulgaria and Finland matches

Ireland manager Stephen Kenny has named a 23-man squad for the upcoming UEFA Nations League games away to Bulgaria and home to Finland early next month.
Stephen
24th Aug 2020

Waterford-born Brighton and Hove Albion midfielder Jayson Molumby and Cork native Adam Idah, the Norwich City striker, both receive their first call-ups to the senior Ireland squad. Crystal Palace midfielder James McCarthy, Fulham’s Harry Arter, Southampton’s Shane Long and Blackburn Rovers defender Darragh Lenihan all return to the squad for the games in Sofia and Dublin.

David McGoldrick, the Sheffield United striker and the 3 FAI Player of the Year for 2020, will join the squad for the Finland game, pending the assessment of a long-term foot injury.

The squad was announced at JACC headquarters in Dublin as the FAI unveiled a new six-year partnership with the New Era brand of headwear and leisurewear.

The Irish players will meet up on Sunday ahead of two day’s training at the National Training Centre in Abbotstown before flying to the Bulgarian capital on Tuesday afternoon. Both the UEFA Nations League games will be played behind closed doors.

Ireland squad v Bulgaria and Finland
Goalkeepers: Darren Randolph (West Ham United), Mark Travers (Bournemouth), Kieran O’Hara (unattached)
Defenders: Seamus Coleman (Everton), Matt Doherty (Wolves), Enda Stevens (Sheffield United), Shane Duffy (Brighton and Hove Albion), John Egan (Sheffield United), Darragh Lenihan (Blackburn Rovers).
Midfielders: James McCarthy (Crystal Palace), Harry Arter (Fulham), Jeff Hendrick (unattached), Alan Browne (Preston North End), Conor Hourihane (Aston Villa), Jayson Molumby (Brighton and Hove Albion), Robbie Brady (Burnley).
Forwards: Callum Robinson (Sheffield United), Callum O’Dowda (Bristol City), James McClean (Stoke City), Aaron Connolly (Brighton and Hove Albion), Adam Idah (Norwich City), Troy Parrott (Tottenham Hotspur – on loan at Millwall), Shane Long (Southampton).

Note: David McGoldrick (Sheffield United) will join the squad for the Finland game.

Tactical Lineups

Bulgaria

1 Georgiev (G) 2 S. Popov 3 Zanev (C) 5 Dimitrov 7 Kostadinov 8 Nedelev 9 Delev 10 Kraev 14 Nedyalkov 16 Malinov 18 Ivanov

Substitutes

  • 13 Nikolay Mihaylov (G)
  • 23 Martin Lukov (G)
  • 4 Ivan Goranov
  • 6 Cicinho
  • 11 Yanis Karabelyov
  • 12 Stanislav Rabotov
  • 15 Plamen Galabov
  • 17 Birsent Karagaren
  • 19 Ismail Isa
  • 20 Dimitar Iliev
  • 21 Filip Krastev
  • 22 Aleksandar Tsvetkov

Republic of Ireland

23 Randolph (G) 3 Stevens 4 Duffy (C) 5 Egan 7 Doherty 8 McCarthy 9 Idah 13 Hendrick 14 Hourihane 15 O'Dowda 17 Connolly

Officials

  • Referee Manuel Schuettengruber
  • Assistant Referee Robert Steinacher
  • Assistant Referee Andreas Rothmann
  • 4th Referee Allard Lindhout
  • Uefa Delegate Lampirni Dimitrou
  • Referee Observer Boško Jovanetić
  • Jonathan White
  • Georgi Todorov

Minute by Minute Commentary

  • The match is under way.
  • 1" Shane Duffy (Republic of Ireland) is penalised for a foul on Galin Ivanov (Bulgaria).
  • 1" Georgi Kostadinov (Bulgaria) takes the free-kick.
  • 2" Galin Ivanov (Bulgaria) has an attempt on goal.
  • 2" Darren Randolph (Republic of Ireland) blocks a shot.
  • 2" Strahil Popov (Bulgaria) gives away a free-kick for a challenge on Aaron Connolly (Republic of Ireland).
  • 3" Enda Stevens (Republic of Ireland) takes the free-kick.
  • 4" Strahil Popov (Bulgaria) fouls.
  • 4" Conor Hourihane (Republic of Ireland) takes the free-kick.
  • 4" Conor Hourihane (Republic of Ireland) takes the corner.
  • 4" Shane Duffy (Republic of Ireland) misses the target.
  • 7" Georgi Kostadinov (Bulgaria) is penalised for a foul on James McCarthy (Republic of Ireland).
  • 8" Aaron Connolly (Republic of Ireland) takes the free-kick.
  • 9" Conor Hourihane (Republic of Ireland) misses the target.
  • 9" John Egan (Republic of Ireland) gives away a free-kick for a challenge on Bozhidar Kraev (Bulgaria).
  • 10" Todor Nedelev (Bulgaria) takes the free-kick.
  • 10" Petar Zanev (Bulgaria) has an effort on goal.
  • 10" Darren Randolph (Republic of Ireland) blocks a shot.
  • 10" Galin Ivanov (Bulgaria) fouls.
  • 10" Callum O'Dowda (Republic of Ireland) takes the free-kick.
  • 11" Georgi Kostadinov (Bulgaria) is penalised for a foul on Callum O'Dowda (Republic of Ireland).
  • 12" Conor Hourihane (Republic of Ireland) takes the free-kick.
  • 14" Aaron Connolly (Republic of Ireland) misses the target.
  • 17" Aaron Connolly (Republic of Ireland) gives away a free-kick for a challenge on Strahil Popov (Bulgaria).
  • 17" Kristian Dimitrov (Bulgaria) takes the free-kick.
  • 18" Bozhidar Kraev (Bulgaria) is flagged for offside.
  • 18" Darren Randolph (Republic of Ireland) takes the free-kick.
  • 21" Todor Nedelev (Bulgaria) misses the target.
  • 21" Petar Zanev (Bulgaria) fouls.
  • 21" James McCarthy (Republic of Ireland) takes the free-kick.
  • 22" Enda Stevens (Republic of Ireland) is penalised for a foul on Spas Delev (Bulgaria).
  • 22" Enda Stevens (Republic of Ireland) is cautioned by the referee.
  • 23" Kristian Dimitrov (Bulgaria) takes the free-kick.
  • 29" Todor Nedelev (Bulgaria) misses the target.
  • 30" Callum O'Dowda (Republic of Ireland) misses the target.
  • 31" John Egan (Republic of Ireland) gives away a free-kick for a challenge on Bozhidar Kraev (Bulgaria).
  • 31" Georgi Kostadinov (Bulgaria) takes the free-kick.
  • 32" Bozhidar Kraev (Bulgaria) is adjudged to be in an offside position.
  • 32" Darren Randolph (Republic of Ireland) takes the free-kick.
  • 33" Aaron Connolly (Republic of Ireland) is flagged for offside.
  • 33" Georgi Georgiev (Bulgaria) takes the free-kick.
  • 33" Kristian Dimitrov (Bulgaria) fouls.
  • 34" Conor Hourihane (Republic of Ireland) delivers the corner.
  • 34" Strahil Popov (Bulgaria) blocks a shot.
  • 35" James McCarthy (Republic of Ireland) is penalised for a foul on Galin Ivanov (Bulgaria).
  • 35" Kristiyan Malinov (Bulgaria) takes the free-kick.
  • 38" Galin Ivanov (Bulgaria) has a shot blocked.
  • 38" Matt Doherty (Republic of Ireland) blocks a shot.
  • 39" Todor Nedelev (Bulgaria) has a shot blocked.
  • 39" John Egan (Republic of Ireland) blocks a shot.
  • 39" Todor Nedelev (Bulgaria) takes the corner.
  • 41" Matt Doherty (Republic of Ireland) misses the target.
  • 43" Adam Idah (Republic of Ireland) gives away a free-kick for a challenge on Petar Zanev (Bulgaria).
  • 44" Bozhidar Kraev (Bulgaria) fouls.
  • 44" Shane Duffy (Republic of Ireland) takes the free-kick.
  • 45" Shane Duffy (Republic of Ireland) is penalised for a foul on Bozhidar Kraev (Bulgaria).
  • 45" Georgi Kostadinov (Bulgaria) takes the free-kick.
  • 45" Callum O'Dowda (Republic of Ireland) misses the target.
  • The referee blows for half-time.
  • The second half begins.
  • 46" Galin Ivanov (Bulgaria) has a shot blocked.
  • 46" Shane Duffy (Republic of Ireland) blocks a shot.
  • 48" Kristiyan Malinov (Bulgaria) gives away a free-kick for a challenge on Matt Doherty (Republic of Ireland).
  • 48" Conor Hourihane (Republic of Ireland) takes the free-kick.
  • 49" Enda Stevens (Republic of Ireland) fouls.
  • 50" Todor Nedelev (Bulgaria) has an effort on goal.
  • 50" Darren Randolph (Republic of Ireland) blocks a shot.
  • 52" Aaron Connolly (Republic of Ireland) has an attempt on goal.
  • 52" Georgi Georgiev (Bulgaria) blocks a shot.
  • 52" Adam Idah (Republic of Ireland) is penalised for a foul on Georgi Kostadinov (Bulgaria).
  • 53" Bozhidar Kraev (Bulgaria) gives away a free-kick for a challenge on John Egan (Republic of Ireland).
  • 53" Conor Hourihane (Republic of Ireland) takes the free-kick.
  • 55" Aaron Connolly (Republic of Ireland) fouls.
  • 55" Todor Nedelev (Bulgaria) takes the free-kick.
  • 56" Galin Ivanov (Bulgaria) is penalised for a foul on Shane Duffy (Republic of Ireland).
  • 56" Shane Duffy (Republic of Ireland) takes the free-kick.
  • 56" Bozhidar Kraev (Bulgaria) scores!
  • 62" Galin Ivanov (Bulgaria) gives away a free-kick for a challenge on Matt Doherty (Republic of Ireland).
  • 62" Conor Hourihane (Republic of Ireland) takes the free-kick.
  • 62" Conor Hourihane (Republic of Ireland) has a shot blocked.
  • 62" Kristiyan Malinov (Bulgaria) blocks a shot.
  • 63" John Egan (Republic of Ireland) has an effort on goal.
  • 63" Georgi Georgiev (Bulgaria) blocks a shot.
  • 63" John Egan (Republic of Ireland) fouls.
  • 64" Strahil Popov (Bulgaria) takes the free-kick.
  • 64" John Egan (Republic of Ireland) is penalised for a foul on Spas Delev (Bulgaria).
  • 64" Todor Nedelev (Bulgaria) takes the free-kick.
  • 70" Robbie Brady (in) - James McCarthy (out) (Republic of Ireland)
  • 70" Strahil Popov (Bulgaria) gives away a free-kick for a challenge on Aaron Connolly (Republic of Ireland).
  • 70" Enda Stevens (Republic of Ireland) takes the free-kick.
  • 72" Robbie Brady (Republic of Ireland) fouls.
  • 73" Georgi Kostadinov (Bulgaria) takes the free-kick.
  • 73" Strahil Popov (Bulgaria) is penalised for a foul on Aaron Connolly (Republic of Ireland).
  • 73" Enda Stevens (Republic of Ireland) takes the free-kick.
  • 74" Callum Robinson (in) - Callum O'Dowda (out) (Republic of Ireland)
  • 75" Adam Idah (Republic of Ireland) is adjudged to be in an offside position.
  • 76" Birsent Karagaren (in) - Spas Delev (out) (Bulgaria)
  • 76" Georgi Georgiev (Bulgaria) takes the free-kick.
  • 77" Shane Long (in) - Adam Idah (out) (Republic of Ireland)
  • 79" Plamen Galabov (in) - Petar Zanev (out) (Bulgaria)
  • 80" Robbie Brady (Republic of Ireland) has a shot blocked.
  • 80" Georgi Kostadinov (Bulgaria) blocks a shot.
  • 81" Birsent Karagaren (Bulgaria) misses the target.
  • 83" Aleksandar Tsvetkov (in) - Todor Nedelev (out) (Bulgaria)
  • 83" Conor Hourihane (Republic of Ireland) delivers the corner.
  • 83" Callum Robinson (Republic of Ireland) misses the target.
  • 86" Strahil Popov (Bulgaria) gives away a free-kick for a challenge on Aaron Connolly (Republic of Ireland).
  • 86" Conor Hourihane (Republic of Ireland) takes the free-kick.
  • 87" Robbie Brady (Republic of Ireland) takes the corner.
  • 87" Shane Duffy (Republic of Ireland) misses the target.
  • 89" Aaron Connolly (Republic of Ireland) fouls.
  • 89" Georgi Kostadinov (Bulgaria) takes the free-kick.
  • 90+1" Callum Robinson (Republic of Ireland) misses the target.
  • 90+3" Robbie Brady (Republic of Ireland) delivers the corner.
  • 90+3" Shane Duffy (Republic of Ireland) scores!
  • 90+5" Robbie Brady (Republic of Ireland) is penalised for a foul on Georgi Georgiev (Bulgaria).
  • 90+6" Georgi Georgiev (Bulgaria) takes the free-kick.
  • The final whistle is blown.

Match Statistics

  • Bulgaria
  • Republic of Ireland

Corners Won

1 5

Shots on Target

4 3

Shots off Target

3 9

Fouls Committed

15 16
  • Bulgaria

    Republic of Ireland

  • 1Goals1
  • 0Yellow Card(s)1
  • 0Red Card(s)0
  • 4Shots on Goal3
  • 3Shots Wide9
  • 3Shot(s) Blocked2
  • 5Save(s)6
  • 10Total Shots14
  • 15Fouls Committed16
  • 1Corner(s)5
  • 2Offside(s)2