Young Irish record impressive draw
|Republic of Ireland U21||1||-||1||Germany U21|
|Michael Spillane 26||Sando Wagner 22|
|Tuesday, 10 February 2009||Turners Cross, Cork|
Young Irish record impressive draw
Don Givens' young guns played out a highly creditable score draw with Euro bound Germany before a crowd of over 3,100 at Turner's Cross in Cork on Tuesday night.
The Irish U-21 side had to come from behind to fashion an exciting 1-1 draw against a German side heading to the European Championships finals in Sweden in June with Norwich City's centre-half Michael Spillane proving to be the unlikely goal hero. Ireland striker Sean Scannell, pictured left in action tonight, was named as 'Man of the Match'.
The Germans went ahead after 22 minutes through Duisburg's Sando Wagner but, inside four minutes, the home side had equalised via Spillane's looping header.
It was a big occasion too for ex-Cork City starlet Dave Meyler who was making his U-21 debut.
He was originally named among the substitutes but a hamstring picked up in training kept Hamilton's James McCarthy out and made for a promotion for the young Sunderland man.
Meyler (pictured left) stepped into the breach and played well in a central midfield role in an attacking 4-3-3 formation having made his U-19 debut against France on the same ground last March.
Ireland made light of the late disruption and settled well but they had a let-off after six minutes when Shane Redmond's poor clearance went straight to Anis Ben-Hatira whose return shot bounced just wide of an empty net.
Germany, who head to the Euro finals in June, are drawn in the same group as England, Spain and Finland but they got a decent and energetic work-out against the Irish.
Stephen Gleeson had a shot deflected out for a corner and from Owen Garvan's corner, Shane Lowry's downward header was saved by Neuer in the German goal.
But just as the host nation appeared to be getting a foothold in the tie the Germans hit the front on 22 minutes.
Striker Sando Wagner's initial shot was blocked down but he drilled the rebound low past Redmond on his near post at the second attempt.
Ireland, after a 2-2 away draw with Portugal and a 3-0 away win over Lithuania, showed their fighting spirit and character with an equaliser inside four minutes making it 1-1 mid-way through the half.
Spillane scored with a looping header (pictured left) from Garvan's cross after a short corner routine unhinged the German defence.
Meyler then tried to place the ball wide of 'keeper Neuer when the ball broke to him outside the box but his effort was charged down by Dennis Aogo.
Ben-Hatira's fine shot was tipped over by Redmond before some slack defensive play by Ireland allowed substitute Fabian Johnson to get a shot away but his drive crashed off the outside of the far post just ten minutes before the break.
And it took a fine save from Redmond right on half-time to keep it at 1-1 when he touched Ben-Hatira's low drive onto the far post and the rebound rolled straight back to him.
Givens introduced Stephen Henderson in goal for Redmond for the second half, a change pre-arranged before kick-off.
Gleeson went close to giving the home team the lead with a stinging shot that was well parried by Neuer in the German goal and he was called on again with ten minutes to go when he clawed away Cillian Sheridan's overhead kick.
Ireland will play Spain next at the RSC in Waterford on March 27 as they build up to their next qualifying series for 2011 with Turkey coming to Cork for a competitive tie on March 31.
Republic of Ireland (4-3-3) - Redmond ( Notts. Forest); Moloney (Notts. Forest), Spillane (Norwich City), Lowry (Aston Villa), Liddle (Sunderland); Glesson (Stockport County), Meyler (Sunderland), Garvan (Ipswich Town); Judge (Blackburn Rovers) capt, Sheridan (Motherwell), Scannell (Crystal Palace).
Germany (4-4-2) - Neuer (Schalke 04); Schwaab (Freiburg), Aogo (Hamburg), Jaikssle (Hoffenheim), Boateng (Hamburg), Ebert (Hertha Berlin), Khedira (Stuttgart) capt, Ben-Hatira (Duisburg), Prince Boateng (Borussia Dortmund), Halfer (Arminia Bielefeld), Wagner (Duisburg).
|Referee: Mr. Fernando Teixeira Vilienes (Spain).|