Live Commentary: Republic of Ireland 0-1 Greece - as it happened

Live Commentary: Ireland 0-1 Greece - as it happened
© PA Photos
Sports Mole provides live text coverage of tonight's international friendly between the Republic of Ireland and Greece.

The Republic of Ireland welcomed Greece to the Aviva Stadium for an international friendly this evening.

Giovanni Trapattoni's men were seeking redemption from their supporters, having lost their last home game 6-1 at the hands of Germany.

As it transpired, the Irish fans were made to endure more suffering, as their side went down to a Jose Holebas strike on 29 minutes.

Recap how the game panned out below, with Sports Mole's blow-by-blow text commentary.


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7.15pmThe Aviva Stadium, which can house 51,700 supporters, is looking awfully empty tonight. Just over 20,000 tickets have been sold for this match.

7.16pmIreland starting XI: Forde, Coleman, O'Shea(c), Clark, Ward, Brady, McCarthy, Whelan, McClean, Cox, Long

7.16pmIreland substitutes: Randolph, O'Dea, Kelly, Andrews, Clifford, Meyler, Keogh, Hoolahan, Doyle

7.17pmGreece starting XI: Karnezis, Stafylidis, Papadopoulos, Tziolis, Samaras(c), Mitroglou, Torosidis, Tachtsidis, Ninis, Papastathopoulos, Cholevas

7.17pmGreece substitutes: Peristeridis, Maniatis, Spyropoulos, Kone, Christodoulopoulos, Vyntra, Salpingdis, Dimoutsos, Siovas, Fortounis, Athanasiadis

7.22pmGlenn Whelan starts in midfield in what appears to be a 4-4-2 formation. However, the Stoke City man has urged Trapattoni to abandon the traditional system.

7.23pmWhelan: "I don't think I have played against another national team which has played 4-4-2. We have been over-powered.

"We are playing three against two and we don't get the credit that we deserve, really.

"We have taken a lot of stick, but what can we do? We are told by the manager to go out and play like this.

"He's the manager, he's the boss and you do what he says because if you don't, you are not going to get picked."


7.28pmIreland have made seven changes from the side which beat the Faroe Islands 4-1 last month.

7.29pmCiaran Clark and Stephen Ward replace Darren O'Dea and Stephen Ward in defence.

7.31pmSimon Cox and Shane Long come in for Robbie Keane and Jon Walters up front.

7.33pmSunderland goalkeeper Kieren Westwood pulled out earlier today and is replaced by Millwall's David Forde.

7.35pmWhelan returns in place of Keith Andrews, while James McClean is in for Aiden McGeady, who has an ankle injury.

7.37pmThis is the first time in eight years that Greece's starting XI is without a single member of their European Championship-winning squad of 2004.

7.40pmThe players walk out onto the field and are greeted very tamely by the small crowd, who have voted with their feet. While tonight is just a friendly, one can't help but feel it is a big game for Trapattoni. He desperately needs a big performance to get the fans back on side.

7.43pmThe national anthems are so quiet that you can actually hear John O'Shea's efforts during Amhrán na bhFiann. This has been very disappointing so far - let's home the football can brighten up the occasion! It will begin in two minutes.

0minGreece kick off.

1minPenalty shout! Ward's cross from the left bounces up and strikes Konstantinos Stafylidis on the arm. The 18-year-old had both of his arms spread out and is a very lucky boy!

4minIreland have another Penalty shout! Long beats Sokratis Papastathopoulos for pace down the left flank and then goes to ground on the edge of the penalty area under pressure from the Werder Bremen defender. This time the referee is right to dismiss the Irish protests.

7minIreland have totally dominated the match in terms of possession so far.

11minGreat chance for Ireland! Seamus Coleman plays a neat one-two with Long down the right and then whips in a deep cross to Cox, who awkwardly scoops his header over the bar from six yards.

16minMcClean's fizzing cross goes just beyond Robbie Brady at the far post.

18minMcClean fires in another pacy cross from the left. This time it deflects off Panagiotis Tachtsidis and forces a decent save out of Orestis Karnezis in the Greece goal.

20minGeorgios Samaras is caught in the face by O'Shea's flailing arm. It looked innocuous, but the Celtic man is bleeding and needs to be patched up.

22minSamaras returns to the field of play.

23minSotiris Ninis executes a clever turn to get away from Ward, before firing a venomous effort at goal from 25 yards. Forde palms the ball away to safety.

29minGOAL FOR GREECE! - Jose Holebas - Republic of Ireland 0-1 Greece.

GOAL:With his back to goal, Holebas collects Samaras's first-time pass and then turns O'Shea brilliantly on the edge of the penalty area before firing into the bottom left corner from 18 yards.

34minInjury - Substitution for Ireland - Whelan, who appears to have picked up a hamstring problem, is replaced by Andrews.

36minYellow card for Long, who went in late on Panagiotis Tachtsidis

40minWhelan's thigh has been strapped up by the Irish medical team.

43minYellow card for Clark, but he is lucky not to be sent off! The Aston Villa defender's tackle on Holebas was high and reckless.

45minCorner to Ireland on the right.

45minGoalkeeper Karnezis does well to punch the ball clear.

45min+1Ireland go close! Brady cuts inside onto his left foot and fires in a rasping strike which Karnezis does well to tip behind. Corner.

45min+1Penalty shout! Brady's corner falls to McClean in the six-yard box. The Sunderland winger gets a shot away, which appears to strike Kyriakos Papadopoulos on the hand. Ireland can certainly count themselves unlucky so far.

HT:Half time: Republic of Ireland 0-1 Greece

8.40pmIreland were the better side until they fell behind. Since then they have looked very nervy.

8.43pmBoth sides registered four shots in the first half. Greece have hit the target twice, while Ireland's forwards have worked the goalkeeper just once.

8.45pmIreland have had three of the game's four corners and 56% of ball possession.

8.52pmBoth sides make multiple substitutions ahead of the second half. Wes Hoolahan and Kevin Doyle replace Brady and Long for Ireland. Konstantinos Fortounis, Dimitris Salpingidis and Stefanos Athanasiadis come on for Greece - Samaras, Holebas and Kostas Mitroglou make way.

46minIreland kick off.

46minIreland win an early corner.

47minMcClean takes it short. The cross eventually comes in, but it skids out of play.

48minChance for Ireland! James McCarthy's long-range shot is parried by Karnezis. Doyle gets to the rebound, but his effort is cleared off the line.

53minCox brings down Ninis. Free kick to Greece in a central position, 25 yards from goal.

54minTachtsidis takes the free kick and his effort floats comfortably over the crossbar.

58minMcClean goes for goal from 30 yards, but misses by a long way.

59minIreland appear to have switched to a 4-2-3-1 formation, with Cox, Hoolahan and McClean playing just behind Doyle.

60minSubstitution: That formation may not last much longer. Cox signals to the bench to say that he has picked up a knock. The Nottingham Forest forward is replaced by Andy Keogh.

61minGreece make another double substitution - Giannis Maniatis and Loukas Vintra replace VVassilas Torosidis and Sotirios Ninis.

65minIt looks as though Keogh has slotted in on the left and Ireland are persevering with their 4-2-3-1 system.

69minChance for Ireland! Keogh's right-foot effort is blocked. The ball then falls to Ward, who volleys across the face of goal and Doyle just fails to get a touch.

70minSubstitution for Ireland: David Meyler replaces McCarthy.

71minCorner to Ireland.

72minChance for Ireland! Hoolahan's left-footed inswinger finds O'Shea unmarked at the far post. The Sunderland defender nods back across goal, but Alexandros Tziolis heads behind.

73minHoolahan, whose set pieces have been of a high standard so far, whips in another decent delivery and the ball is headed behind for a third corner is quick succession.

73minI spoke too soon! This time, Hoolahan's cross is poor and Greece clear.

79minIreland are having all of the play right now, but Greece have everyone behind the ball and the hosts can't find a way through.

81minSubstitution for Greece: Nikolaos Spyropoulos replaces Stafylidis

84minYellow card for Fortounis for pulling back Coleman. Free kick to Ireland on the right flank.

85minMcClean's delivery is too close to the goalkeeper, who catches the ball easily.

86minSpyropoulos plays the ball off Coleman and Greece earn a rare corner.

87minChance for Greece! Fortounis's cross finds the head of Athanasiadis, whose header skims the crossbar.

90minThe fourth official indicates that a minimum of four minutes additional time will be played. Despite that positive news, the atmosphere at the Aviva Stadium remains very flat.

FT:Full Time: Republic of Ireland 0-1 Greece

9.45pmThe final whistle is greeted by a mild chorus of boos. That was a very poor game of football.

9.48pmIreland dominated the match in terms of possession (58%) and earned 12 corners, compared to Greece's three. However, Trapattoni's men managed to test the Greek goalkeeper just three times.

9.57pmThat concludes Sports Mole's live coverage for tonight. Goodbye.

Giovanni Trapattoni
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