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Result: Republic of Ireland beaten by Finland in Dublin

Ireland were spared further damage by keeper Darren Randolph in Dublin.

Substitute Fredrik Jensen ruined Stephen Kenny's big night as he came off the bench to fire Finland to Nations League victory over the Republic of Ireland.

Jensen had been on the pitch for just 18 seconds when he fired the Finns ahead somewhat against the run of play to ensure the manager's first home game ended in a 1-0 defeat at an empty Aviva Stadium.

After a pedestrian first half, Ireland finally established some momentum with Aaron Connolly and substitutes David McGoldrick and Callum Robinson threatening either side of Jensen's strike, but as the home side pushed for an equaliser, they were hit repeatedly on the counter.

Skipper Shane Duffy headed agonisingly over at the death after keeper Darren Randolph had kept Finland at bay, but there was no way back.

The defeat, coupled with Thursday night's 1-1 draw in Bulgaria, left the Republic still awaiting a first Nations League win and Kenny with as many questions as answers as he attempts to draw up a blueprint for next month's Euro 2020 play-off in Slovakia.

Having handed a debut to 19-year-old striker Adam Idah in Bulgaria, the manager included his former Under-21s skipper Jayson Molumby in a entirely new midfield trio alongside Harry Arter and Robbie Brady.

Brady was prominent as Ireland attempted to take the game to the visitors from the off, although John Egan had to be alert to prevent Robert Taylor from latching on to Teemu Pukki's knock-down.

Republic of Ireland skipper Shane Duffy saw appeals for a first-half penalty waved away
Republic of Ireland skipper Shane Duffy saw appeals for a first-half penalty waved away (Lorriane O'Sullivan/PA)

The home side were caught once again with nine minutes gone when Taylor slipped Pukki in on goal, only for Randolph to make a fine block as he raced from his line.

Taylor and Rangers midfielder Glen Kamara were causing problems for Kenny's men as they linked with front two Pukki and Joel Pohjanpalo, whose movement was proving an issue for central defenders Egan and Duffy.

Duffy did just enough to prevent Pohjanpalo from making a decent connection with Nikolai Alho's inviting 26th-minute cross, but Ireland gradually worked their way into the game with Idah and Aaron Connolly belatedly starting to see a little of the ball, although with little or no penetration.

Ambitious appeals for a 40th-minute penalty were waved away by Italian referee Fabio Maresca after Duffy had gone to ground under Juhani Ojala's challenge, and the game remained all square at the half-time whistle.

Aaron Connolly (left) enjoyed a good start to the second half at the Aviva Stadium
Aaron Connolly (left) enjoyed a good start to the second half at the Aviva Stadium (Niall Carson/PA)

Connolly returned with the bit between his teeth as he started to run at Alho and Duffy glanced a Brady free-kick well wide before Molumby's cross was deflected dangerously across goal with the Republic finally making an impression.

The Brighton striker fired into the side-netting after Brady had dispossessed Kamara, and Callum O'Dowda curled a 57th-minute effort wide of keeper Lukas Hradecky's right post as the impetus remained with the men in green.

However, it was the Finns who took the lead when Jensen made an instant impact, getting involved in a left-wing throw-in before heading to the far post to convert Taylor's inviting cross.

David McGoldrick, on as a 66th-minute replacement for Idah, my have followed suit after fellow newcomer Callum Robinson dispossessed Ojala and played him in, but he delayed and his shot was smothered.

Connolly and Robinson both had shots saved in quick succession with Ireland pressing for an equaliser, but Randolph had to repel attempts by Taylor and Alho to prevent further damage with Pukki also flashing just wide.

However, Duffy almost repeated is heroics in Sofia when he met Brady's 88th-minute corner with a thumping header, but this time cleared the crossbar.

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Stephen Kenny pictured in charge of Republic of Ireland for the first time on September 3, 2020
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Olympic medal table header
CountryGold medalSilver MedalBronze MedalT
ChinaChina21131246
United StatesUnited States17171347
JapanJapan175830
Olympics flagOlympic Athletes from Russia11151137
AustraliaAustralia1131428
Great BritainGreat Britain891128
Today's Olympic highlights header

Sunday's key events


GOLF
· The men's golf reaches its conclusion, with plenty of players still in medal contention. Home favourite Hideki Matsuyama is one shot off Xander Schauffele's lead, while Great Britain's Paul Casey is another shot further back and Tommy Fleetwood is also in the mix (11.30pm-8am)

CYCLING - BMX
· Great Britain have already made history in the BMX events in Tokyo, something Charlotte Worthington and Declan Brooks will be looking to add to in the women's (2.10am) and men's (3.10am) freestyle finals

SWIMMING
· The final day of swimming action begins with the men's 50m freestyle final. Ben Proud could add to a medal-laden Games in the pool for Team GB so far, although he is up against USA's Caeleb Dressel, who is going for his fourth gold in Tokyo (2.30am)
· From sprint to endurance, Great Britain's second medal hope of the day comes through Daniel Jervis in the men's 1500m freestyle final (2.44am)
· Team GB will again be among the heavy favourites for gold in the last swimming event of the Games - the men's 4x100m medley relay final - having won the mixed event in a world record time on Saturday (3.36am)

BOXING
· Already guaranteed at least a bronze, Pat McCormack takes part in the men's welterweight semi-final against Ireland's Aidan Walsh with a spot in the gold medal final at stake (4.03am)
· Ben Whittaker is also in the semi-finals of the men's light heavyweight and will be looking to continue Team GB's success in the ring (4.51am)

TENNIS
· There will be a surprise on the top of the men's tennis podium after Novak Djokovic missed out on a medal altogether. Alexander Zverev takes on Karen Khachanov in the second match on Centre Court at the Ariake Tennis Park (7am-2pm)

SAILING
· Alison Young will be going for gold in the women's laser radial medal race (7.33am)

ARTISTIC GYMNASTICS
· Team GB's Max Whitlock will look to defend his 2016 Olympic title in the men's pommel horse final (10.41am)

ATHLETICS
· The men's high jump final includes GB's Tom Gale, although his chances of a medal look bleak (11.10am)
· So often the blue-riband event of the Olympics, the men's 100m final takes place as the world's fastest bid to be crowned Usain Bolt's successor. Three Brits have made it into the semi-finals (11.15am-11.32am), and the final looks wide open after an underwhelming display by favourite Trayvon Bromell on Saturday (1.50pm)

HOCKEY
· Great Britain face India in the men's quarter-final (1pm)

> Today's schedule in full
Todays Game Header Right
EFL Cup
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Belgian Pro League
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Russian Premier League
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Swedish Allsvenskan
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Belarusian Premier League
2.Bundesliga
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Copa Diego Maradona
Uruguayan Primera Division
Liga MX
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