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

Relive Sports Mole's live text commentary of Republic of Ireland's 1-0 win over Switzerland at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin.
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Republic of Ireland earned a 1-0 win over Switzerland in their international friendly at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin on Friday evening.

Ciaran Clark scored the winner with a header inside the first three minutes of the match, and despite the Swiss having the majority of possession, they were unable to break down Ireland's defence.

The victory is the first that the nation have sealed over Switzerland since 1992.

Discover how the game unfolded in Sports Mole's text commentary below.


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Evening all! We have another round of international fixtures for you tonight. There are just three in the calendar, with one home nation gracing the stage, and that's the Republic of Ireland. We will be bringing you all the action from Dublin as they take on Switzerland at the Aviva Stadium.

Most managers will be using this week's international break as an opportunity to shape their squads ahead of this summer's European Championships in France. It is also a chance for fringe players to stake their claim for a spot in the lineup come June. Ireland earned their spot on the plane via the playoffs and they will take on Belgium, Italy and Sweden in a tough Group E this summer.

As for Switzerland, well, manager Vladimir Petkovic guided the team to second in their qualifying group, just behind England following seven wins and three defeats. They have been drawn against Albania, France and Romania in Group A.

I think it's time for some team news, don't you? Here are the lineups for both sides...

REPUBLIC OF IRELAND XI: Randolph; Coleman, Duffy, Clark, Brady; Judge, Meyler, Quinn, McGeady; Long, Doyle

SWITZERLAND XI: Sommer; Lang, Schar, Klose, Rodriguez; Dzemaili, Xhaka, Behrami; Embolo, Seferovic, Mehmedi

The big news for Republic of Ireland is that midfielder Alan Judge will make his international debut. There is no Robbie Keane tonight as he deals with a knee injury, and Jonathan Walters, Harry Arter and Jeff Hendrick are also missing due to respective injuries.

Darren Randolph will line up in goal, with Seamus Coleman, Shane Duffy, Ciaran Clark and Robbie Brady in defence. Debutant Judge will join David Meyler, Stephen Quinn and Aiden McGeady in midfield, while Shane Long and Kevin Doyle will lead the line up front.

As for Switzerland, Shani Tarashaj has missed out on making his full debut, while Xherdan Shaqiri has also been omitted from the starting XI. Petkovic has opted to start Yann Sommer in goal, with Michael Lang, Fabian Schar, Timm Klose and Ricardo Rodriguez in defence. Belgium Dzemaili, Granit Xhaka and Valon Bahrami will sit in midfield. Bree Embolo, Haris Seferovic and Admir Mehmedi will form an attacking trio.

Prior to the match, O'Neill made it clear that while he has an idea in mind of who will be in his 23-man squad, he will look at who could challenge those positions.

"You have to take into consideration in the next six or seven weeks, that some of the major players who have been great might fall foul of injury, so players here should take this opportunity, late and all as it may be, to feel as if they have got a chance," the Irish Examiner quotes O'Neill as saying.

"Listen, let's be fair about it, the players who are coming in late here have a bit to do, I must admit, to go and cement something. Everything would probably have to go pretty well for them individually.

"But it's not impossible and it's happened before, and that's why I'd like to open the door for them, to feel as if they have got a chance. And, for instance, one or two of them - let's say they didn't make it - they know they are right maybe for the World Cup campaign coming up almost immediately."

Martin O'Neill the manager of the Republic of Ireland reacts during the UEFA EURO 2016 Qualifier play off, second leg match between Republic of Ireland and Bosnia and Herzegovina at the Aviva Stadium on November 16, 2015© Getty Images


The Irishman has landed in hot water, though, following his comments about allowing the players' wives and girlfriends to be in France with the team. It is always a question that is raised before a major tournament as some managers believe that having families around is a distraction for the players.

When asked for his thoughts, O'Neill joked: "It depends on how good-looking the girls are. If they're really attractive, they're very, very welcome. The uglier ones, I'm afraid not."

Hmm...


Anyway, back to matters on the pitch! So, the Republic of Ireland head into tonight's game on the back of a successful qualifying campaign. They made it through to the finals via the playoffs in dramatic fashion after a 1-1 draw away to Bosnia. Robbie Brady secured a crucial away goal in the 82nd minute, and in the return leg, Jonathan Walters scored twice, one of which was from the penalty spot, to seal a 3-1 win and Ireland's progression.

To get to the playoff stage, O'Neill's side had 10 qualifiers to play and they began well with a 2-1 win over Georgia on away turf. The next game turned out even better as they thumped Gibraltar 7-0 at the Aviva Stadium. Robbie Keane scored a hat-trick, James McClean netted twice, Wes Hoolahan also got on the scoresheet and Gibraltar recorded an own goal.

Next up was world champions Germany and it ended up being a great result for the Irish as John O'Shea's 94th-minute goal cancelled out Toni Kroos's strike and earned O'Neill's side a point. After going three games unbeaten, Ireland suffered their first loss at the hands of Scotland, who earned a 1-0 win.

In March last year, they managed to come away with a 1-1 draw against Poland and they repeated that scoreline in the reverse fixture against Scotland. Republic of Ireland's last four qualifiers resulted in three wins and a defeat. The victories came against Gibraltar, Georgia and Germany, who were undone by a 70h-minute Shane Long goal. The defeat came in the form of a 2-1 loss to Poland, which put them in third place in Group D, behind Germany and Poland.

We have looked at ROI's qualifying campaign, well what about Switzerland's? They reached the finals an easier way as they finished second in the group, but it was a poor start as they lost to England as a result of a Danny Welbeck brace. The losing run continued in the form of a 1-0 defeat to Slovenia.

However, they managed to bounce back against minnows San Marino and earned a confidence-boosting 4-0 triumph. They repeated that scoreline at home in St Gallen to Lithuania and they later managed to get three past Estonia. Another win came their way as they earned the double over Lithuania and then avenged Slovenia with a 3-2 triumph. The team came from 2-0 down to snatch all three points in stoppage time.

Switzerland were unable to get past England at Wembley as Harry Kane scored and Wayne Rooney wrapped up the game from the penalty spot, but they rounded off their campaign with a 7-0 thumping of San Marino and a 1-0 win over Estonia.

STAT! Switzerland are in good form heading into this match as they have been beaten just twice in their last 13 international fixtures, but O'Neill has not suffered defeat in his last nine home matches as Republic of Ireland boss.

HEAD TO HEAD: These two nations have not played against one another since 2005 and that game was far from a goalfest as it ended 0-0 at Lansdowne Road. The Irish last beat Switzerland in March 1992 in the form of a 2-1 win. it was an international friendly and now-England manager Roy Hodgson was in charge of the Swiss. The result was his first loss as head coach.

The teams are out on the pitch and we're moments away from kickoff!

KICKOFF! We're underway at the Aviva Stadium! Fingers crossed for a decent game.

Ireland get two quick corners in these early stages. The first of which is whipped in by Brady, but it's headed clear for another set piece from the corner flag.

GOAL! REP OF IRELAND 1-0 SWITZERLAND (CLARK)

What a perfect start for the hosts! It comes from the second corner and it's Brady again as he sends the ball towards Duffy, who heads the ball to keep the move alive. It finds Clark and the defender gets his close-range header past the keeper.

Judge gets on the ball and delivers a cross from the right into the box, but Sommer comes off his line and picks the ball out of the air. It's been a fast start from O'Neill's side!

The visitors get some time on the ball and they knock it back and forth in their own half before a pass is made down the right towards Lang, but it's overhit and the ball trickles out for a goal kick.

CHANCE! Dzemaili goes for goal with his first touch on the edge of the area, but it's too high and the ball surges over the crossbar.

Embolo charges down the left with the ball before cutting inside and switching feet. He aims the ball towards the other side of the field, but Duffy reads it well and he cuts out the pass.

WIDE! Switzerland are getting closer! This time, Seferovic shows skill by turning inside the box before firing a shot towards goal, but he misses the target and the ball goes wide.

CHANCE!The visitors get another opportunity to pull a goal back as Dzemaili whips the ball in from the corner flag and finds Seferovic, but the forward's header flies inches over the bar.

Switzerland continue to put Ireland under pressure as they win another corner and it's taken by Rodriguez, who finds Lang at the far post, but the defender's header goes straight to Randolph.

There's some trouble for Ireland as Doyle requires medical treatment following a heavy challenge from Klose. The forward signals to the bench immediately and it looks as though a stretcher is about to come on.

After a lengthy spell of treatment, Doyle is carried off the pitch on a stretcher. The Irish forward receives a round of applause from the Aviva crowd.

REP OF IRELAND SUB: Murphy has come on to replace his injured teammate.

Play has resumed and it's Switzerland who have taken back control. Dzemaili spots Embolo ahead of him and he plays the ball forward as his teammate tries to get in behind the defence, but the attacker fails to control the ball and the chance goes missing.

At the other end, Ireland get a corner kick and it's taken by Brady, but his cross is cleared from the back post by Dzemaili.

SAVE! Randolph is called into action! Switzerland launch a counter-attack and it's Xhaka who unleashes a shot from distance. The ball ends up deflecting off Seferovic, but the keeper is there to make the stop.

OFF THE BAR! Coleman charges down the right before delivering a cross into the box for Long, who manages to get on the end of it before directing a header towards goal. Unluckily for the forward, though, it clatters off the bar.

BOOKING! Dzemaili is the first to receive a yellow card in this game and it's for simulation after going down in the box.

We have four minutes of added time in the first half. It looks as though, Martin O'Neill's side will head into the interval with the lead.

HALF-TIME: REP OF IRELAND 1-0 SWITZERLAND

Republic of Ireland enter the break with a slender 1-0 lead following a header from Ciaran Clark in the third minute. Switzerland have had their fair share of opportunities and have put the hosts under pressure at times, but at the moment, Martin O'Neill's side have been able to deal with the threat. We'll return for the second half shortly!

RESTART! We are back underway in Dublin! Will Ireland maintain their lead or can Switzerland get back in this game? Let's find out!

The home side go on the attack as Murphy manages to get away from Schar and deliver a cross towards the far post for Long, but it's overhit and goes beyond the striker.

Lang gets brought down by Judge and earns his side a free kick. Rodriguez takes it and curls the ball towards the far corner, but Randolph tracks its path and manages to grab it.

Much like the first half, Switzerland are having more time on the ball, but so far, Ireland are doing well to keep them out. O'Neill's side are looking comfortable and solid at the back at the moment.

Ireland's great defending continues as Clark makes a block to prevent Embolo from getting a shot away.

Switzerland go on the attack again and this time it\s Mehmedi who tries to make things happen. He cuts inside from the left side before bending a shot, trying to get past the keeper, but his attempt goes high and wide.

BOOKING! Xhaka receives a yellow card for catching Quinn with a sliding tackle.

REP OF IRELAND, SWITZERLAND SUBS: It's time for some changes. O'Neill makes three as Hayes, McCarthy and O'Kane come on for Quinn, Meyler and McGeady. As for Switzerland, Seferovic makes way for Steffen.

Switzerland get a corner and Rodriguez delivers it in. He manages to find Dzemaili, but his header is weak and Randolph easily makes a stop.

At the other end, Ireland get a corner after Schar heads behind, but it comes to nothing. Brady has whipped in a few teasing crosses tonight, but at the moment, his teammates are unable to get on the end of them.

SWITZERLAND SUBS: More changes as Dzemaili, Behrami and Mehmedi are hauled off and replaced with Tarashaj, Fernandes and Kasami.

WIDE! Murphy goes for glory after getting into the box. He has options with two of his teammates at the far post, but he takes it on himself by trying to bend the ball into the corner, but it goes wide.

REP OF IRELAND, SWITZERLAND SUBS: Another change for the visitors as Moubandje comes on for Rodriguez and Hoolahan replaces Murphy for the hosts.

CHANCE! The ball trickles wide of the post after its hit by Tarashaj, who gets a big deflection of Clark and then his own teammate Embolo.

REP OF IRELAND SUB: Ireland try to run the clock down as Long is taken off and replaced with McClean. Earlier, Widmer came on for Switzerland's Lang.

Fernandes defends well as he tackles the ball off McClean, who was looking to break through the Switzerland back line on his way to the penalty area.

CHANCE! So close for O'Kane! The midfielder tries to curl the ball towards the bottom corner and Sommer is nowhere near it, but his effort goes wide of the post.

FULL-TIME: REPUBLIC OF IRELAND 1-0 SWITZERLAND

So there we have it. Ireland claim their first win over Switzerland since 1992! The result may be rather meaningless, but it gives Martin O'Neill and his team some confidence ahead of Euro 2016 this summer. Next up for the Irish is a friendly against Slovakia next week, while Switzerland take on Bosnia and Herzegovina. Thank you for joining us, and until next time, goodbye!

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Jonathan Walters of the Republic of Ireland (14) celebrates with Shane Long (9) as he scores their first goal during the UEFA EURO 2016 Group D qualifying match between Republic of Ireland and Georgia at Aviva Stadium on September 7, 2015 in Dublin, Irela
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