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Match Analysis: Sweden 0-0 Republic of Ireland

Match Analysis: Sweden 0-0 Republic of Ireland
© Adam Davy / PA Photos
Sports Mole takes a look back over the Republic of Ireland's 0-0 draw away in Sweden.

Sweden and the Republic of Ireland played out a 0-0 draw at the Friends Arena this evening.

In truth, it was a game of few goalscoring chances, with both sides struggling to create many clear-cut opportunities.

However, Sports Mole looks back over the clash to determine if either side can say that they were deserving of maximum points.

Match statistics:

Sweden:
Shots 7
On target 3
Possession 52%
Corners 7
Fouls 13

Ireland:
Shots 5
On target 0
Possession 48%
Corners 6
Fouls 12

Was the result fair?

Had either side of won this, it would have been daylight robbery. From the first whistle it had the makings of a 0-0 and that is how it panned out. If you had to be pushed on who was the better side you'd arguably say Ireland, but they were nowhere near superior enough to argue that they deserved all three points.

Sweden's performance

As the home team, the onus was always going to be on Sweden to take the game to Ireland. They never did that though and very rarely did they place their visitors under too much pressure. Their one player of class - Zlatan Ibrahimovic - was far too isolated and he didn't help himself by dropping his head when things didn't go his way.

Ireland's performance

They got what they came for - nothing more, nothing less. They defended well and largely limited Sweden to shots from distance. At times they also looked dangerous going forward, but that killer pass in the final third was always lacking.

Sports Mole's man of the match

David Forde: This has nothing to do with the number of saves that the Ireland keeper had to make. He made three or four smart stops, but none that were outstanding. It's more for his commanding presence - he claimed virtually every corner and cross which instantly eased the pressure on his team.

Biggest gaffe

There are a few contenders here, but James McClean will take the honours. His side had a corner in first-half stoppage time and a real chance to claim a crucial goal. As he sent over his effort, the ball curled well out of play and the chance was gone. What a waste. His teammates that had come up from defence were also not impressed!

Referee performance

There was very little for Spanish referee Alberto Undiano to deal with, but what he did have to do, he did well. Yellow cards were only dished out when necessary and what was really pleasing was the fact that he didn't just give fouls when the home crowd demanded one.

What next?

Sweden: On Tuesday evening the Swedes are on the road when they travel to Slovakia for a friendly fixture.

Ireland: Unlike their hosts, Ireland are back in qualifying action on the same night as they welcome Austria to the Aviva Stadium.

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Zlatan Ibrahimovic
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