MX23RW : Tuesday, August 3 08:21:56| >> :600:2239024:2239024:
Oct 15, 2019 at 7.45pm UK
Attendance: 24,766
Rep. IrelandRepublic of Ireland
Seferovic (16'), Duffy (93' og.)
FT(HT: 1-0)

Result: Switzerland dent Republic of Ireland Euro 2020 qualifying hopes

Result: Switzerland dent Republic of Ireland Euro 2020 qualifying hopes
© Reuters
Skipper Seamus Coleman was sent off for a second bookable offence.

A Haris Seferovic strike and Shane Duffy's own goal left the Republic of Ireland needing to beat Denmark to secure automatic qualification for the Euro 2020 finals as Switzerland got right back into the race.

Seferovic's 16th-minute effort and Duffy's misfortune at the death secured a 2-0 win for the home side at the Stade de Geneva on a night when skipper Seamus Coleman was sent off for two bookable offences.

Had it not been for keeper Darren Randolph, who saved Ricardo Rodriguez's second-half penalty after denying Seferovic a second with a smart save, and the post which kept out a Fabian Schar header, the Swiss might have won much more comfortably with Ireland rarely looking like claiming the victory which would have booked their place at next summer's finals.

Darren Randolph saved Ricardo Rodriguez's second-half penalty
Darren Randolph saved Ricardo Rodriguez's second-half penalty (Simon Cooper/PA)

Even a first start for teenager Aaron Connolly did not provide the spark required as Mick McCarthy repeatedly tinkered with both his system and personnel in an ultimately vain battle for a foothold in the game.

The pitch, which had passed an inspection around two hours before kick-off after torrential rain throughout the day, proved sticky as they sides set about their business, but the Swiss made the better start with Granit Xhaka forcing a seventh-minute save from Randolph after taking aim from distance.

Ireland's efforts to work their way into the game stalled time and time again as they wasted possession at regular intervals, and they were made to pay with 16 minutes gone when Seferovic latched on to a half-clearance, took a touch and then fired across Randolph and inside the far post to open the scoring.

Switzerland goalkeeper Yann Sommer was rarely troubled by the Republic of Ireland in a game his side won 2-0
Switzerland goalkeeper Yann Sommer was rarely troubled by the Republic of Ireland in a game his side won 2-0 (Salvatore Di Nolfi/Keystone via AP)

The Swiss were in complete control with the visitors penned back deep inside their own half seemingly incapable of picking out a team-mate on the rare occasions they did have the ball, and although they finally started to make a limited impression, they almost conceded again eight minutes before the break.

Newcastle defender Schar, who scored his side's goal in last month's 1-1 draw in Dublin, curled a long-range left-foot shot just wide with Randolph struggling to make his ground.

It took the Republic, who had switched to a 4-1-4-1 system from their initial 3-5-2 in a bid to stem the flow, 41 minutes to put Swiss keeper Yann Sommer under any pressure, although he was relieved to see Duffy's powerful header nestle into his midriff after he had met Glenn Whelan's corner.

Seamus Coleman was given his marching orders after picking up a second booking
Seamus Coleman, right, was given his marching orders after picking up a second booking (Simon Cooper/PA)

Having conducted a series of first-half reshuffles, McCarthy opted for change at the break when he replaced striker James Collins with midfielder Callum O'Dowda and switched to 4-3-3, but it took a fine reaction save by Randolph to keep out Seferovic's flicked header from Ricardo Rodriguez's inswinging 52nd-minute free-kick.

Ireland belatedly flexed their muscles as they saw ambitious penalty appeals for Schar's challenge on Connolly waved away before central defender John Egan drilled a long-range shot wide, but Randolph needed the help of his far post to keep out Schar's 62nd-minute header.

Connolly's evening came to an end with 20 minutes remaining when he was replaced by the more physical Scott Hogan, but he was swiftly joined in the dressing room by Coleman, after he had been adjudged to have blocked Breel Embolo's shot with his arm inside the penalty area and was given a second yellow card having already been booked following a first-half pushing match with Xhaka.

Randolph got down superbly to turn Rodriguez's spot-kick on to the post to keep Ireland's faint hopes alive, but there was nothing Duffy could do to keep out substitute Edimilson Fernandes' goal-bound effort with the final kick of the game.

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Seamus Coleman in action for Ireland on November 15, 2018
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Coleman: 'Ireland capable of qualifying for Euro 2020'

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Olympic medal table header
CountryGold medalSilver MedalBronze MedalT
United StatesUnited States22251764
Olympics flagRussian Olympic Committee12211750
Great BritainGreat Britain11121235
Today's Olympic highlights header

Tuesday's key events

· Team GB duo Jack Laugher - silver medallist in Rio - and James Heatly take part in the men's 3m springboard semi-final (2am), and will hope to qualify for the final later in the day (7am)

· Two Britons are involved in the women's long jump final, but Abigail Irozuru and Jazmin Sawyers have their work cut out to get a spot on the podium (2.50am)
· Norwegian Karsten Warholm, who broke the world record just last month, goes for gold in the men's 400m hurdles final. USA's Rai Benjamin is expected to be his main challenger (4.20am)
· Great Britain have three representatives in the final of the women's 800m, with Jemma Reekie having perhaps the best chance of a medal (1.25pm)
· A mouth-watering women's 200m final sees Elaine Thompson-Herah go for the prestigious sprint double after claiming the 100m crown. Compatriot Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, Namibia's Christine Mboma and USA's Gabrielle Thomas are expected to be her main competitors (1.50pm)

· The rescheduled women's skiff 49er FX (4.33am) and men's skiff 49er (5.33am) come to their conclusion, with Team GB involved in both medal races
· Defending champion Giles Scott bids for a second successive gold in the Finn class medal race (6.33am)
· There is another medal chance for Team GB in the mixed Nacra 17 medal race (7.33am)

· Team GB's Joe Fraser takes part in the parallel bars final, kicking off the final day of artistic gymnastics (9am)
· USA superstar Simone Biles, who has been forced to pull out of all of her finals so far, is on the starting list for the beam final as she bids for a fifth Olympic gold (9.50am)

· The men's semi-finals take place, with Mexico taking on Brazil first up (9am)
· The winner of that first semi-final will face either hosts Japan or Spain (2pm)

· Laura Kenny will look to win a third straight Olympic team pursuit gold medal. Team GB take on United States in their heat (7.44am), with the gold medal race later that day (9.26am)
· Laura's husband and fellow Olympic legend Jason Kenny will also look to continue his huge success in the men's team sprint - an event he has won gold in at every Games since 2008. Team GB will first need to get through the men's qualifying (7.58am), with the gold medal race ending the session (9.44am)

· Pat McCormack will be looking to achieve his dream of Olympic gold when he faces Cuba's Roniel Iglesias (11.05am)

> Today's schedule in full
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