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Live Commentary: Wales 0-0 Republic of Ireland - as it happened

Live coverage of the international friendly between Wales and the Republic of Ireland at the Cardiff City Stadium.
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Wales and the Republic of Ireland played to a goalless draw at the Cardiff City Stadium this evening.

Craig Bellamy had Wales' only effort on target, while Paddy Madden and James McClean both had good chances late on for the visitors.

Ashley Williams kept out a late Irish effort with a block deep inside the penalty area for Wales.

Read how all the action unfolded below:


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Good evening, it's just under an hour until the match gets underway at the Cardiff City Stadium. Let's start by taking a look at the Republic of Ireland's starting lineup.

REPUBLIC STARTING XI: Westwood, Coleman, O'Shea, Clark, Wilson, Walters, McCarthy, Whelan, Brady, Hoolahan, Long

Wales are yet to announce their team for this evening's game, but it is known that Gareth Bale will not be playing, as he's still struggling with a foot injury. Craig Bellamy, Hal Robson-Kanu and Sam Vokes are among the biggest goal-threats in Chris Coleman's squad.

Bale has, of course, been the subject of much transfer speculation this summer. Ahead of this evening's game, the Wales manager told Wales Online that it won't be a distraction for his squad: "Everything that surrounds him is there because he is a super player and I can't complain about that because he's ours. There were a few more [journalists] there at training than usual because of the hype over if Gareth is going to move or not. But we got on with our work and we are concentrating on our preparations for the game."

Despite this evening's game not being a qualifier, Giovanni Trapattoni believes that it will still be a fierce competition. He told Sky Sports News: "This is no friendly. I know this country. I was here many years ago with Italy, as was their scorer that night, Bellamy. We won in Italy but we lost over here and we know about this team, I have seen so many games and I know the Welsh players, they have a good mentality and they are international players."

If you believe the FIFA world rankings, this should be a close match. Just two places currently separate the two nations, with the Republic of Ireland ranked 44th, two spots ahead of Wales.

WALES STARTING XI: Myhill, Gunter, Davies, Ledley, Ricketts, A Williams, Allen, Bellamy, Collinson, J Williams, Robson-Kanu

Despite the absence of Bale, it's still a strong lineup for the home side, with Bellamy and Robson-Kanu providing the threat up front, while Swansea's Ashley Williams takes the captain's armband. Despite regular Wales number one Wayne Hennessey returning to the squad after a lengthy absence with a knee injury, Boaz Myhill is preferred between the posts for the clash.

Shane Long is the sole striker for the Republic, but Wes Hoolahan and James McCarthy are likely to attack from midfield. Sunderland's John O'Shea is tonight's captain.

The ROI last played a friendly in June, losing 2-0 to Spain, but their recent record prior to that has been strong. In friendlies earlier this year, Trapattoni's side drew with England before comfortably beating Georgia. In their most recent World Cup qualifier, Ireland beat the Faroe Islands 3-0.

Wales made a strong start to 2013, beating Austria in a friendly before edging Scotland in a World Cup qualifier. However, Chris Coleman's side most recently lost to Croatia in another qualifying match.

Both countries also have their Under-21 sides in action today. For Wales, it was an afternoon to forget against Finland, as they lost 5-1. Meanwhile, Ireland's youngsters are currently drawing 1-1 with the Faroe Islands.

The other home nations are also in action this evening. As well as this match, you can follow live text commentaries from England's clash with Scotland and Northern Ireland's game against Russia. There's also coverage of Germany's friendly against Paraguay.

Looking closer at Wales's formation for this evening's game, it looks like Bellamy will play as the lone striker, with Jonathan Williams playing just ahead of the midfield four, with Robson-Kanu manning the wing.

The players have been out on the pitch warming up for this evening's game. Unfortunately, it's not the biggest looking crowd at the Cardiff City Stadium. I'd estimate that the stadium is less than 50% full.

The players are in the tunnel ready to head back out for tonight's game, which means there's just time for a prediction. On paper, there's very little between these two sides, and I think that will show tonight. I'm going for a 2-2 draw.

Before kickoff, the anthems from both countries will be played. While that's taking place, let's take a quick look at the weather conditions for this evening's game. It's relatively warm in Cardiff, but there is a relatively high chance of rain.

ANTHEM FAIL! The Republic of Ireland national anthem goes without a hitch, but as the home crowd gets ready to belt out theirs, The Soldier's Song starts playing again. Fortunately someone is quickly on hand to hit pause, before allowing Land of My Fathers to fill the ground.

The Republic of Ireland get the match underway.

In the opening couple of minutes, neither side have really taken control of the ball. Glenn Whelan tried to find a way through for the Irish side, but Wales look comfortable at the back at the start of this match. Neither side have yet created a real chance in front of goal.

Ireland are just starting to see a little more of the ball than their opponents, as Whelan and Wes Hoolahan string together a series of passes in midfield. Long tries to deliver the ball into the box, but he has no teammates ahead of him, and it goes out for a Wales throw-in.

Shane Long wins the ball on the edge of the area again, but a careless pass sees Davies win the ball back for the home side. The Irish regain possession in midfield, but are struggling to find gaps in the Wales defence. It doesn't feel like either side have really settled into this match yet.

Jonathan Williams runs at the Ireland defence for Wales before passing out wide the Gunter, but Coleman is able to prevent the hosts from breaking into the penalty area. Wales have had just 35% of the possession in the opening 10 minutes of this match.

Joe Ledley is penalised for a foul on McCarthy. Whelan whips the ball in for the Republic, almost finding the head of Coleman, but some close marking from Davies ensures that the Everton man can't get an attempt at goal.

Wales win a corner, which Westwood tries to punch away, but Ashley Williams manages to get a head to it, forcing O'Shea to put the ball behind for another corner. This time Ireland make the clearance, but Davies quickly takes it back in to Jonathan Williams. The Crystal Palace striker plays the ball it for Bellamy, but the veteran forward is flagged offside.

After a strong start by the visitors, Wales are finally starting to find their feet in this match, providing more service to Bellamy and Jonathan Williams up front.

CHANCE! A looping ball into the Wales box drops the Long, but Myhill manages to snatch the ball just before the West Brom striker collides into him. That's the first time either keeper have really come under pressure in this match.

CHANCE! Whelan tries to volley the ball in from the edge of the box following some impressive footwork by Robbie Brady to win the ball for the visitors.

CHANCE! McCarthy pulls the ball back in from the wing towards Long. There are several Welsh defenders in the way but they all manage to miss the clearance, allowing Long a shot from close range, but he gets his foot well under the ball and it flies over the crossbar.

Wales try to apply some pressure at the other end, as Robson-Kanu flicks the ball to Bellamy on the edge of the box, before the Cardiff striker returns the ball to the Reading midfielder. He looks for support to his right, but there's no-one there, allowing O'Shea to make the clearance for the Republic.

CHANCE! Robson-Kanu floats a long ball in to Collison, but the ball has too much pace on it for the West Ham midfielder to control, allowing Westwood to gather.

CHANCE! Wales are on the attack again, and Bellamy takes a strike from just inside the penalty area, but Coleman deflects it behind for a corner, which is easily cleared by the visitors.

CHANCE! Jonathan Williams goes for goal with a volleyed effort from the edge of the area. It's a good effort, but is deflected just wide.

BOOKINGS! Ashley Williams and Shane Long go into the referee's book. The official reason given is unsporting behaviour with another player, but it's not clear exactly what happened between the two men.

Bellamy wins the ball in midfield before finding Robson-Kanu out wide, but the Reading man gets a poor touch. He manages the prevent Coleman from stealing the ball away, but his pass to Jonathan Williams is intercepted.

CHANCE! Robbie Brady has the Republic's best effort of the half, attempting to curl the ball in from just outside the box. He had Myhill well beaten, but his finish was just inches off target.

Ireland are having the stronger finish to the half, easily getting the better of their opponents in midfield, but they're struggling to connect with sole striker Long. A long ball forward from Brady is meant to the Baggies forward, but it's too long, and bounces harmlessly to Myhill. Wales immediately go on the counter though, with Jonathan Williams winning a corner at the other end.

CHANCE! Bellamy takes the corner deep to Ben Davies, but the Swansea defender slices the ball well wide.

HALF TIME: Wales 0-0 Republic of Ireland

So neither side have an advantage at the interval as Wales and the Republic of Ireland finish the first half goalless.

There was little between the two sides in the opening 45 minutes. The visitors created more chances, with the best falling to Robbie Brady late on, but Wales saw more of the ball.

With the new Premier League season just three days away, it's likely that both managers will be making wholesale changes in the second half in order to keep their top-flight players fresh for their clubs at the weekend.

Let's take a closer look at some of the statistics from that opening half. Wales saw 60% of the possession, compared to 40% for the Republic. Neither side had a shot on target, but Ireland had five attempts miss the goal, while Wales had just two genuine chances. Both sides had a player booked, but it was the visitors who kept the referee busiest, conceding 11 fouls compared to Wales' two.

The players are back out ready for the second half.

Wales get the second half underway.

Wales are unchanged, while James McClean is on for Robbie Brady for the visitors.

Ireland are on the attack from the start, quickly winning a corner, but Whelan's delivery into the box is easily claimed by Myhill.

Wales win a corner or their own straight away. Bellamy's delivery finds Ledley, who fights hard as he looks for goal before eventually winning another corner. Ashley Williams looks for the target, but it goes behind for a goal kick. Positive starts from both teams to this second half.

McCarthy spots Long unmarked in the final third and delivers a long ball to the striker, but his first touch is poor, allowing Myhill another comfortable catch. Hoolahan tries to take the ball back in for Ireland, but a brilliant back heel by Ashley Williams ends the danger.

Jonathan Walters appears to have taken a knock to the head in the run up the Hoolahan's effort. He take a couple of minutes to compose himself, but it looks like he's going to be alright to carry on.

CHANCE! Jonathan Williams is brought down around 25 yards out. Bellamy lines up the free kick. He lifts it superbly above the wall and it looks like it was dipping under the crossbar, but Westwood made the save with a superb dive to his right. That's the first on target effort for either side.

SUBS! Wales make their first changes of the game, with Craig Bellamy and Joe Ledley go off for Andy King and Sam Vokes.

SUBS! It's a double change for Ireland too, as John O'Shea and Glenn Whelan make way for Darren O'Dea and Paul Green.

The changes just seem to have slowed play down somewhat, after a high-tempo start to the second half. Ireland are seeing the majority of the possession at the moment, holding the ball in their own half.

The Republic of Ireland are having a strong spell of possession but are struggling the penetrate the final third. It looks like Trapattoni could be getting ready to make another change through, with Paddy Madden warming up.

Jonathan Walters commits a foul on the edge of the box, giving Wales a free kick from a dangerous position. Collison's initial effort finds the wall, before Jonathan Williams blasts the rebound well wide.

SUBS! Paddy Madden does indeed come on for the Republic, as Wes Hoolahan is taken off.

CHANCE! Boaz Myhill makes a superb save to deny Shane Long, who beat Ashley Williams to create Ireland's first on-target effort of the night.

McClean makes a superb run down the left-hand wing, but his cross into the Wales box is claimed by Myhill.

SUBS! Hal Robson-Kanu goes off for Neil Taylor, while Shane Long makes way for Andy Keogh.

Wales look to be keeping the ball at the back, but a long ball forward drops to Vokes, who flicks on to Taylor inside the penalty area, but the latest substitute doesn't have time to control the ball before Westwood collects it.

CHANCE! Ben Davies bursts into the box for Wales before pulling the ball back for Vokes, but the Burnley forward scuffs his shot, letting it bobble wide. Ireland may have had the majority of the possession in the second half, but Wales are starting to look the more likely to snatch a late winner.

CHANCE! What was I saying about Wales looking the more likely to score? Madden has a go for the visitors from the edge of the box, forcing a solid save from Myhill. His save falls to McClean, but Ashley Williams is able to block the effort.

SUB! Craig Davies takes the place of Jack Collison for the hosts.

SUB! Jonathan Walters goes off, with Connor Sammon coming on for the final five minutes.

SUB! The changes are coming thick and fast now as Joe Allen makes way for Andrew Crofts.

CHANCE! Jonathan Williams has an effort blocked from the edge of the box, but Ben Davies keeps the move alive with a back-heel to Taylor, but the Swansea forward could not get the shot away.

Vokes looks for a header from close range, but some tight marking gives Wales a corner. Westwood punches the ball away giving Ireland the chance to go on the counter attack, but Myhill is able to punch away Madden's effort at the other end of the pitch.

Ireland are looking to finish strongly, camping out in the Wales half over the last couple of minutes. The fourth official holds up the board, there will be three minutes of stoppage time.

FULL TIME: Wales 0-0 Republic of Ireland

It's honours even at the Cardiff City Stadium. Both sides put in strong defensive performances, but created few decent chances in front of goal, resulting in a goalless draw.

The Republic of Ireland had the best chance of the game late on, with Paddy Madden testing Boaz Myhill, before Ashley Williams managed to block a follow-up effort from James McClean with an outstretched leg. The home side had just one shot on target, which came from Craig Bellamy.

Well that's all from this match this evening, but stick around for match reports for all of this evening's games. Thanks for joining me this evening, goodbye.

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Tottenham Hotspur's Gareth Bale in action during a friendly match against Swindon on July 16, 2013
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