07.05.2017 at 16:30 Pomorac Kostrena, Kostrena
Bosnia & Herzegovina
1 - 2
Rep of Ireland
Referee: Fabio Verissimo
Omerović (16. Domagoj 52),
Mehanović (Sikanjic 54),
Lee O Connor
Richard O Farrell
Following an opening game defeat to Serbia, Ireland knew three points were essential to keep their hopes of qualification alive.
The game was played at a frantic pace which resulted in Ireland getting off to the perfect start. With just the seven minutes on the clock, Rowan Roache found space following a great pass from Adam Idah and the Blackpool player unleashed a right footed drive from the edge of the area that flew into the bottom corner.
The ferocious pace to the game continued and just 5 minutes later Bosnia & Herzegovina were level as Nemanja Vještica headed home Milan Savić's free kick from close range.
Ireland took time to settle following that equaliser, but took the lead once again in the 29th minute. Following good work on the left flank, Aaron Connolly raced into the area before being taken down by Bosnian captain Rijad Sadiku.
Adam Idah took responsibility and scored his first goal of the tournament, putting the spot kick just out of the reach of goalkeeper Jasmin Krsic.
Ireland withstood the expected second half onslaught with Brian Maher and Jordan Doherty putting their bodies on the line to prevent the Bosnians in dangerous positions. O’Brien’s side now go into their final group game on Wednesday, where they’ll face an already qualified Germany side in Rijeka.
Speaking after the game, Head Coach Colin O’Brien was understandably delighted with how his side bounced back.
“Great game to win. I thought we started the game very well today and took the first goal very well. I felt we dominated for long periods of that first half but we let them back into it with a silly free kick that allowed them to get the ball into the box.
“We came back at them again and deserved the penalty. Second half was a scrappy, very physical game, which tested our defensive principles and organisation to the limit.”
Wednesday’s loss was the first time this squad have tasted defeat, with O’Brien praising the character of the team in preparation for today’s game.
“The players have been excellent since the Serbia game. They spoke well at our team meetings and have trained very well. There was a bit of tension today because we knew what was at stake, so we are very pleased with the win,” he said.
Ireland now face Germany on Wednesday, live on Eurosport, with a place in the quarter-finals the aim – a prospect O’Brien is relishing.
“I can’t wait. I really can’t. Germany are a top footballing nation with quality players but we have some great qualities in our squad too. We’ll prepare for them now and look forward to Wednesday,” he concluded.
Republic of Ireland: 1. Maher (GK); 2. O’Connor (C) (Thompson 65), 3. Ledwidge, 4. Doherty, 5. Collins; 6. Bolger, 9. Roache (Kavanagh 71), 14. O'Farrell; 7. Byrne, 10. Idah, 11. Connolly.
Goals: Roache 7’, Idah 29’
Bosnia & Herzegovina: 1. Kršić (GK), 3.Tegeltija, 5. Sadiku(C), 6. Gazibegović, 8. Santrač, 11. Omerović (16. Domagoj 52), 13. Sejdović, 14. Imamović, 15. Vještica, 17. Mehanović (Sikanjic 54), 18. Savic.
Goal: Vještica 12’
Referee: Fabio Verssimo (POR)
Assistant Referees: Manuel Fernandes (POR), Mircea Grigoriu (ROU)
Fourth Official: Duje Strukan (CRO)
Thursday, 4 May: Republic of Ireland 0-1 Serbia, Stadium Kostrena
Sunday 7 May: Republic of Ireland 2-1 Bosnia & Herzegovina, Stadium Kostrena, Kostrena
Wednesday, 10 May: Republic of Ireland v Germany, Stadium Rujevica, Rijeka, KO 11:00 Irish Time, LIVE on Eurosport 1