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08.09.2004 at 19:30 Basel Attendance: 28000
Switzerland 1 - 1 Republic of Ireland
Referee: Kyros Vassarasa (Greece) World Cup Qualifier / PROG-match

Hakin Yakin (15) Clinton Morrison (8)
Opening squads
Murat Yakin
Hakan Yakin
Shay Given
Andy O'Brien
Steven Finnan
Stephen Carr
Kenny Cunningham
Kevin Kilbane
Roy Keane
Andy Reid
Clinton Morrison
Damien Duff
Robbie Keane
Lonfat Gary Doherty
Graham Kavanagh
Lonfat for Vonlanthen 73 Graham Kavanagh -> Andy Reid (73)
Gary Doherty -> Clinton Morrison (84)
Yellow cards
None Stephen Carr
Roy Keane
Clinton Morrison
Red cards
None None.
Other statistics
0 Shots 0
0 Shots on goal 0
0 Offsides 0
0 Corner kicks 0
0 Free kicks 0
0 Penalties 0
Match report
Switzerland 1 Republic of Ireland 1

It was mission accomplished for boss Brian Kerr as the Republic of Ireland gained a semblance of revenge for the agony they suffered at the hands of Switzerland 11 months ago.

Kerr had demanded four points from his side's opening two World Cup qualifying matches and his players duly delivered courtesy of an outstanding display of goalkeeping from Shay Given.

However, this was a game Ireland could still have won, although there is no doubt Kerr will feel this was a deserved, hard-won point from an often-bitter clash which simmered, but just failed to spill over into an outright feud.

The pre-match hype had centred around words like 'revenge' and 'pay-back', but talk is cheap unless underlined by actions, and that is exactly what Ireland achieved inside eight minutes at Basle's St Jakob Park.

Kerr's side were determined to exact retribution for last October's 2-0 defeat by the Swiss at this same venue, a result which brought a shuddering halt to their hopes of reaching the European Championships finals.

Some of the Ireland players had harped on about poor gamesmanship from the Swiss, while Clinton Morrison suggested he had been racially abused by Alexander Frei.

Frei, however, was completing a two-match ban and thus avoided a potentially heated confrontation with the Birmingham forward

But Morrison was still eager to make Switzerland pay, and when he met a perfect Damien Duff cross from the left wing with a glancing header into the bottom left-hand corner, his delight was obvious.

The goal, the seventh of his Ireland career, was a replica of the Group Four opener in the 3-0 win over Cyprus at Lansdowne Road on Saturday, but unlike in that encounter, Kerr's side could not build on their advantage.

Instead, they were indebted to Given who proceeded to produce an outstanding five-minute display of goalkeeping, pulling off three world-class saves to preserve his side's lead.

The first came in the 10th minute with Given at full stretch in tipping on to the bar a rasping 25-yard free-kick from Murat Yakin after Stephen Carr had been booked for a shove on Alexandre Rey.

Two minutes later and a woeful pass from Roy Keane, who shook off a rib injury to make his first competitive appearance for the Irish for almost three years, was deflected off Johann Vonlanthen into the path of Rey.

But the Neuchatal Xamax striker, who rattled a hat-trick past the hapless Faroe Islands in a 6-0 victory on Saturday, was denied by the outstretched left foot of Given.

It was Given's right boot that saved the Republic again in the 14th minute as debutant Tranquillo Barnetta split the defence with an incisive through ball for Hakan Yakin, only for the Newcastle goalkeeper to again spread-eagle himself and deny the Swiss.

But the goal was coming and in the 17th minute Switzerland duly equalised as Barnetta again played in Hakan Yakin, and this time he made no mistake with an angled left-foot shot across Given for his 14th goal in 38 internationals.

Ireland were on the ropes, but they weathered the storm and indeed should have headed into the break with their lead restored, but twice spurned the chances that came their way.

Morrison should have buried a headed knock back from Robbie Keane to a Duff far-post cross, but his header was down into the turf, allowing Pascal Zuberbuhler to clear the danger before an altercation and a scramble ensued in front of him.

It resulted in Keane being shown the yellow card by Greek referee Kyros Vassaras as he duelled with Murat Yakin, much to the 33-year-old's obvious disgust.

But Ireland were alive again and in the 33rd minute were denied again, with Zuberbuhler diving to his right to keep out Robbie Keane's angled shot, and from the rebound West Brom defender Bernt Haas blocked Kevin Kilbane's right-foot drive.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the second-half failed to scale the opportunistic heights of the first as both sides tightened up and a tetchy, often petulant, battle followed.

Inevitably, Keane was involved and one challenge from behind on Switzerland skipper Johann Vogel could have led to a second yellow and subsequent red from some officials, but Vasseras opted for a quiet word.

The crowd were incensed, and it again heightened the tension, only eased when dangerman Hakan Yakin unleashed a bullet of a 25-yard left-foot drive in the 70th minute which was bound for the top right-hand corner until Given's outstanding intervention.

It was fitting Given should have had what was technically the last word, and Ireland can now march on Paris next month and a game with the Patrick Vieira-less France with confidence high.


Switzerland Zuberbuhler, Haas, Muller, Murat Yakin, Magnin, Vogel, Barnetta, Cabanas, Hakan Yakin, Vonlanthen (Lonfat 73), Rey.

Subs Not Used: Roth, Berner, Henchoz, Grichting, Huggel, Haberli.

Booked: Haas, Hakan Yakin.

Goals: Hakan Yakin 17.

Rep of Ireland Given, Carr, O'Brien, Cunningham, Finnan, Andy Reid (Kavanagh 73), Roy Keane, Kilbane, Duff, Robbie Keane, Morrison (Doherty 84).

Subs Not Used: Breen, Maybury, Quinn, Kenny, Barrett.

Booked: Carr, Morrison, Roy Keane.

Goals: Morrison 8.
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