29.03.2006 at 19:00 Richmond Park
Rep of Ireland
1 - 1
Referee: V Aliyev (Azerbaijan)
EC Elite Round / TS/PROG-match
Nisim Kapiloto (c),
Sean Mc Caffrey’s men got out of jail last night in Richmond Park. But I suppose if you were going to equalize in the last minute against a team then Israel would be the preferred team – they having taken a point that probably cost us our place in the world cup.
Back Row: Spillane, Breen, Redmond,Sheridan, Donohoe, Arter,
Front Row: Carey, Cahillane, Fagan, Treacy, Fitzgerald
Pictures from the match
Sean had to field without Donal Mc Dermott as he was suspended and how we missed him
That is not to detract from the players on the pitch but having scored four on Monday we struggled to get the ball in the net last night.
We wasted a lot of chances including a missed penalty, had one cleared off the line and fell to a sucker punch – a goal in the 71st minute that nearly cost us our place in the finals to be held in Luxembourg in early May.
The game started with Ireland on the attack and it stayed that way for most of the game with Harry Arter a colossus in midfield. Ireland with Breen, Spillane and Donohoe in their side wee always a threat at set pieces and keeper Machluf struggled to cope with our tall players.
It was one such case that Spillane nearly scored after 12 minutes when his header beat the keeper but was cleared by full back Shish.
Damari the Israel number 8 showed his ability when he was allowed run a long way and it took a last ditch Spillane tackle to deprive him from scoring.
A Graham Carey kick in the 31st minute saw Spillane beat keeper Machluf and his header came to Christ Fagan who cleverly tried to lob the full back but with everybody holding their breath Malul cleared off the line to save the day for Ireland.
Just before the break Graham Carey had a good shot which was deflected out for a corner that was subsequently cleared.
The second half had an explosive start with Spillane being taken down in the box after 3 minutes of the second half. Spillane was very clever in his invitation to Machluf to tackle him and the keeper took the invite leaving referee Aliyev with no other option other than point to the spot.
ChristyFagan1.jpgIf I had any criticism of the referee it was at this stage as he allowed the Israel keeper and players to play act resulting in a delay in the taking of the penalty. It certainly worked as Christy Fagan who only two nights’s ago was the hero now became the villain with his shot going high over to the disappointment of large attendance – official figures of 2120
The referee atoned for his slight error and to the applause of virtually everybody in the crowd booked Damari for diving in the Irish Penalty area, although for a split second I think everybody’s heart stopped thinking the referee was going to point to the spot.
Cahillane took a great cross from Carey and set up Fagan who easily beat the full back and crossed but unfortunately fir Ireland no body had read his intentions and the ball was cleared.
With 20 minutes remaining Sean Mc Caffrey sprung Terry Dixon from the bench to replace Cilian Sheridan who had begin to show the effects of leading the line so well.
After 25 minutes of the second half a free kick by Cahillane placed a teasing free kick into the box. For once the Israel defence cleared well and the ball fell invitingly to Graham Carey who hit it first time from all of 40 yards. The ball like a bullet propelled from a gun split the out rushing defence and beating the keeper all ends up went just the wrong side of the post for Ireland. It would truly have been a marvelous goal
With ten minutes remaining Israel got the opening goal after Mare – a substitute for Israel got down the right wing and his cross was met first time by the inrushing Damari to sweep home past Redmond in the Irish goal.
Ireland were stunned and it showed. It took Ireland a few minutes to compose themselves and Gary Breen was booked deservedly for a tackle on the keeper but the crowd were annoyed to the over reaction of the keeper.
Ireland now went three at the back with four minutes remaining as Sean Mc Caffrey threw on Tom Lyons for Corie Treacy.
The gamble paid off as in injury time a corner by Carey was headed on by Spillane and Dixon was on hand about two yards from the goal to smash home the equalizer to the delight of everybody in Richmond.
In all the celebrations Israel kicked off quickly and Saloniki hit a shot from inside his own half which had Redmond scrambling back and did magnificently well to get a hand to Saloniki shot to tip the ball over the bar for a corner. Ireland could have paid very dearly for a moment’s lack of concentration only for the agility of Redmond.
Terry Dixon the new darling of the crowd explained after the game” It is hard to get into a game coming on as a sub- it is hard to pick up the pace of the game.” Asked about his goal he replied that it is “a set play that we practice in Spurs, I stand on the line and as the corner comes in I pull off the line and Michael (Spillane) headed it on and it just fell nicely for me”
seanmccaffrey100sq.jpgSean Mc Caffrey was a relieved man after the game as he said himself not “Happy – no not happy – relieved – we were the better team throughout and we deserved to win the match. Missed a penalty fair play to Christy Fagan he was man enough and brave enough to get up and take it – he just miss hit that’s it”
The dressing room was like a morgue in there- players were disappointed – disappointed that they did not win – we wanted to win we deserved to win”
In the other game played earlier in the day played in UCD’s Belfield Serbia had beaten Romania by a penalty after Jovetic was taken down in the box and the subsequent penalty taken by Gulan who hit it with power to the keepers left for the only goal of the game and give Serbia and Montenegro 3 points from 2 games.
REP of IRELAND: Shane Redmond (Nottingham Forest), Corie Treacy (Cherry Orchard), Lorcan Fitzgerald (West Ham), Gary Breen (Manchester City), Gavin Donoghue (Sunderland), Paul Cahillane (Glasgow Celtic), Harry Arter (Charlton Athletic), Michael Spillane (Norwich City), Graham Carey (Glasgow Celtic), Cillian Sheridan (Belvedere) , Christy Fagan (Manchester United).
SUBS: Terry Dixon (Spurs) for Sheridan (57 mins) Tom Lyons (Crystal Palace) for Treacy (76 mins)
ISRAEL: Machluf, Amitay, Shish, Malul, Kapiloto, Damari (Huta 78), Saloniki, Jabarin (Elmaleach 68), Saher, Arael, Hijazi (Mare 45).
REFEREE: Mr. V. Aliyev (Azerbaijan)