Republic of Ireland 0-0 Wales: Wales stay at the top of the group
Cymru hold on to the top spot in their UEFA Nations League group after a goalless draw against the Republic of Ireland in Dublin.
Ryan Giggs made several changes to the side that lost 3-0 to England in a friendly on Thursday, with the returning Aaron Ramsey given the captain’s armband. Harry Wilson and Dan James returned to the starting XI while Wayne Hennessey became Cymru’s most capped goalkeeper, overtaking Neville Southall in the record books.
The Republic of Ireland dominated possession in the opening quarter but created little with the ball, sitting deep within their half. Cymru played the brighter football and the moment of the half came with a penalty call from a Cymru corner. A handling error from Darren Randolph when collecting the corner led to Ethan Ampadu leaping towards the dropped ball, who was then dragged down by Randolph. Calls for a penalty were turned down by referee Tasos Sidiropoulos.
A first half booking for Kieffer Moore will mean the striker will miss Wednesday’s match against Bulgaria, while the Republic of Ireland’s best opportunity fell to Cyrus Christie, who saw his strike from the edge of the box sail over the crossbar.
We had to try and adapt to Ireland’s game and at times we found it difficult. We got stuck in and came away with a point. We’ve got seven points out of nine now. We’ll take that, we’ll dust ourselves off and look to do better on Wednesday.– AARON RAMSEY
Cymru started the second half brightly as captain Ramsey looked to influence the match in his attacking role, but it was Stephen Kenny’s side that should have taken the lead after 55 minutes. A cross from the left-hand side found Shane Long free on goal but the striker’s header was off target and over the crossbar.
Ryan Giggs looked to open up the game, bringing on Neco Williams, Dylan Levitt and David Brooks in an attempt to influence the play. Cymru failed to break through, with one of the few chances of the half falling to Brooks whose shot from distance was on target but straight into the hands of Darren Randolph.
The Republic of Ireland were forced to play the final moments of the match with ten men after two quick bookings for James McLean. However, Cymru failed to find a final opportunity to take the three points and had to settle for the draw.
Giggs’ Cymru remain unbeaten and top of their UEFA Nations League B group as they now prepare to face Bulgaria in Sofia on Wednesday.
Republic of Ireland XI: 23. Darren Randolph, 2. Matt Doherty, 3. Enda Stevens, 4. Shane Duffy (c), 6. Conor Hourihane, 9. Shane Long (18. Sean Maguire 74’), 10. Robbie Brady (17. Daryl Horgan 73’), 11. James McClean, 13. Jeff Hendrick, 14. Kevin Long (20. Cyrus Christie 25’), 22. Jayson Molumby (19. Josh Cullen 90’).
Subs not used: 1. Mark Travers, 16. Caoimhin Kelleher, 21. Jack Byrne.
Yellow cards: Cyrus Christie 29’, James McLean 79’
Red cards: James McLean 84’
Cymru XI: 1. Wayne Hennessey, 4. Ben Davies, 6. Joe Rodon, 7. Harry Wilson (3. Neco Williams 67’), 10. Aaron Ramsey (c), 13. Kieffer Moore, 14. Connor Roberts, 15. Ethan Ampadu, 16. Joe Morrell, 19. Matt Smith (18. Dylan Levitt 67’), 20. Dan James (17. David Brooks 76’).
Subs not used: 12. Danny Ward, 21. Adam Davies, 2. Chris Gunter, 5. Ben Cabango, 8. Jonny Williams, 9. Tyler Roberts, 11. Rabbi Matondo, 22. Rhys Norrington-Davies, 23. Will Vaulks
Yellow cards: Kieffer Moore 21’, Joe Morrell 83’