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  • 10 August 2011
  • • 19:45
  • • Aviva Stadium, Dublin
  • Referee: T. Hagen

Republic of Ireland 0-0 Croatia: Uninspiring performance results in scoreless draw

Republic of Ireland 0-0 Croatia: Uninspiring performance results in scoreless draw

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Both sides failed to really impress at the Aviva Stadium, duly resulting in a scoreless draw as both sides prepare for next month's Euro 2012 qualifiers

The Republic of Ireland held Croatia to a scoreless draw after a rather uninspired performance in Dublin. Both sides got a number of small chances throughout the match without ever really troubling any of the two goalkeepers.

The hosts started the match the better side of the two and got their first decent chance after only five minutes of play. Damien Duff set up Darron Gibson after a good run down the right, but the Manchester United man's shot was too weak to trouble Croatia goalkeeper Stipe Pletikosa.

Although Croatia dominated proceedings in Dublin after that early chance, Ireland were the more dangerous team and Shane Long showed his potential with a strong header halfway the first half, only to see Pletikosa collect the ball. A good individual move from Robbie Keane shortly before the half-time whistle should have led to the opener, but his shot lacked precision.

The away side also caused plenty of danger and were unlucky not to be rewarded a spot-kick after 15 minutes when Glen Whelan fouled Eduardo inside the area. To make things even worse for Croatia, they had another penalty shout turned down minutes later when Ivan Strinic went to the ground after being pulled down by Gareth Kelly.

Croatia continued to impress with Luka Modric directing play from midfield and Vedran Corluka and Darijo Srna causing mayhem down the right wing, but they lacked urgency in the final third and did not get a single shot on target in the opening 45 minutes.

Lyon defender Dejan Lovren got a huge chance to break the deadlock after the break following a free-kick from Srna, but the centre-back failed to find the target from close range. Substitute Nikola Kalinic was the first Croatia player to unleash a shot on target in the 85th minute, but Ireland keeper Keiren Westwood was not troubled and collected the ball with ease.

The biggest opportunity for Ireland to go ahead in the second half was for Richard Dunne, but the Aston Villa defender mistimed his jump after a cross from Sean St Ledger and his header went yards wide of the Croatian goal.

Giovanni Trapattoni's side will be back in action on September 2 when they host Slovakia in the Euro 2012 qualifying campaign. The Irish currently sit atop of the table in Group B with 13 points from six games.

Croatia's next match is the away match against European minnows Malta on September 2. They have collected 13 points from encounters in Group F and sit second in the table.

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