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14 November 2012
• Aviva Stadium, Dublin
Referee: E. Shmuelevich
• Attendance: 16256
Republic of Ireland
J. Holebas 29'
Greece win 1-0 at the Aviva Stadium. Thanks for reading.
Plenty of talk about the early penalty shout, but Trapattoni needs to work on the side's attacking play for next year.
Ireland had 61% possession, and more shots than Greece, but the only statistic that matters is the score, and Greece came out on top there.
Ireland's next game is in four months, with Poland the opponents in another friendly. Trapattoni and Tardelli will have plenty to think about for the next game.
Ireland were much the better side for the majority of the match, but just couldn't find that killer pass to open up the Greek defence. There were plenty of positives from the game despite the result, with Wes Hoolahan making a fine cameo appearance.
Ireland end 2012 with a home loss to Greece, thanks to Jose Holebas's first half strike.
90' + 3'
James McClean does everything right except the final ball out to Ward. That's been the story of the evening really.
90' + 2'
Meyler makes a good tackle to stop Greece countering. Defensively he's been much better than he has been going forward.
90' + 1'
RTÉ have picked out Seamus Coleman as their man of the match. Coleman has looked good going forward, making some threatening runs.
Dimitris Salpingidis breaks into the box, but with Greece defending in numbers, there's no-one there to meet his cross.
Poor pass from David Meyler, who hasn't really shone since coming on for McCarthy.
The cross in is met by Stefanos Athanasiadis, who is running to meet the ball, and heads over.
Good defending from Coleman sees Greece win their first corner of the second half.
Yellow Card Konstantinos Fortounis
Kostas Fortounis goes into the referee's book for a late challenge on Seamus Coleman who had beaten the defender for pace.
After a promising start, Wes Hoolahan has faded as Ireland try to force things in the final third.
Poor cross from David Meyler sees the ball run out for a goal kick.
James McClean has been working his socks off, and getting around the pitch. He's just won a throw-in near the Greek goal after a good run.
More solid defending from Greece, whose central pairing have looked very comfortable this evening.
Ireland passing it around very well, but can't find a killer ball to break through the Greek defence.
Trapattoni has Randolph, Kelly, O'Dea, and Clifford left on the bench, so there's not much more he can change to find an equaliser.
Dimitris Salpingidis does the same at the other end. He's been somewhat anonymous since coming on.
James McClean makes a great tackle in midfield, but instead of passing it, takes a long-range effort, which he blazes over.
Another short corner is lofted in, but Kevin Doyle can't keep his header on target.
A deep corner from Hoolahan finds John O'Shea, but he heads straight at the defender to win another corner.
Ireland have had 69% of the possession in the second half. Greece seem happy to hold out for the win.
David Meyler comes on for James McCarthy to win his third cap.
The free-kick is well-worked from Hoolahan, but Stephen Ward hits his shot into the ground with the goal at his mercy. A great chance for Ireland.
Seamus Coleman beats the full-back with a brilliant piece of skill, and then wins a free-kick from Stafylidis.
The pitch hasn't really helped the passing game, after last weekend's rugby international ploughed up parts of the grass.
Ireland playing with much more urgency now, and win another corner.
McClean's free-kick hits Kostas Stafylidis and wins a corner, which Greece clear.
McCarthy makes inroads down the wing and wins a free-kick.
A double change from Greece, while Keogh comes on for Ireland.
Simon Cox signals to the bench that he wants to be replaced. Andy Keogh is the likely replacement.
Hoolahan has looked good since coming on, keeping hold of the ball and picking out his teammates.
Space opens up for James McClean, who cuts inside and takes a shot from 25 yards, but it's well wide.
Like the first half, Ireland's build-up play has been good, but they have failed to carve out any real chances.
Panagiotis Tachtsidis sends the free-kick over Forde's goal.
Once again, Greece break quickly, and win a free-kick just on the edge of the area from Simon Cox's foul.
Quick short passing sees Hoolahan and Cox link well, with Cox winning a corner after breaking into the box. However, the corner comes to nothing.
Greece made three changes at half-time too, and haven't created anything since the break - particularly with Samaras replaced.
A lovely through ball from Keith Andrews finds Simon Cox in on goal, but the striker hesitates enough to allow Papastathopoulos to make the tackle.
A nice short corner finds James McCarthy who strikes it well. The ball is saved, but comes back out. Kevin Doyle tussles with the defender, and a fourth penalty shout is waved away.
James McClean is on the right wing in this half, and whips in a lovely cross which wins Ireland a corner.
Hoolahan is going into a three-man midfield alongside Andrews and McCarthy as Greece get the second half underway.
Big cheer for Hoolahan, who wins his second cap, a full ten years after his first ever call-up.
Shane Long and Robbie Brady are being taken off, so Simon Cox could possibly move out wide to take Brady's place.
Back to the Aviva Stadium, and Trapattoni is about to introduce Kevin Doyle and Wes Hoolahan for the second half.
A Jordan Rhodes double has given Scotland the lead against Luxembourg. They're currently 2-1 up in Letzebuerg.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic opened the scoring in Solna, but Danny Welbeck pegged one back before Steven Caulker scored a debut goal to give the Three Lions the lead.
As for Ireland's World Cup opponents, Germany are drawing 0-0 with Netherlands in the 50th minute, Austria are one down at home to Ivory Coast, while Sweden are trailing 2-1 to England.
There's two qualifiers on tonight, aside from all the friendlies. Northern Ireland are currently 1-0 down at Windsor Park to Azerbaijan thanks to a 5th minute Rauf Aliyev goal. The other qualifier finished 3-0 to Montenegro over San Marino.
Just saw that 10th minute header from Simon Cox again. The Nottingham Forest striker really should have done better, at least getting his effort on target.
Ireland have had 56% possession in the first-half, with 3 shots on target to Greece's 4. Even enough game so far, but that Holebas strike was a peach, getting between the defence and the keeper.
Ireland can feel somewhat hard-done-by at half-time, but aside from that late Brady effort, rarely troubled the goalkeeper. Once again, the Boys in Green are allowing the opposition midfield too much time on the ball. Perhaps the introduction of Wes Hoolahan and a shift to 4-5-1 might help them settle in the second half.
45' + 2'
The half ends as it began with a handball shout from Ireland. However, despite James McClean's protests, the referee blows for half-time.
45' + 1'
A lovely ball from Andrews finds Long, who leaves the ball off for Brady, who stings the goalkeeper's gloves with a fine effort.
Ireland win a corner. Shane Long goes up to head it, but the keeper punches clear.
Forde is doing well in the air from Greek crosses, with a lot of their attacking play coming down Stephen Ward's wing.
Brady's free-kick is met by a Greek head, and as Greece try to counter quickly, Ciaran Clark takes out Holebas, picking up a yellow card for his troubles.
Yellow Card Ciaran Clark
Brady and Coleman working well again, and Coleman wins a free-kick in a good area following a trip from Kostas Stafylidis.
Robbie Brady is limping after a weak throw from David Forde saw him clash with the Greek full-back.
Yellow Card Shane Long
Shane Long booked for a late challenge on Panagiotis Tachtsidis. Wasn't intentional, but deserved a yellow card.
Greece are playing a much more patient game than Ireland, and Samaras is being allowed to run free in midfield and create chances for the visitors.
Keith Andrews comes on to replace Glenn Whelan, who must have picked up a knock as it's a like-for-like substitution.
Greece's improved spell had seen the Irish players revert to route one football, and they allowed the opposition too much time on the ball leading up to the goal.
Assist Georgios Samaras
Goal Jose Holebas
Ireland can't seem to get close to the Greek attackers, and a great turn from Jose Holebas sees the winger squeeze the ball past David Forde and into the net for the opening goal.
Overhit pass from Ward, trying to find McClean down the wing following a lovely cross-field ball from McCarthy.
Greece starting to pass it around a bit more now, trying to build from the back.
Vasilis Torosidis with a lovely cross, but it's headed away by John O'Shea as Greece start to get into the game.
Quick break from Greece shows how dangerous they can be. Sotiris Ninis is allowed time on the ball, and David Forde is forced to stretch to put the ball out for a corner.
Nice trick by Robbie Brady sees him beat Vasilis Torosidis, but his cross goes out for a goal kick.
Greece are down to ten men momentarily, with Samaras forced to leave the pitch to receive attention for a cut.
Ireland have had 66% possession so far, as Greece have been on the back foot for most of the opening 20 minutes.
First save for Orestis Karnezis. A decent knock down from Long puts McClean through, but his curled effort is deflected by Sokratis Papastathopoulos and Karnezis has to stand firm to collect the ball.
Very positive play from Ireland, with Coleman putting in a cross which finds McClean at the edge of the area. McClean's effort evades Simon Cox's head, and Greece can clear.
On the other wing, James McClean has done well so far, often taking the easy option infield rather than going down the line.
Nice period of passing football from the Irish team, but Glenn Whelan overhit his pass to Brady and the momentum is wasted.
Greece have yet to create any real chances, with David Forde having an easy opening ten minutes in the Ireland goal.
Heavy shoulder from Long on Kyriakos Papadopoulos, and the Greek defender goes down easily. Possibly a remnant from Long's GAA days.
Robbie Brady and Seamus Coleman are also combining well on the right, and it's a cross from Coleman that gets the first real chance. Unfortunately Simon Cox doesn't connect properly with the header.
Long and Cox are linking up well so far, with Long winning a lot of high balls and Cox trying to find space.
Shane Long is getting about the field, and a nice run gives James McClean a chance to shoot, but the Sunderland winger drags his effort across goal.
Fine overlap from Seamus Coleman, but his cross is too high and a good chance is wasted.
Another penalty shout from Ireland, but Shane Long went down easily after a fine through pass from James McCarthy.
Definite handball from Kostas Stafylidis in the box after Stephen Ward's cross, but the referee waves play on.
The game kicks off, with Ireland wearing green and playing from right to left.
After a minute's applause for James Nolan, the game will be underway.
The FAI were hoping to get 20,000 fans here tonight, but at the moment, it looks like they'd be lucky to get 15,000 or so.
Time for the anthems at the Aviva Stadium. There looks to be about as many Greek fans as Irish fans in the ground so far.
The Greece captain will be a familiar face to many, with Celtic's Georgios Samaras taking the armband tonight.
There is one change to the lineup Trapattoni announced yesterday, with David Forde coming in for Keiren Westwood, who picked up a groin injury.
The players are in the tunnel, with John O'Shea leading out the Boys in Green. Ireland boss Giovanni Trapattoni has made a number of changes to his usual side, with a lot of attention on Ciaran Clark in defence and Shane Long up front.
We're just over ten minutes away from kick-off at the Aviva Stadium for the Republic of Ireland's friendly international with Greece. There are a lot of empty seats around the Dublin venue at the moment.
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