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August 14, 2013
• Cardiff City Stadium, Cardiff (Caerdydd)
Referee: P. Kralovec
• Attendance: 20000
Republic of Ireland
Well, that's all for me this evening. I hope you've enjoyed Goal's LIVE play-by-play coverage of tonight's friendly between Wales and the Republic of Ireland in Cardiff. It's been a pleasure being your host as always. I'm Ian Capasso, signing off.
A flurry of substitutions near the end of the game took a bit of the edge out of the contest, and the tie played out to a scoreless draw with Myhill having played a key role in keeping the Welsh from going behind.
Ireland by far were the better side in the second half, Long looping a header just over the bar from a corner before forcing a terrific reaction save out of Boaz Myhill at point blank range. International debutant Paddy Madden would test the Welsh shot stopper soon after with a venomous strike from distance, with the keeper again equal to the task.
The West Brom striker would spurn a golden chance soon after, blazing high and wide of the mark from close range on the end of a McCarthy cross. Robbie Brady curled just wide of the far post from the edge of the area, whilst Jonathan Williams hooked his effort past the upright on the stroke of halftime for Wales.
Ireland started brightly in the first half, only for Wales to soon grab the momentum, but each side struggled to create chances and the first shot of the match only fell to Shane Long after 23 minutes.
With the result in the books, let's recap tonight's action in Cardiff.
90' + 3'
And we've reached full time with the final score Wales 0-0 Republic of Ireland.
90' + 2'
If Wales can hold the Irish scoreless for the remainder of stoppages, the occasion will be their first clean sheet in 12 matches.
Three minutes of stoppages here in Cardiff for either side to grab a winner, folks.
Myhill finds only air in coming off his line to punch and the ball runs to Madden for another Ireland chance, yet he skies his effort into row Z rather than finding the target!
Some loose play at the back nearly gifts Wales a go, but Jonathan Williams can't convert as he's dispossessed before getting a shot away just inside the area.
McCarthy now looks to break down the right and menace the Welsh goal, but strong defending sees him lose out and give a away a goal kick in the end.
Conor Sammon now getting a late opportunity off the bench for Ireland as he replaces Jon Walters.
Craig Martin Davies
Craig Davies replaces Jack Collison for Wales.
A pair of great chances for Ireland but they're denied again! International debutant Paddy Madden's venomous effort from distance is beautifully kept out by Myhill and the ball falls to McClean, whose first-time shot is crucially blocked away by Ashley Williams!
Wales do finally make a foray into the offensive third now, hoever, as a fantastic long ball is flicked on for Vokes, who thumps his finish wide of the mark from a difficult angle.
Wales look content to play out to a draw here as they play the ball around at the back whilst in possession, with Ireland looking to push forward at pace when they get on the ball.
Shane Long making way for Millwall striker Andy Keogh.
Hal Robson-Kanu has also come off in favour of Neil Taylor for Wales.
A spot of possession from Ireland as they maintain their upper hand and continue to search for the elusive opening goal.
A lovely touch from Long sees him knock down McClean's headed assist in the area and fire in on goal, but Myhill pulls off a fantastic reaction save at close range to preserve the stalemate!
Patrick Madden has come on for Hoolahan on the Irish side, receiving his maiden cap for his country with the run-out.
Collison takes the set piece and blasts disappointingly into the wall, much to the dismay of the assembled fans.
Jonathan Williams makes a scintillating run forward into the offensive third and is felled, yet receives no foul call. Wales hold onto the ball and eventually win a free kick in a dangerous position, however.
The pace of the match definitively taking a step down as we move into the latter stages of the encounter.
Andy King has also entered the fray for Wales, whilst John O'Shea and Glenn Whelan have come off for Darren O'Dea and Paul Green.
Craig Bellamy now makes his way off the pitch for Sam Vokes to come on.
Ireland looking truly in control now as a few substitutes now begin warming up off of the Welsh bench.
Allen gives the ball away in defence and Whelan is stopped only by a crucial intervention. Long gets his head to the ensuing corner and loops the ball just over the bar to nearly break the deadlock.!
A free kick opportunity for Wales sees Westwood tested for the first time in the match. Bellamy's curling effort from 30 yards forces the Irish custodian into a diving stop, though he was able to catch rather easily due to a lack of power on the shot.
The visitors looking to press home their advantage on the ball now, but Sam Ricketts make a crucial intervention to win the ball back for the hosts.
Bellamy knocks down a lovely ball and bursts down the left flank, yet can't beat his man and loses out for an Ireland goal kick.
Ireland now win a corner of their own and Coleman is able to get his head to the in-swinging delivery, but goes over the bar.
The Welsh have a pair of corners but are unabe to test Westwood from either as their frustration in the offensive third carries over past the break.
Robbie Brady has made way for James McClean for boss Giovanni Trapattoni to begin the second half.
And Wales get us started from the centre circle for the decisive 45 minutes of today's action in Cardiff.
The sides are back out on the pitch and we'll be under way for the second half in just a moment.
Robbie Brady curled just wide of the far post from distance five minutes from half, whilst Wales finally manufactured a solid chance with the last kick of the opening 45 minutes, but Ledley blazed wide on the end of a cheeky corner routine.
Long had undoubtedly the best chance of the first half, running onto McCarthy's intelligent low cross at the heart of the area to unleash a first time effort, but missed by a considerable distance when it almost seemed easier to score!
The momentum began to swing back in Ireland's favour as Shane Long and Robbie Brady each had eyes for goal, but couldn't seriously test Myhill in the Welsh goal.
The hosts looked increasingly confident around the quarter-hour mark with Bellamy orchestrating the attack, yet the central defence pairing of O'Shea and Clark remained strong at the back and did not allow the Welsh a clear-cut scoring chance.
Ireland had the better of the opening 10 minutes, claiming more than 70% of the possession, but couldn't create a clear-cut opportunity as the Welsh continued to grow into the game.
Now that the sides have headed into the dressing rooms for the break, let's take a look back at the action of the first half.
Some lovely build up from the hosts featuring a combination between Bellamy and Jonathan Williams sees Wales break at pace and win a corner. The ensuing set piece is played on the ground and Ledley has an opportunity to fire in on goal, but agonisingly misses the target and the whistle goes for half time.
Wales moving the ball around in midfield as they continue to look to trouble Ireland's defence, and are shut down when Jonathan Williams can't control a lofted ball from Bellamy.
Some fantastic footwok from Brady sees him beat a series of defenders on the edge of the area and curl a low effort just wide of the far post!
A poor ball from Collison at the back nearly sends Long in on goal, but Ashley Williams nips in to close down before danger can develop.
Yellow Card Shane Long
Shane Long has been booked in connection to the same incident that saw Ashley Williams cautioned.
Yellow Card Ashley Williams
Ashley Williams has received the first booking of the game for unsporting behaviour.
Jonathan Williams finds some space in a central position to fire in on goal, but fails to get solid purchase on the ball and sees his shot sail wide.
Whelan comfortably heads the corner clear, and Bellamy's attempt to play the ball back into the box is met by the offside flag.
Better from Wales as they're able to play their way through and Bellamy wins a corner when his snap shot from 12 yards is blocked away by O'Shea.
The match becoming a bit bogged down in midfield now. Wales look desperate to create an opportunity and look to hoofing long balls up the pitch instead of keeping it on the ground, but to no avail.
Jon Walters has a go at goal for the visitors now from long range, but is unable to find the target and his effort spirals wide of the upright.
Wales looking to come back with a chance of their own but find a congested penalty area to work with on attack and Robson-Kanu is denied entry by the miserly John O'Shea.
And now another chance for Ireland! A golden opportunity is spurned by Shane Long as he blasts well wide of the mark from 12 yards from McCarthy's low cross into the area!
Brady now controls a misplaced pass from the Welsh defence and bursts into the area to shoot, but blazes over the bar from a promising position.
We're waited 23 minutes for the first shot of the day as the match now seems to be opening up.
The first chance of the match now falls to Ireland, as Robbie Brady controls a weak clearance from the Welsh defence to set up Walters, who fires wide from the edge of the area.
Joe Ledley nearly gets in on goal with some tenacious play in chasing Bellamy's through ball down the left hand side as Cirian Clark must hoof the ball clear to quell the danger.
Wales now starting to look the more likely as they've picked up the pace in the past 8 or so minutes, with Ireland looking as if they're lacking ideas in the final third.
Bellamy looks to get in behind O'Shea but is quickly flagged for offside.
Westwood misses his punch on the ensuing corner and O'Shea must make a crucial clearance in front of Ashley Williams at the far post.
And now the Welsh finally break through, much to the delight of the sparse crowd. Bellamy gets down the left and his cross is blocked away for a corner.
Wales now with a spell of possession but still struggling to penetrate the Irish barricades.
Hoolahan burst into the offensive third and is fouled by Ledley. The free-kick is taken quickly and Coleman dribbles into the area only to be dispossessed
Stat attack: Ireland have seen 65% percent possession through the opening 10 minutes of the match.
Robson-Kanu makes a strong run down the left in Wales' first real foray forward only to be forced back by the defence as the visitors' beging probing once more from the back.
Ireland's patience nearly pays off with a chance as Hoolahan finds space down the left to run in to, but his cross is lacking and sails across the face of goal and out for a Welsh throw-in.
Still very little going forward from either side in the opening minutes as Ireland are now seeing the majority of the ball.
Nearly a blunder from Myhill as he briefly fumbles a cross from the right flank, but recovers and quells any danger to his goal.
The Welsh applying some pressure now as Joe Allen embarks on a run through the middle, but the Liverpool man runs out of real estate and must play the ball back to his defence.
The sides trading clearances in the opening overture as each attack looks to find the gaps in the opposing back line.
Ireland get us going from the centre circle and the match is under way!
A small crowd for today's inconsequential clash as we get ready for kick-off.
A moment of comedy as the staff at Cardiff City Stadium inadvertently begin playing the Irish anthem once again instead of the intended Welsh anthem! A quick jeer from the crowd later and the mistake is fixed.
The players are out on the pitch as the Irish national anthem blares out over the tannoy system.
West Brom hitman Shane Long will lead the Irish attack, supported by Norwich creative force Wes Hoolahan.
Ireland boss Giovanni Trapattoni had already named his squad ahead of time, as a lengthy absentee list including Keane, St Ledger, Anthony Pilkington, Stephen Quinn, and Aiden McGeady had already diminished his options.
Republic of Ireland starting XI: Westwood; Coleman, Clark, O'Shea, Wilson, Walters, McCarthy, Whelan, Brady, Hoolahan, Long
Jack Collison stands in for Bale on the day, whilst Joe Allen and Sam Ricketts step in for the sidelined Ramsey and Collins respectively.
Gareth Bale, subject of the transfer saga of the summer, of course, is Wales' most high-profile absentee with a foot injury, whilst Aaron Ramsey and West Ham centre-half James Collins have also pulled out of the squad.
Wales starting XI: Myhill; Gunter, Davies, Ledley, Ricketts, A Williams, Allen, Bellamy, Collinson, J Williams, Robson-Kanu
Team sheets are available, so let's take a look at the starting line-ups for the two sides as they prepare to go head-to-head.
Hello all and welcome to Goal's LIVE play-by-play coverage of tonight's international friendly match-up between Wales and the Republic of Ireland at Cardiff City Stadium. I'm Ian Capasso and I'll be your host throughout this evening's action.
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