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August 10, 2011
• Aviva Stadium, Dublin
Referee: T. Hagen
Republic of Ireland
90' + 4'
The game is over. Ireland and Croatia played out a decent game, with most of the action commencing in the first half. It was a useful game for both coaches as plenty of players were given the chance to prove his worth tonight. Stay with us for our post-match materials and do not forget to join us at the weekend for our coverage of the most interesting football leagues from around the world. Bye, for now!
90' + 2'
Dunne clears a pass from the right flank for a corner on the left. Modric takes it, but his delivery is headed away as another Croatian attack is stopped before it develops.
There will be three minutes of injury time.
Dujmovic replaces Vukojevic for Croatia.
Kalinic! The Blackburn striker is given the chance to try his luck from range, but sends a weak shot into the left corner, which substitute Westwood claimed easily.
Srna is presented with a great chance on the right side of the box, but sends a shot well wide of the left post.
Olic is flagged off for offside on the other side of the pitch, and is protesting the decision. He does not have valid grounds to do so to be honest.
Ireland break away through Dunne, who lays it to Duff, who in turn sends a cross in the box for the umpteenth time, and Lovren yet again heads away the ball without much trouble.
Both teams have been struggling to create chances in the second half with St Ledger horrible miss the only moment of interest in front of either goal so far.
O'Dea replaces Whelan, while Kalinic replaces Mandzukic.
DUNNE! The centre-half was picked out in the centre of the box, but could not hit the target from seven yards out with a header! Horrible miss from the defender!
A cross is delivered in the box, but Lovren clears away.
Keane wins a foul from Vukojevic 25 yards from goal. Will the striker try his luck from range?
St Ledger needs medical assistance after a clash in the air with towering Wolfsburg striker Mario Mandzukic.
Duff with a disappointing cross from the left as his pass crossed the touch line on the opposite wing.
A couple of minutes ago Given was replaced by Westwood, and Keogh replaced Hunt. Kranjcar made way for Kaiserslautern star Ivo Ilicevic
Horrible delivery from Srna as the Shakhtar Donetsk man sends a corner on the left out for a goal kick.
Simunic with a confident back-heel clearance as Croatia thwart yet another fast break by Ireland.
Mandzukic is released on the left after a fast break, sees a shot from outside the box blocked, and has little luck with the follow-up as his finish flies wide of the left post.
WHAT A MISS BY LOVREN! A delivery from Srna from a free-kick on the right misses everyone, but the unmarked Lovren, who fails to find the target from eight yards out on the left side of the box.
Olic is slaughtered by Gibson with a sliding tackle in the centre of the pitch. He deservedly receives a yellow card. Very insensitive from the Manchester United man as Olic just returned from a nine-month injury absence.
Kranjcar frees up some space to shoot, but his finish is blocked. The ball reaches Srna, who crosses in the box for Modric, whose bicycle-kick flies left of the post.
Yellow CardDarron Gibson
Vukojevic received a yellow card for a push from behind on Dunne. First booking of the game, and it is for Croatia.
Yellow CardOgnjen Vukojevic
Superbly played by Strinic as he easily wins a touch from Kelly in the left flank. The Croatian is deputising for Bayern Munich man Danjiel Pranjic, who is on the bench tonight.
Srna races down the right flank, but delivers a disappointing cross which goes out for a throw-in on the left.
Ivica Olic came on for Eduardo at half-time. The Bayern Munich seems to have put his nine-month injury spell behind him.
The second half begins ...
45' + 2'
Ireland waste a corner on the right, and the ball goes out for a goal kick. Pletikosa sends the ball in the air, and the referee blows his whistle for the end of the first half. Two big penalty shouts here as first Eduardo was taken down by Whelan, and Kelly took down Strinic with both hands later on. Ireland have picked up their game in the last minutes of the first period, and look keen to put up quite a fight against the flair-packed Croatia. Join us after the break to see what will happen next.
45' + 1'
KEANE! So close! The striker made a beautiful turn in the box, disposing of two players, before sending a weak finish into the hands of Pletikosa,
Vukojevic tries his luck from long-range, but his thunderous shot from 30 yards out flies well over the bar.
Curious piece of statistics here. Croatia are yet to find the target with a shot. An interesting fact, considering the hosts have been the better side so far.
Srna sends a beautiful low cross for Kranjcar near the penalty spot, but the Tottenham man sends his first-time finish horribly over the bar.
Lovren with a decisive interception as he manages to correct his own mistake, dispossessing Long, who managed to spring Croatia's offside trap.
Stinic bypasses Kelly on the left and sends a dangerous, low cross, which Dunne somehow manages to clear ahead of Eduardo, who has ghosting behind Ireland's defence.
Keane once again wastes a wonderful opportunity on the left flank after he was released by St Ledger as he is crowded off the ball, and Ward sends a poor cross in the box, which Pletikosa has no problem collecting.
Whelan bulldozes Vukojevic just outside Croatia's penalty area, and is lucky to escape a yellow card.
Mandzukic rather easily skips past Kelly and delivers a good cross for Eduardo outside the six-yard area, but his pass is intercepted by Dunne.
Duff with a cross from the right wing, but Lovren jumps above everyone and clears away easily.
Ireland seems to have picked up their game in recent minutes, and now the game seems to be balanced.
Whelan with a fine cross for Long inside the penalty box, and the striker sends a header in the hands of Pletikosa. Nice finish by the young Ireland international.
Brilliant move by Duff, who releases Hunt with a back kick on the right side of the box, but the ex-Reading man chooses not to shoot right away and is soon crowded off the ball.
Ball possession: Ireland - 31 per cent, Croatia - 69 per cent. Hardly surprising, considering the fact that the hosts are yet to create a single chance in front of Pletikosa.
Corluka with a vicious shot from 30 yards out, but his finish flies well wide of the right post.
WAS THAT A PENALTY? Strinic was released with a impeccable ball by Modric on the left side of the box, and Kelly pulled his down with both hands, and much to the surprise of fans and footballers the referee does not point to the spot.
A controversial moment here as Eduardo seems to have been held back illegally by Whelan during a corner on the left, taken by Modric. The referee is lenient and Ireland can take a breath of relief.
Ireland break away with Keane on the left flank, but the striker receives precious little support and Lovren easily clears a cross by the ex-Inter man from inside the box.
Croatia seem to have taken control, and are now retaining possession, calmly passing the ball around, looking for a breach in Ireland's water-tight defence.
Kranjcar sends Modric through with a delightful through-ball, but the Chelsea target fails to control, allowing St Ledger to clear easily.
Modric sends a wonderful cross from the centre of the pitch for Srna on the opposite flank, who played a one-two with Corluka before sending an atrocious ball for Kranjcar, who could not reach it and it went out for a throw-in on the left.
Strinic was robbed off the ball by Gibson, who combined with Duff, who ran down the right before releasing the Manchester United man. The midfielder blasted a low finish from outside the penalty box which Pletikosa easily collected.
Srna and Hunt in the heat of the action again as the defender accidentally caught the attacker in the face with a punch.
Hunt! The attacker was presented a with a great opportunity to volley from outside the box, but hastily blasted his finish well wide of the right post.
Srna wins a free-kick on the right wing after a foul by Hunt near the touch-line.
The first half begins ...
Croatia: Pletikosa; Corluka, Lovren, Simunic, Strinic; Srna, Modric, Vukojevic, Kranjcar; Eduardo, Mandzukic.
Ireland: Given; Kelly, Dunne, St Ledger, Ward; Duff, Whelan, Gibson, Hunt; Long, Keane.
Hello and welcome to Goal.com's live coverage of the friendly between Ireland and Croatia. My name is Vasil Kotsev and I will be keeping you company for the next two hours or so.
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