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Republic of Ireland v Sweden Live Commentary, 13/06/2016

1 - 1
W. Hoolahan (47)
C. Clark (71 og)
Stade de France


Full-time in this Euro 2016 Group E opener. The honours remain even between the Republic of Ireland and Sweden, who start their campaign with a narrow 1-1 draw, in what was a game of two halves. Martin O'Neill's outfit dominated the opening 45 minutes, only to have to wait to just after the break to score through Wes Hoolahan. Ibrahimovic and co. rallied, though, and eventually equalised through a Kieran Clark own goal. A fair result in the end. Thanks for joining us, see you next time!
90' Three minutes of added time have been allocated by the referee here which sounds about right as we have only really had a few minor tackles flying in here and there, with no major stoppages. Still a decent amount of added time though - do we have a winner?!
88' Two minutes to go in what would be a frustrating opening match for both sets of players here, as after tonight each must face the group's big names in the form of Italy and Belgium, who feature against each other later this evening. Ideally, Ireland and Sweden would have wanted the win against each other in this opener!
A. Ekdal
O. Lewicki
86' An attacking move from Sweden now and it seen Albin Ekdal enter the action to replace holding midfielder, Oscar Lewicki. Erik Hamren has plenty of options in the final third out there now, so appears to be definitely going for the win!
A. McGeady
J. McCarthy
Republic of Ireland
84' O'Neill attempts to curb the problems down that Irish right wing by introducing Aiden McGeady, likely to trail Olsson. The former Celtic winger can also create something out of nothing, though, so perhaps there is indeed some attacking ambition left within the Boys in Green!
82' Sweden are channeling all their energy into attacks mounted down the left wing at the moment, with Olsson still looking fresh bursting forward on the overlap. Coleman could do with a little help at right-back, but the Irish midfield are getting more and more fatigued as time goes on. There is only one winner at the moment!
80' Ten minutes to go here, and the worrying thing for Ireland is that they are starting to look a little ragged defensively with Sweden pushing forward. The latest attack from the team in yellow sees Olsson drive forward down the left with pace before flashing a cross inside, but Ibrahimovic can't stretch out a leg to divert an attempt on target.
R. Keane
W. Hoolahan
Republic of Ireland
78' Another throw of the dice from O'Neill here as he introduces Ireland's greatest ever goalscorer, Robbie Keane, in place of Wes Hoolahan, who has impressed. What a story it would be if Keane came on to score the winner, a full 14 years after netting in his first tournament appearance at the World Cup in 2002!
G. Whelan
Yellow Card
Republic of Ireland
77' Another yellow card here, and no prizes for guessing who it goes to as Whelan sees his name go into the book for a late challenge on Lewicki inside the centre circle. A small melee ensues in the aftermath, but the referee calms everything down before brandishing the card to the Stoke midfielder.
75' Brady, who has probably been the best player on the park on the day, takes on Johanssen at right-back before lifting a fabulous cross towards the back post. Clark attempts to atone for his early own goal with a header on goal, but he was climbing all over his marker to get there which prompts the referee to award a free-kick.
73' Now we will see what the Republic of Ireland are made of here as Sweden are certainly in the ascendancy following that equaliser, and are now smelling blood going forward. With Belgium and Italy the big names in the Group, is this a must-win for both these nations even at such an early stage?
C. Clark
Own Goal
Republic of Ireland
71' GOOOOAAAAAAAAAAALLL FOR SWEDEN! HAMREN'S MEN EQUALISE! The architect of the move is typically Ibrahimovic, who takes on the Irish defence before hitting the byline to smash a dangerous cross into the six-yard box. Unfortunately for Clark, he sends the ball into his own net while attempting a clearing header! One-one! GAME ON!
69' Hoolahan stands over a free-kick a few yards in from the right touchline then steps up to fire a superb, looped cross deep towards the back post. McClean fancies getting on the end of it, and does so after getting the better of Johansson, but the resulting header is fired over the bar despite the decent contact.
67' Ibrahimovic has displayed some short glimpses of what he can do tonight, but it is perhaps too much to expect him to create something out of nothing, as he really has not received decent service in the final third. As a result, he is coming extremely deep to see more possession for the majority of time.
J. McClean
J. Walters
Republic of Ireland
65' Opening substitution of the match from Martin O'Neill now and it sees West Brom winger, James McClean, enter the action to replace work horse, Jon Walters. McClean will certainly be able to provide some pace and running down this left wing, perhaps in order to stretch the Swedes in the latter stages.
63' Just under 30 minutes remaining of this Group E clash and Sweden are running out of time to try and salvage something from their opening match. Ireland, meanwhile, are attempting to end a four-game losing streak in the championships, so the nerves will certainly start to set in as the scorelines remains delicately poised at 1-0.
V. Lindelöf
Yellow Card
61' First Swedish yellow card now and it is a deserved one for Lindelof who sends a wayward arm into the face of Walters near the respective dugouts. There certainly was contact, but a red card would probably have been a bit harsh, so a booking it is.
60' INCHES WIDE FROM IBRAHIMOVIC! A speculative cross is sent to the front post, and the former PSG striker gets in front of his defender to just stab a strike on goal with the outside of his foot, but it goes just off-target to the left of the goal! Randolph was rooted to the spot.
J. Guidetti
M. Berg
58' The first change of the match now and it comes from Sweden, and in positive fashion. Leaving the play is the highly ineffectual Marcus Berg and he will be replaced by John Guidetti, who has enjoyed a fairly solid season with Celta Vigo in the Spanish Primera Division. Lets see if he can make an impact.
56' All of a sudden, after a fairly tepid opening 45 minutes, we have a real match on our hands now between Ireland and Sweden. O'Neill's men have been slightly guilty of complacency since going a goal ahead through Hoolahan, and it has resulted in Ibrahimovic and co. gaining more confidence going forward.
54' Whilst Ireland are under massive pressure, Brady wins the ball superbly before taking the pressure completely off his team-mates with a marauding run down the left wing, and before he runs out of steam, he turns back to cleverly recycle possession inside to Whelan. Terrific stuff from the Norwich man.
52' Where has THIS Sweden been up until now? All of a sudden, after going behind, the team in yellow are starting to pose a real threat going forward but you wonder why it has took a deficit for them to get their act together. A flurry of corners are sent into the Irish box consectutively, but they manage to survive for now!
50' AWFUL MISS FROM FORSBERG! Kallstrom sends a corner kick into the box and a header is glanced low to the corner which is brilliantly palmed away by Randolph. The 24-year-old latches on to the loose ball and has the goal at his mercy, but only succeeds in smashing a horrible strike high and wide off target!
W. Hoolahan
Republic of Ireland
47' GOOOOAAAAAAAAALLLLLLL FOR IRELAND! THE BOYS IN GREEN TAKE THE LEAD! Coleman picks up the ball down the right wing and cuts inside past Forsberg far too easily before standing a teasing cross to the back post where Hoolahan stands before rifling a half-volley into the right corner past Isaksson! One-nil!
S. Coleman
Republic of Ireland
47' Outstanding stuff from Coleman as he leaves his marker for dead before setting up the opener.
46' We are back under way in this Group E clash!
Half-time in Saint Denis, Paris. As perhaps predicted, it has been an extremely close affair so far between Ireland and Sweden, as we head into the break at a 0-0 stalemate. Martin O'Neill's charges can be proud of their performance and have been the better team going forward, whilst also successfully keeping Zlatan Ibrahimovic at bay for the moment. However, the Swedes couldn't really get much worse in this upcoming second period, which will kick-of shortly.
E. Berg
M. Lustig
45' Confirmation of Lustig going off injured, and he'll be replaced by Erik Johansson.
44' Some worrying scenes for Sweden here as it looks like Lustig has picked up an injury in innocuous fashion in the middle of the park just after that McCarthy foul. The Celtic man has seemingly picked up a groin injury, and trudges off to the side of the pitch to be replaced. Substitution to come.
J. McCarthy
Yellow Card
Republic of Ireland
42' The first yellow card of the match now and it is the most deserved one you will perhaps see in the Euro 2016 group stage as McCarthy gifts Sweden the ball with a poor touch before hauling Forsberg down with a tug of the shirt to halt a counter-attack.
40' Brady fires an absolutely fantastic cross along the six-yard box and Long strives to get on the end of it, only to go down under the challenge of the retreating Olsson. The Southampton striker demands a penalty, but there was nothing really in it, and the referee quickly dismisses the Irish protests.
38' After a couple of failed clearances from Ireland, the ball eventually comes to Ibrahimovic at the back post, but the ball is bouncing awkwardly and his eventual attempt is slashed high and wide off the target.
37' Olsson has displayed plenty of attacking ambition down this left-hand side, so it is perhaps a surprise that this is the first time he has got to the byline to earn a corner kick out of Coleman. Now Sweden have plenty of height available from set-pieces, so lets see what Larsson can come up with.
35' Long typically battles hard in the middle of the pitch and wins a cushioned header which goes into the feet of Hoolahan, who spreads the play out to the left with a beautiful curled pass to Brady. The Norwich full-back moves forward adventurously, but is eventually forced back into midfield due to a lack of support. Really good play, though.
33' IRELAND HIT THE WOODOWORK! In what is the best move of the match so far, O'Neill's men glide forward with Long eventually receiving the ball on the edge of the area before perfectly teeing up Hendrick, who opens up his body to send a fabulous strike dipping towards goal. It doesn't dip enough, though, and ends up cannoning off the bar! Still 0-0!
31' Both sets of fans can sense their players might need a little bit of inspiration here, and are attempting to catalyse a reaction with some vibrant cheers at both the green and yellow ends. It actually seems to have worked slightly as the Irish put a little more sting in their passing forward!
29' BRADYYYY! HOW CLOSE WAS THAT?! The full-back makes his way down the left flank before cleverly jinking his way into a more central area. He is awarded some space by the Sweden defence and attempts to try his luck with a strike from 25 yards with his weaker foot, but unfortunately for him it just shaves the top of the crossbar! Very, very unlucky.
27' A bit of play kind of sums up the quality on show in the first half here as Sweden manage to calm things down with a clever little game of 'head-tennis', but this all falls apart not too long after as a slack pass from Granqvist to Olsson is dragged out for an Irish throw-in.
25' Just beyond the midway point of the first half now and, despite the high intensity, we haven't seen too much goalmouth action other than that Hendrick strike which was saved by Isaksson. The Irish are doing an admirable job at keeping the talents of Ibrahimovic at bay - for the moment.
23' Lustig, who is coming off a successful season with Celtic in Scotland, moves down the right wing tentatively and finds a yard of space before lifting a deep cross to the back post. Ibrahimovic went the other way, though, which allows Randolph to proactively come off his line to clutch possession out of the air.
21' The stadium awaits in expectation as Ibrahimovic stands over a free-kick from a massive distance around 40 yards out. It would be just like him to fire in the opener in his recent stomping ground at the Stade de France, but nothing comes to fruition on this occasion as his attempt slams harmlessly into the Irish wall. Disappointing.
19' Shane Long will run all day for his side into the channels, as he has done for Southampton all season. His work rate has continued so far today in Euro 2016 as he is continually looking to latch on to loose balls into space in behind the defence, and it is certainly giving the Sweden backline something to be wary of.
17' After a promising start to proceedings from Sweden, Ireland have just started to assert their dominance a bit more in the central areas. O'Neill's men do outnumber the opposition in there with Hoolahan, McCarthy, and Whelan all making themselves available for a pass.
15' AGONISINGLY CLOSE FOR O'SHEA! Brady whips in a typically wicked corner-kick and it comes to Clark who smartly flicks on to the back post. The Ireland captain has the chance to make himself a hero with a chance from a few yards out, but can't stick out his leg far enough to divert an attempt on goal! Still 0-0!
13' Forsberg collects the ball down the left wing whilst hugging the touchline after receiving the ball to feet from Ibrahimovic. The 24-year-old turns sharply but is them met with the hulking frame of Walters, who easily ushers the Swede out of possession before attempting to mount an Irish counter on the right channel.
11' Today's match in Paris certainly allows us to witness the most colourful set of fans so far, as the Stade de France is dripping with vibrant green and yellow from the Ireland and Sweden faithful respectively. Thankfully, reports from around the ground have pointed to a bit of a friendship between both sets of spectators, which is brilliant to see.
9' SAAAAAAVE FROM ISAKSSON! A long-throw is sent deep into the penalty area, only to be cleared as far as Hendrick. The Derby County man latches on to the loose ball to fire a dangerous-looking half-volley towards the bottom corner, but he is thwarted by the veteran Swedish goalkeeper, who gets down to palm behind for a corner.
7' It will certainly be interesting to see how Martin O'Neill and Ireland approach this match today, as in qualifying they were known for firing plenty of crosses into the box and long balls up top. However, today their lone striker, Long, is up against two towering centre-halves in the form of Granqvist and Lindelof, so something a bit more incisive may be the order of the day for the Boys in Green.
5' We get our first glimpse of Ibrahimovic and it is a typically majestic touch from the former Paris Saint-Germain as he collects the ball down the left wing before cleverly flicking into the path of Forsberg. In the end O'Shea is positioned well at the front post to clear.
3' The first threat of the match comes from Ireland as they are awarded a free-kick deep down the left wing as Larsson brings down Brady. The Norwich man dusts himself off to be tasked with the subsequent set-piece and swings a teasing cross to the front post, but Lindelof is on hand to make the clearing header.
The players are making their way to the pitch and we are almost ready for the national anthems!
Sweden (4-4-2): Isaksson; Lustig, Granqvist, Lindelof, Olsson; Larsson, Lewicki, Kallstrom, Forsberg; Berg, Ibrahimovic.
Republic of Ireland (4-5-1): Randolph; Coleman, O'Shea, Clark, Brady; Walters, McCarthy, Whelan, Hoolahan, Hendrick; Long.
Sweden historically just have the edge over Ireland in international fixtures, and have won five out of the 10 games between the nations, with the latter only winning three.
Ibrahimovic is coming off the most impressive season of his career with a total of 50 goals, 11 of which came in qualifying, where Sweden had to rely on a play-off aggregate win over fellow Scandinavians, Denmark, in order to progress to the finals. The 34-year-old is aiming to become the first player in history to find the back of the net at four different European Championships, but has not scored in three appearances against the Irish.
Today the Irish take on Sweden and one of the potential star players of the tournament in the form of the incomparable Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who will be aiming to solidify his status as the hottest free agent in the world following his departure from Paris Saint-Germain. There have been many reports that he is on the brink of joining Manchester United, but his thoughts will be on his role as Sweden captain at the moment.
Ireland could be viewed as the underdogs of the group, but with a typically healthy following making their way to France from the Emerald Isle, they will hope they can secure some upsets to progress to the knockout stage. They are currently on a four-game losing streak at the championships, which is the longest out of any team featuring in the tournament, but will take solace from the fact they have it within them to claim big scalps. The catalyst for their qualification to Euro 2016 came with a 1-0 away win against the World Champions, Germany, no less.
Group E is destined to be one of the more tough groups in the championships, with both nations featuring today fancying their chances of qualifying alongside the more fancied Belgium and Italy, who face each other later this evening.
Good evening football fans! Welcome to LIVE coverage of the Euro 2016 Group E clash between the Republic of Ireland and Sweden from the Stade de France.