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Armenia v Republic of Ireland Live Commentary, 6/4/22

FT
1 - 0
ARM
IRL
E. Spertsyan (74)
Vazgen Sargsyan anvan Hanrapetakan Marzadasht

Commentary

That's all from us today folks, we hope you enjoyed the game!
Ireland don't have long to dwell on this defeat as they face Ukraine in Dublin on Wednesday. Meanwhile Armenia will travel to Scotland in midweek.
Armenia end Ireland’s unbeaten run with a 1-0 victory in the Nations League, to get their campaign off to a winning start and keep Ireland waiting for their first success in the competition. Ireland dominated much of the game and had a few excellent chances in the first half through Robinson and Ogbene but couldn’t find the breakthrough and they were punished in the second period. Barseghyan found the back of the net early on for the hosts, but it was ruled out for offside, before Spertsyan produced a superb strike on 74 minutes to fire Armenia ahead and they held on for the win.
90' + 4' FULL-TIME: ARMENIA 1-0 IRELAND
90' + 2' Armenia have everyone back behind the ball now and they are sitting deep and soaking up all of the Ireland pressure. Can they hold on?
90' There will be a minimum of four minutes added time played at the end of the second half.
A. Dashyan
T. Barseghyan
Armenia
89' Another Armenia change now, with Barseghyan replaced by Dashyan.
88' Armenia are still trying to break forward on the counter when they can and take advantage of Ireland pushing more players forward in search of an equaliser.
S. Mkrtchyan
Yellow Card
Armenia
86' Mkrtchyan is booked after he drags Obafemi down near the right corner flag.
86' Decent chance! Egan rises high to meet a free-kick from the right and he should get his effort on target, but his header flies wide of the Armenia goal.
85' Time is running out for Ireland now, they are being frustrated by the hosts in the final third as we approach the final few minutes.
J. Hendrick
Yellow Card
Republic of Ireland
83' Hendrick is booked after a blatant foul to stop Armenia from counter-attacking.
W. Keane
S. Coleman
Republic of Ireland
81' Coleman is the other to depart and on comes Keane, who will add another attacking threat.
A. Browne
J. Cullen
Republic of Ireland
81' A couple more Ireland changes now and Cullen is the first to come off, with Browne his replacement.
80' Ireland are getting ready to make their final changes in an attempt to get a late equaliser, with only 10 minutes left here. Can they nick a point?
78' This is the third match between Armenia and Ireland in all competitions, with Ireland winning the previous two encounters, both of which came during the EURO 2012 qualification campaign.
76' That goal has really got the crowd going now, they are creating a superb atmosphere as their side lead with less than 15 minutes left to play.
E. Spertsyan
Goal
Armenia
74' ARMENIA TAKE THE LEAD! What a strike by Spertsyan from the edge of the penalty area to send his side ahead! The midfielder picks up the ball in the middle of the pitch and no-one closes him down quickly enough, so he powers a shot towards goal and it flies into the bottom left corner of the net. Kelleher was nowhere near it. Armenia lead 1-0!
J. Knight
C. Robinson
Republic of Ireland
73' The other change sees Robinson head off and Knight is his replacement.
J. McClean
E. Stevens
Republic of Ireland
73' Double substitution by Ireland, with Stevens the first to come off and he has been replaced by McClean.
71' Another cooling break now as it remains very warm inside the stadium and it's been a hectic second period, so there are a lot of tired legs out there.
69' Armenia look very dangerous on the counter-attack at the moment, with Ireland not looking particularly comfortable at the back as they've made a few mistakes which have allowed the hosts to create chances.
67' There is still plenty of time left on the clock to see some goals here, with both teams pushing forward in search of the opening goal.
M. Obafemi
T. Parrott
Republic of Ireland
65' Ireland make their first change now and Parrott is the man to come off and he has been replaced by Obafemi.
64' Still no changes by Ireland here, but surely it won't be too long before Kenny tries to shake things up and tries to get his side in front.
62' CHANCE! Duffy rises highest as a corner is deflected into his path in the box and he should be testing Yurchenko, but instead he fires his header straight at the keeper, who makes a comfortable save.
S. Mkrtchyan
A. Hovhannisyan
Armenia
61' Substitution Arman Hovhannisyan Styopa Mkrtchyan
60' Stoppage in play here as Hovhannisyan is down with an injury and the medical staff are on giving him some treatment. However, it doesn't look like he is going to be able to continue.
58' Ireland have won their last two away games, as many as in their previous 19 combined (excl. neutral) – they last won three in a row on the road between March and June 2001 under Mick McCarthy.
S. Adamyan
V. Bichakhchyan
Armenia
56' Armenia have made their first change, with Bichakhchyan the man coming off and he has been replaced by Adamyan.
56' CHANCE! Ireland fail to clear the ball in the final third and Barseghyan picks it up, works some space and fires an effort towards the top left corner, which has Kelleher scrambling across his goal. However, it flies just over the bar.
54' Armenia have improved since the break and they look far more dangerous now, playing with a much higher tempo in the second period.
52' JUST WIDE! Robinson finds some space on the edge of the box and manages to get a shot away towards the bottom left corner of the net. However, it skims the sidenetting and flies wide. Good chance.
50' GOAL RULED OUT! Barseghyan has the ball in the back of the net, but it’s ruled out for offside! Hambardzumyan sneaks in behind the Ireland defence down the right and then pulls it back to Barseghyan in the middle of the box, who curls his effort into the top left corner of the net. However, Hambardzumyan made his run too early and is correctly flagged offside.
48' CHANCE! Hambardzumyan fires an excellent low cross towards the near post from the right and Barseghyan tries to meet it and flick it past Kelleher, but Duffy gets across brilliantly and makes a strong challenge to put the ball out of play.
46' The second half is under way!
More of the same from Ireland should see them break the deadlock as they have been the better side and look far more dangerous in the final third. However, they need to be wary of any Armenia counter-attacks at the other end.
It's goalless at the break between Armenia and Ireland, but the visitors should be ahead after dominating much of the game and they have had numerous opportunities in front of goal to take the lead. Ogbene and Robinson have had good chances to score, but couldn't find the back of the net. The best chance came just before half-time, when Ogbene had a free header in the box and sent his attempt just over the crossbar.
45' + 3' HALF-TIME: ARMENIA 0-0 IRELAND
45' + 1' CLOSE! Ogbene with a free header in the box after a free-kick falls straight to him in the box and he should score! However, he somehow sends it just over the crossbar, with the keeper having no chance of stopping it. Best chance so far.
45' The ball falls nicely to Bichakhchyan on the edge of the box and the striker fires a shot towards the Ireland goal, but he gets too much on it and the ball flies high over the bar.
42' Ireland are pushing forward in search of a goal before the break, but Armenia are defending well at the moment and are frustrating the visitors.
40' There isn’t long left to play before the end of the first half, can either side break the deadlock before the half-time whistle?
38' CHANCE! Hendrick feeds Robinson in behind the Armenia defence, but is forced wide by Yurchenko who rushes out of his goal to meet him. Robinson can't get a shot away himself, so plays it back to Ogbene, who tries to find the bottom left corner of the net, but he drags his shot just wide of the post.
36' Robinson and Ogbene have looked the most creative Ireish players so far today, looking dangerous in the final third, but they just haven't seen enough of the ball in order to open the scoring.
34' The home fans have gone very quiet in the last few minutes, with Ireland in complete control of the game, but are yet to force Yurchenko into making a save.
32' Decent opportunity for Armenia from a free-kick after Stevens is pulled up for a foul, but Kelleher easily gathers and clears the danger.
30' We’re at the half an hour mark now and it remains goalless between Armenia and Ireland, but the visitors are on top.
28' Armenia have won six of their 12 games in the Nations League (D3 L3), finding the back of the net in 10 of their 12 games in the competition (23).
26' Play resumes now following the break and Ireland have continued on the front foot, but just can't seem to work a way into the penalty area.
24' We have a stoppage in play here for a water break due to the warm conditions in Armenia. A good opportunity for both teams to get some tactical advice on board from the sidelines.
22' The visitors continue to press high and have everyone apart from Kelleher inside the Armenia half. The hosts are trying to break forward on the counter when they do get on the ball.
20' Another Ireland corner coming up now, after Yurchenko fails to keep it in play. However, Duffy's header flies high over the crossbar.
18' Ireland are enjoying a good spell of possession inside the oppositions half of the pitch and the hosts are having to sit deep to soak up the pressure.
16' CHANCE! Ogbene is fed behind the Armenia defence by Hendrick and Ogbene then slides the ball across goal to Robinson who is unmarked and he sends his shot towards goal. However, Hambardzumyan does brilliantly to get back and flick it around the post.
14' Yurchenko goes down in the box, after the keeper punches a corner clear and collides with Duffy in the process. However, he'll be fine to continue.
12' Decent chance! Robinson sneaks in behind the Armenia defence and fires a first-time shot towards the bottom right corner of the net, but it flies into the sidenetting.
11' Ireland are unbeaten in their last eight matches in all competitions (W4 D4), since a 2-1 away to defeat to Portugal in September 2021 - they last enjoyed a longer such streak between November 2018 and October 2019 (9 games).
S. Duffy
Yellow Card
Republic of Ireland
9' Duffy is the first player to be booked after a sloppy pass almost falls to the feet of Barseghyan on the halfway line and Duffy dives in to try and rescue it. However, he's late with the challenge and catches the Armenian.
8' The crowd are urging Armenia forward now after a good spell in the Ireland half and they are starting to build some momentum.
6' CHANCE! Out of nowhere Armenia have an opportunity on goal having a mistake at the back by Ireland. The ball falls nicely to Barseghyan, who quickly turns on the edge of the box and fires a low shot towards the near post, but Kelleher gets down and tips it around the post.
5' The hosts are struggling to get out of their own half at the moment, with Ireland winning everything back quickly and look the stronger of the two sides so far.
3' Ireland are pushing up high in the opening few minutes of the game and keeping the ball well in midfield. Ogbene manages to find space deep down the right wing and gets in behind the Armenia defence, but nothing comes of it.
1' We're under way!
The teams are out on the pitch and kick-off is just a few minutes away, stay tuned for all the match action!
Stephen Kenny has also made six changes to his side, with O’Shea, Matt Doherty, Browne, Hourihane, Ryan Manning and Keane all dropping out and they have been replaced by Duffy, Coleman, Stevens, Cullen, Hendrick and Parrott. Meanwhile Kelleher continues to start in goal for Ireland, as Bazuni is recovering from an injury.
Armenia have made six changes to their last starting line-up were they suffered a heavy defeat, as Yurchenko, Hovhannisyan, Barseghyan, Bayramyan and Bichakhchyan keep their places in the side. Vardanyan comes into the team to partner Bichakhchyan up front.
IRELAND SUBS: Gavin Bazunu, Mark Travers, Conor Hourihane, Will Keane, James McClean, Alan Browne, Jayson Molumby, Jason Knight, Dara O’Shea, Michael Obafemi, CJ Hamilton, Cyrus Christie.
IRELAND (5-3-2): Caoimhin Kelleher; Seamus Coleman, Nathan Collins, Shane Duffy, John Egan, Enda Stevens; Josh Cullen, Callum Robinson, Jeff Hendrick; Troy Parrott, Chiedozie Ogbene.
ARMENIA SUBS: Taron Voskanyan, Wbeymar Angulo, Edgar Babayan, Hovhannes Harutyunyan, Henri Avagyan, Jordy Monroy, Arsen Beglaryan, Solomon Udo, Artur Serobyan, Artak Dashyan, Rudik Mkrtchyan, Sargis Adamyan.
ARMENIA (4-4-2): David Yurchenko; Hovhannes Hambardzumyan, Varazdat Haroyan, Hrayr Mkoyan, Arman Hovhannisyan; Kamo Hovhannisyan, Eduard Spertsyan, Artak Grigoryan, Tigran Barseghyan; Khoren Bayramyan, Vahan Bichakhchyan.
Meanwhile Armenia were promoted from League C last campaign, after finishing top of their group with 11 points. However, they come into the game today on the back of a 9-0 thrashing by Norway.
Ireland come into today’s game in strong form, as they are unbeaten in their last seven games, which includes draws with Portugal and Belgium. However, they didn’t fare too well in the Nations League last time, narrowly avoiding relegation to League C after picking up just three points.
Hello and welcome to our LIVE match commentary of the Nations League clash between Armenia and Republic of Ireland at Vazgen Sargsyan Republican Stadium.