Ireland defeat Azerbaijan in Baku today…09/10/2021

Republic of Ireland manager Stephen Kenny got his first competitive victory in this afternoon’s 2022 World Cup qualifying contest in Baku. A three nil success gets rid of that disappointing zero statistic. Following the midweek kerfuffle relating to Callum Robinson it seemed fated that he would be the centre of attention this afternoon and he was, by scoring twice and deservedly earning the ‘man of the match’ accolade.

The win was deserved but the performance was not quite at the level of some of the earlier matches when victory eluded Kenny and the team, a fact confirmed by Kenny himself in his post-match interview.

Ireland started  briskly this afternoon and got the perfect settler with an excellent strike from Robinson after just 7 minutes. Thereafter we appeared to settle for solidity with Azerbaijan having much of the possession without threatening too much. The style change reaped further benefit on 38 minutes when Robinson again found the net from outside the box to provide added security. Jamie McGrath replaced Daryl Horgan at half-time and provided additional ball retention ability in an improved second half performance. Robinson continued to threaten during the half and really should have secured that elusive hat-trick but was thwarted on a couple of occasions. Goalkeeper Gavin Bazunu was called into action on a few occasions and once again was equal to the task . Shane Duffy was alert in the centre of the back three making a couple of excellent blocks while the central midfield duo of Josh Cullen and Jeff Hendrick were solid in their endeavours. It was a disappointing evening for Adam Idah who seemed somewhat out of sorts, a legacy perhaps of his pre-match illness. Chiedoze Ogbene joined the action just before the hour mark and provided a valuable outlet on the right flank before capping his performance with the third goal from a header following a Cullen corner kick in the 90th minute.  

Team: Gavin Bazunu; Andrew Omobamidele, Shane Duffy, John Egan (c); Matt Doherty, Jeff Hendrick, Josh Cullen, James McClean; Daryl Horgan, Adam Idah, Callum Robinson

Jamie McGrath for Horgan 46′
Chiedoze Ogbene for Idah 59′
Conor Hourihane for Cullen 90’+3′
Troy Parrott for Robinson 90’+3′

Our Republic of Ireland senior side face Azerbaijan in Baku at 5pm this Saturday afternoon in a FIFA 2022 World Cup Qualifier. With just one competitive match and a home friendly against Qatar on Tuesday evening,  Manager Stephen Kenny and his coaching team have had an extended period to work with the players. Preparation has gone well with only the innocent Covid Vaccination admission by Callum Robinson creating a negative.  Following the squad arrival in Baku, Jason Knight and Adam Idah suffered a bout of illness and were initially confined  to quarters for rest. It was emphasised that their symptoms were in no way Covid related and both players have now recovered  and trained with the rest of the squad on Friday afternoon.


Republic of Ireland manager Stephen Kenny has announced his 26 man squad for the upcoming World Cup 2022 qualifier in Azerbaijan and the home friendly against Qatar. There is a first call-up for Wigan Athletic striker Will Keane while Cyrus Christie retains his place as a result of the hamstring injury which rules out captain Seamus Coleman. There is a welcome return to the squad for Enda Stevens, Jason Knight and Chiedoze Ogbene all of whom missed  the September contests through injury. There is no place at this juncture for Shane Long and Ronan Curtis both of whom were named  in the September squad. Alan Browne and Jayson Molumby also miss out as both are suspended for the Azerbaijan game. Ryan Manning became an injury victim prior to departure for Baku and has been replaced in the squad by Liam Scales of Glasgow Celtic. 


Goalkeepers: Gavin Bazunu (Manchester City-on loan at Portsmouth), Caoimhin Kelleher (Liverpool), Mark Travers (AFC Bournemouth), 

Defenders: Cyrus Christie (Fulham), Nathan Collins (Burnley), Matt Doherty (Tottenham Hotspur), Shane Duffy (Brighton & Hove Albion), John Egan (Sheffield United),  Ryan Manning (Swansea City), James McClean (Wigan Athletic), Andrew Omobamidele (Norwich City), Enda Stevens (Sheffield United), Liam Scales (Glasgow Celtic)

Midfielders: Harry Arter (Charlton Athletic), Josh Cullen (RSC Anderlecht),  Jeff Hendrick (Newcastle United), Conor Hourihane (Aston Villa-on loan at Sheffield United), Jason Knight (Derby County), Jamie McGrath (St Mirren)  

Forwards: James Collins (Cardiff City), Aaron Connolly (Brighton & Hove Albion), Daryl Horgan (Wycombe Wanderers), Adam Idah (Norwich City), Will Keane (Wigan Athletic), Chiedoze Ogbene (Rotherham United), Troy Parrott (Tottenham Hotspur-on loan at MK Dons), Callum Robinson (West Bromwich Albion)