Ireland played out a scoreless draw with Portugal in this evening’s World Cup qualifier played at the Aviva Stadium. While the match itself did not reach any great heights, manager Stephen Kenny, the players, staff and the majority of the supporters will be satisfied with the outcome. Things looked a little ominous in the opening period with Portugal controlling much of the possession, putting the Irish defence under some degree of pressure but Ireland stood firm with captain Seamus Coleman a prominent and composed presence. Ireland gradually grew into the match and were the more dominant side throughout much of the second half. Clear cut chances for both sides were few and far between with Ireland’s best chances falling to Chiedozie Ogbene, who might have done better with a headed opportunity, and Josh Cullen whose shot while accurate lacked power. While for the most part, Ireland kept a tight rein on visiting captain Ronaldo, he did have two efforts which were very close and on another day might have spelt defeat for Ireland. The sponsors ‘man of the match’ award again went to Callum Robinson who did work tirelessly but Coleman‘s performance may have been the more telling.
Team: Gavin Bazunu; Seamus Coleman(C), Shane Duffy, John Egan; Matt Doherty, Jeff Hendrick, Josh Cullen, Enda Stevens; Chiedoze Ogbene, Callum Robinson, Jamie McGrath
Adam Idah for McGrath 61′
Conor Hourihane for Hendrick 78′
James McClean for Stevens 78′
Will Keane for Ogbene 90′