/ Soccer

As it Happened: Republic of Ireland 2-3 Uruguay

Updated: Tuesday, 29 Mar 2011 22:35

Shane Long celebrates scoring his first-half headed equaliser against Uruguay The official attendance at Aviva Stadium, which was never revealed, was almost certainly greater than four
Shane Long celebrates scoring his first-half headed equaliser against Uruguay The official attendance at Aviva Stadium, which was never revealed, was almost certainly greater than four

By Barry McEneaney

Full-time

90 min The match peters out and ends in a defeat for the Republic of Ireland. Uruguay’s sluggish second half performance was devoid of the guile and panache which characterised their first-half display. The Republic of Ireland lifted their performance after the restart but the notoriously conservative Trapattoni won’t have seen much here to encourage him to tweak his first team set-up.

89 min Perez is replaced by Scotti as Uruguay run down the clock.

85 min Stokes replaces Keogh as we approach full-time.

83 min Some mazey dribbling from Long in the Uruguay box sees the Reading striker evade his marker, but there’s nobody to meet his pass across the face of goal.

80 min Treacy’s free kick from the left should have been easily cleared by Muslera, but he flaps at the ball and his punched clearance into the ground bounces kindly to Keogh at the back post. However, the presence of a team-mate and the looming far post appear to unbalance the Wolves man as he conspires to head the ball wide of the target.

78 min McGeady gets a chance to stretch his legs before the long flight back to Moscow as he comes off the bench to replace Lawrence.

75 min Clark makes way for Delaney and the adage about not making changes at set-pieces almost comes back to haunt Ireland as an ensuing corner kick is only just cleared of the line.

69 min Westwood covers himself in glory with a fine double save. Firstly, he keeps on his feet to prevent Cavani’s audacious chip from reaching the net, before blocking Hernandez’s ferocious follow-up.

68 min Treacy attempts a long-range strike which Muslera palms away.

67 min The tempo of the game has dropped markedly over the last 10 minutes, but Keogh almost capitalises when a botched header from a Uruguay defender sees the ball break in front of goal. Muslera is off his line like a lurcher to again clear the danger.

65 min Cavani has just been booked for a flagrant dive. Treacy and Gibson enter the fray for Fahey and McCarthy.

60 min A Forlan free kick from 30 yards sails safely into the hands of Westwood in the Ireland goal.

57 min Caceres is having something of a nightmare in the Uruguay defence and a desperate block sees the ball spill to Lawrence in the area. His strike is also blocked and the ball is deflected wide for a corner which ultimately comes to nothing.

55 min Keogh cuts in from the left and shoots with his favourite right foot. His effort proves too hot for Muslera to handle and his punched clearance falls to Long who blast high over the bar.

54 min Giovanni Trapattoni's side are dominating possession since the restart.

52 min A lofted Fahey free kick is punched away by Muslera.

49 min Green attempts an ambitious shot from distance which whizzes over Muslera’s crossbar.

48 min Goal Shane Long’s sterling work down the right flank results in him getting to the by-line. His cut-back into the area seems certain to reach McCarthy, but the Wigan star is upended by the flailing Caceres. The referee his little option but to point to the spot and a cool Fahey dispatches the spot-kick into the bottom left-hand corner.

46 min Surprisingly, there’s been no changes made by either manager at the break.

Banter

Those who availed themselves of the 5-4 about Uruguay are already counting their winnings. Perhaps emailer E Farrell was one of them. Not sure about his prediction for the correct score. His pessimistic verdict is Republic of Ireland 1-17 Uruguay.

William Rock is following the action in LA. The Rock has this to say: ‘The Bboys in Green are playing very sloppy in the back, you can't do this against an experienceD team like Uruguay.’ Indeed.

Half-time

44 min There’s a stark contrast between the cohesive unit that is Uruguay and the experimental Republic of Ireland line-up. Irish changes at halt-time may just serve to exasperate our defensive frailties. When it comes to defending, familiarity certainly doesn’t breed contempt.

40 min Goal Palermo hitman Hernandez capitalises on inept Ireland defending to score a third goal for the visitors. He picks the ball up free in the Ireland area and slots a low shot past a sprawling Westwood and to the inside of the far post.

38 min Hernandez runs with intent at the Republic defence before firing a viciously curving shot just high and wide of the left upright.

36 min Long almost latches on to another through ball, but as he scurries forward the Uruguay netminder sprints of his line to clear the potential danger.

34 min A Liam Lawrence corner is gathered by Muslera, who seems to have grown in confidence after an early blunder. Two visiting mug keepers in less than a week is probably a bit much for Republic of Ireland fans to hope for.

32 min Ireland fail to execute the offside trap as Forlan fires a Hernadez knockdown over the bar.

30 min The Republic’s defensive lapses shouldn’t detract from the fact that they have looked quite bright moving forward. That’s ‘moving forward’ as in physically advancing, not the vacuous management expression for in the future.

27 min Keogh beats his man and almost gets on the end of a through ball from Fahey, but Muslera snuffs out the danger.

25 min It’s gone awfully quiet at Lansdowne Road and it’s easy to see why. Uruguay aren’t over-exerting themselves but look as if they could score with almost every attack.

22 min Goal Pereira weaves his way past a stagnant Irish defence across the face of goal and feeds the ball to Cavani. The Uruguay striker makes no mistakes as his shot finds the bottom right-hand corner of Westwood’s goal.

20 min The lively Hernandez forces Westwood into another save after evading his marker.

18 min More encouraging play from the Republic as some patient build-up play eventually result in Fahey unleashing a shot from distance. The criticism, and it’s a minor one, is that the Birmingham City man may have been better off releasing one of his team-mates who occupied better positions.

15 min Goal Ireland respond immediately to going behind as Lawrence whips a cross into the area for Long to head home from the edge of the six-yard box.

12 min Goal A free kick from the influential Forlan isn’t dealt with by the Irish defence and the ball falls to an unmarked Lugano who beats Westwood with ease. Sloppy marking from the Irish defence.

9 min A speculative long-range shot from Fahey almost yields the ultimate dividend as Muslera scoops what should be a comfortable save just over his crossbar. Lucky boy.

8 min Abel Hernandez tears away from both Kelly and O’Dea and is in a menacing position as he bares down on goal. His shot leaves much to be desired however, as he blazes the ball over the crossbar.

5 min James McCarthy seems to have been afforded some freedom this evening and he’s already been on the ball several times in his roaming role.

3 min Keith Fahey swings a free kick into the Uruguay box from the left, but the danger is averted with a headed clearance by a Uruguayan defender.

1946 Kick-off

Pre-match

James McCarthy has been handed a first senior international start as the Republic of Ireland welcome Uruguay to the Aviva Stadium.

The 20-year-old Wigan midfielder, who made his competitive debut as a substitute in Saturday evening's 2-1 Euro 2012 victory over Macedonia, lined up behind lone striker Shane Long as manager Giovanni Trapattoni made eight changes to his team.

There was a start too for Aston Villa defender Ciaran Clark at left-back, while Fulham's Stephen Kelly wore the captain's armband.

World Cup semi-finalists Uruguay include Atletico Madrid striker Diego Forlan and skipper Diego Lugano, of Fenerbahce, in a starting line-up that includes nine of the team that lost out to the Netherlands in the semis in South Africa.

There’s no doubting the class of the two-time World Cup winners but Oscar Tabarez’s side did suffer a surprise 2-0 reversal at the hands of minnows Estonia on Friday night.

Every member of both the Republic of Ireland and Uruguay squads play their football outside of the countries they represent.

Rep of Ireland: Westwood, Foley, O'Dea, Kelly, Clark, Lawrence,
Green, Fahey, Keogh, McCarthy, Long.

Replacements: Randolph, Treacy, McGeady, Gibson, Delaney,
Stokes, Forde.

Uruguay: Muslera, Lugano, Godin, Caceres, Maxi Pereira,
Arevalo Rios, Perez, Pereira, Hernandez, Forlan, Cavani.

Replacements: Castillo, Fucile, Gargano, Eguren, Abreu,
Gonzalez Luengo, Ramirez, Scotti, Fernandez.

Referee: Said Ennjimi (France)