Ireland hold England to stalemate

By Niall Clarke

  • The game ends 0-0 in Dublin
  • First meeting in the Irish capital for 20 years
  • Vardy makes England debut, Austin left out.

Ireland and England played out an un-eventful 0-0 draw in the sides’ first meeting in Dublin for 20 years.

The Republic came out of the blocks quickly, earning a corner in the first 30 seconds of the match but the hosts couldn’t take advantage of the early opportunity.

The Irish then went close when Daryl Murphy had a quick shot tipped wide by Joe Hart, before mistiming a header when in a good position.

The chances in the first 45 minutes were few and far between with both sides struggling to find the creative spark to unlock the opposition’s defence.

England’s first opportunity fell to Wayne Rooney. The England captain was played through on goal by Jordan Henderson but he failed to control the ball at the crucial time.

Liverpool’s Raheem Sterling didn’t enjoy the best of games, as he seemed distracted and unable to get anything going. The 20 year old had a chance to break the deadlock early in the second half but his curling effort went way wide of the goal. After being heckled by the crowd of 65 minutes, Sterling’s poor game was ended as he was replaced by Andros Townsend.

Jonathan Walters saw his shot saved by Joe Hart, whilst England’s only other chance fell to Ross Barkley who fired over.

Jamie Vardy made his England debut, coming off the bench to replace Rooney with 15 minutes left of the game. But the Leicester City man failed to make an impact on the game which drew to a dreary conclusion.

This wasn’t the ideal preparation for the more crucial Euro 2016 qualifiers next weekend. Both sides lacked creativity up front and a result neither the Irish or English backline was really tested.

Ireland face Group D rivals Scotland on the 13th of June, whilst England travel to Slovenia a day later.