As It Happened: Ireland 0-1 Greece

Updated: Friday, 16 Nov 2012 13:01

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Read our text commentary as Ireland were beaten by Greece in an international friendly at Aviva Stadium.

by Ed Leahy

- Greece win 1-0
- José Holebas gave Greece first half lead
- Seamus Coleman named man of the match
- Thoughts, comments & gripes to @RTESport @Ed_Leahy or email


So Ireland sign off in 2012 with a 1-0 defeat at the Aviva Stadium... Not too many positives to take from the game. Coleman was very solid, Brady looks like he will be a key player in the coming years and Wes Hoolahan showed a bit of his class but will it be enough to convince Senor Trapattoni include him in future squads...?? Unlikely, and expect more of the same in 2013 as the usual suspects of Keane, Dunne, Walters etc will return for the Poland game and upcoming World Cup qualifiers.

So with the domestic season finishing up over the last few weeks and international football now all over, Irish football fans can take a well-deserved break after what has been a very up and down 2012. 

Thanks for sticking with us tonight, now sit back and enjoy one of the best goals of all time... Take a bow, Zlatan Ibrahimovic...



FT All over at the Aviva Stadium and it's a defeat for Ireland as Greece win 1-0 to bring 2012 to a close for Ireland...


94mins Final few seconds of the game and the second half has been encouraging but ultimately Ireland did not show the quality needed to get back into the game...


GOALFLASH David Healy has just grabbed a late, late equaliser at Windsor Park from a free kick to spare Michael O'Neill and Northern Ireland's blushes...


91mins Not a hard decision to name a man of the match in the green and Seamus Coleman has been head and shoulders above the rest of his team... Hoolahan has looked to get on the ball since coming on but nothing coming his way in the last ten or so...




88mins Trap pacing about in the technical area but nothing working for his side who look a bit clueless when they get the ball... Only thing that has worked all match has been charging down the wing...plenty corners won but no final product...



Former Shamrock Rovers striker turned professional golfer Stephen 'Zoolander' Grant is staying loyal to Ireland and has not, like many, been tempted by four-goal Sweden beating England...


85mins Coleman is chopped down and McClean sends the free into the box but easy for the keeper... Poor from Ireland showing no creativity there at all...


83mins Game down to snail's pace and Ireland struggling to break through Greek defence. Greece very poor in second half but they seem happy to let Ireland have the ball and have a go - haven't been really troubled yet though...




79mins More Ireland pressure but nothing too creative in the final third... Greece still looking comfortable at the back but looking very leggy...


75mins Ireland still in control and Greece looking to hold out for a victory... 15mins remain... Playing a few long balls now and no problem for the Greece defence - no point Hoolahan playing if the defence are just launching the ball long...


GOALFLASH And it's curtains for England as that man, Ibrahimovic gives Sweden a 4-2 lead - a cracking bicycle kick... No time for another 4-4 as match in injury time there...


71mins Another corner and Ireland putting Greece under good pressure... cleared for corner #12... short corner well worked to the back post but cleared and Greece can breathe again...


68mins So close.... Short free from Hoolahan to Keogh - shot blocked and falls to Stephen Ward who smashes it across the goal but wide... Ireland getting closer... Meyler on for McCarthy


67mins Coleman on the charge, once again, down the right and another free in a dangerous position - better delivery needed now from McClean or Hoolahan...


GOALFLASH Sweden involved in another goal-fest as Zlatan Ibrahimovic scores two quick goals to give them a 3-2 lead against England.


65mins More Ireland pressure from corner but Greece defend well and clear upfield...


63mins Corner into box but well cleared... Ireland working hard to win ball back and Hoolahan does well again and feeds Coleman... More good play down the right and decent ball into the box cleared for Ireland corner.


62mins More Ireland pressure down the right and a free kick is awarded just on the edge of the box... Poor free by McClean and at least wins a corner off the deflection.


Food for Thought: Derry City fan Dermot Rainey (‏@rainberryzooms) has put together a 23-man all-Ireland squad... Agree or disagree, with the squad and/or the concept?

GK: Westwood, Forde, Kenny DEFS: Kelly, Hughes, O'Shea, Evans, Clark, Dunne, Wilson, McAuley MF: McGinn, McCarthy, Hoolahan, Andrews, Pilkington, Shane Ferguson, McClean, Coleman FOR: Doyle, Walters, Long, Cox RES: G Doherty, Ireland, Baird, Whelan, C'Cart, McGeady


58mins Tempo has slowed over the last five minutes and some more subs are about to come on as Cox sits on the turf and will take no further part in tonight's encounter... Andy Keogh coming on in place of the Forest striker...


53mins Greece move up the field and win a soft free as Cox worked hard to track back. Free taken but high and over the bar... Westwood's injury may give Randolph another cap - thought he might have come on at half time but Trap must want to have a bit more of a look at Forde...


Plenty of support for the Greeks inside the stadium...


50mins More good play by Ireland and Hoolahan starting to get involved... Cox nearly through on goal...Greece clear


47mins Great start from Ireland and McClean does well down the right... Ireland corner played to the edge of the box and McCarthy's shot is not held by the keeper.... Penalty appeal #4 as Doyle looks to be hauled down. Ball played back across goal but cleared...



With both Ireland sides losing at half-time, maybe this is the solution, Dermot, for all football fans on the island... Send us the final selection...


Second half about to get going... Subs coming on Wes Hoolahan and Kevin Doyle on for Shane Long and Robbie Brady



Glad to hear that the rest of tonight's European footy is just as dour as what is on offer at Aviva Stadium


45+2mins Another corner for Ireland and penalty appeal #3 as the ball appears to strike the arm of a Greece defender. McClean launches himself at the loose ball as the ref calls a halt to the first half. Fisticufs follow as McClean has a bit of a barney with the Greek defender but Long pulls him away and they're off down the tunnel for some tea and jaffa cakes... 


45mins Good finish to the half from Ireland... Corner won after some good work down the right.... Keeper does well to clear the corner but Ireland back on the attack and Robbie Brady shows a bit of his class to cut in from the right to drill a great shot on target with Karnezis again proving his worth in goal...


43mins OUCH... Clark introduces himself to the Aviva Stadium faithful with an absolute cruncher of a tackle on Holebas - the Villa man is lucky just to receive a yellow card for that one...


42mins Ireland move up the field and win a free in a great position but the ball into the box is easily cleared.


40mins Well it looks like Ireland are back to their recent Aviva form... After a bright start, the green jerseys are finding it hard to get the ball and when they do, they are struggling to use it... Have shown very little since the opening 20 minutes


37mins Shane Long then picks up a yellow card for a bad tackle on Tachtsidis... Long has shown a fair amount of petulance in an Ireland jersey of late - cannot blame that one on frustration of not being picked...


35min Greece have finally found their stride and are knocking the ball about at will... Irish player cannot get near the ball with Samaras dropping deep... Mitroglou with time to turn and shoot but this time high and wide... 


34mins Early sub as Glenn Whelan goes off with what looks like a hamstring injury. Keith Andrews on in place of the Stoke midfielder...


31mins Ireland look a bit stunned by the goal and try to regroup. Quiet crowd even quieter now... 


29 mins GOAL IRELAND 0-1 GREECE - Excellent patient build up from Greece around the Ireland box and the ball falls for Holebas on the edge of the box, who turns and smashes it low into the Ireland net - no chance for Forde as the ball was right in the corner but defence were giving Greece too much time and space on the ball


GOALFLASH 20-year-old Steven Caulker has marked his debut with a goal as England go 2-1 up in Sweden


22mins Better from Greece as Forde makes a fine save and then the Irish have to deal with an excellent cross from Torosidis. Ireland deal with the good spell of pressure and move up the pitch.


GOALFLASH Northern Ireland have gone a goal down to Azerbaijan with Rauf Aliyev scoring after 5 mins. Danny Welbeck has equalised for England in Sweden.


19mins John O'Shea gets stuck in to Greece captain Samaras and there's a bit of blood there for the medical team to work with as the Celtic striker came out the worse for wear... RTE radio commentator Brian Kerr is more concerned about Samras' hairstyle getting ruined by all the blood...


16mins Great deft header from Long to send McClean charging through on the left. The Sunderland man tries to whip a ball across the box and a deflection forces Greece stopper Karnezis into a decent stop...


14mins More great play from Ireland down both flanks and the visitors are yet to make any impact... All Irish pressure coming down the wings


8mins More good work down the Ireland right side of the pitch with Coleman and Brady again linking well. Great ball into the box and Cox perhaps should have done better with the free header, just not getting over the ball and missing the target. 


GOALFLASH Ireland's Group C opponents Sweden have gone ahead against England with Zlatan Ibrahimovic hitting the net. Worth keeping an eye on the Sweden v England clash with the Guardian's match tracker.


5mins Good start from Ireland putting Greece under plenty of pressure and working the ball well down the wings. Coleman getting forward and linking up well with Brady early doors...


2mins Penalty shout #2 as Shane Long uses his pace to get around the back of the left back but more of a fall than a foul and the ref got that one right. 


1min - Penalty shout in the opening minute as free into the box is clearly handled by the Greece defender... Ref not having it and waves it away. Ireland win corner but cleared...


Game on at Aviva Stadium... Ireland playing in traditional green and white, playing into the Havelock Square end of the stadium. Greece in all dark blue...


Michel Platini has just presented an award for the Irish fans' passion at the European Championships. The parents of tragic Irish fan James Nolan are at the stadium to receive the award. A minute's applause for one member of the Green Army who didn't come home from Poland. RIP James Nolan.


So all you FAI season ticket well spent??


FAI still confident of 20,000 turning up at the stadium to watch this game - not sure if they will get close to this. Much bigger crowd at the League of Ireland end of season FAI Cup final. I'm predicting the FAI Cup final will outdo tonight's fare in the entertainment stakes as well...



Who will the Celtic fans be cheering for tonight with the long-haired Bhoy Georgios Samaras captain of the Greek side...??


'I'm the Gaffer' in the Sky Sports studio at the Aviva - Stan happy to see Clark in his preferred position and looking forward to seeing what McClean can do... 


Radio commentary is up and running... Hibernian manager Pat Fenlon is a pundit for the game. He just denied rumours linking Hibs to Shamrock Rovers midfielder Ronan Finn and St Patrick's Athletic's showboating goalscorer Chris Forrester as both players are under contract and Hibs have no money... 



Just over an hour to kick-off and here's possibly the most interesting fact about tonight's encounter:


[tweet] Seamus Coleman makes the team - and the cover of tonight's match programme...


Former Irish skipper Kenny Cunningham says he is disappointed that Wes Hoolahan did not get a start tonight. Listen to Kenny’s thoughts on the game.


[tweet] Good representation from ex-League of Ireland players this evening.


RTÉ analyst Ronnie Whelan thinks that it will be a very difficult game for the Irish with Greece in the middle of a good run. Listen to Ronnie’s preview of the game.


Any predictions for tonight's game...? Will Wes Hoolahan get a proper look-in or a token ten minutes at the end of the game...?? Which would you prefer? An old-style Trapattoni win or a draw/defeat with players encouraged to hold on to the ball and be inventive? 


David Forde is earning his fourth cap tonight. He has previously played in the victories against Oman, Northern Ireland and the famous win over Italy in Belgium. Former Derry City keeper, Forde has played in 10 of Millwall’s 16 Championship matches so far this season. So whenever Forde plays, Ireland win... And Trapattoni left him sitting on the bench for the entire Euro 2012 campaign...


This will help pass the last hour of work... No doubt the Trap Debate will continue no matter the result this evening...






Ireland XI to play Greece at Aviva Stadium, kick-off 19:45: Forde, Coleman, O'Shea, Clark, Ward, McClean, Whelan, McCarthy, Brady, Cox, Long.


So what about tonight's opponents then? What do we know about the Greeks...?? Well tonight's visitors (pictured here training at the Aviva) are currently ranked 12th in the FIFA World Rankings, having just dropped out of the top ten... That puts them 24 places ahead of Ireland (36th) but on paper, most would put the two teams just about even. The Greeks did, however, put in a much better shift at Euro 2012, qualifying out of Group A thanks to victory over a very strong Russia side in the final group game. Greece were knocked out in the quarter-finals, easily beaten 4-2 by Germany....but it was no 6-1...


Just to let you know that you can also listen to live radio commentary here worldwide on and tonight's game is live on RTÉ Radio 1 on Longwave 252 and Radio 1 Extra. There are highlights on RTE 2 television at 10.20pm tonight. 


So the breaking news from the Ireland camp is that David Forde will start in goal as Keiren Westwood has picked up an injury. An FAI press release, states: "Keiren Westwood has been ruled out of tonight’s game against Greece in Aviva Stadium with a groin injury. Keiren underwent a scan this morning, and will return to his club later this evening for treatment. David Forde will replace him for tonight’s game."


Good afternoon... Just over four hours to go to kick-off in tonight's, ahem, eagerly awaited international friendly between Ireland and Greece at the Aviva Stadium. It's the final international fixture of this "fantastic year" for Irish football ahead of the winter break, so if you haven't already bought your ticket for tonight's clash, well... you can keep right up to date with all the goings on down Lansdowne Road way with our live text commentary...

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