Players from both sides will have been boosted by the fact that Kazakhstan played out a 0-0 draw with Austria in Astana, a game which ended shortly before kick-off at Lansdowne Road. The pity for Ireland was that, aside from a positive start, the news before kick off was by far the best news of the night.
Elsewhere in the Group, Sweden pipped the Faroe Islands 2-1 having trailed. Torshavn on Tuesday doesn’t look so easy now following a defeat of this magnitude.
The home side started the game with aplomb, taking the game to the Germans with Andrews having a 20 yard shot flying well wide and Walters almost bursting through from well inside the box after five minutes. It was to be Ireland’s last (half) chance of the match.
On eight minutes, Andrews played a dangerous free kick into the German six yard box but it eventually drifted wide. A very positive start with Ireland well in the game. The positive start was destined not to last.
Germany then began to assert themselves, creating three half chances in the space of five minutes, but were foiled each time on the edge of the box for fouls on Irish defenders.
Germany were beginning to turn the screw with 15 minutes played as Reus was found in space inside the Irish box. He whipped the ball over to Müller but it was slightly too high for him and his effort went well over the bar.
Reus and Ozil then both found each other in space but the chance was lost as Klose tried to walk the ball with 18 minutes played. Germany getting well on top following a bright opening start from the home side.
Following sustained pressure around the Irish penalty area, Reus read an excellent McCarthy very well, coming 40 yard from his goal to beat the advancing Walters to the ball.
Just before the half hour mark, Khedira cracked the first shot from 30 yards with Ward making a good block. While Germany were dominating, Irish goalkeeper Westwood had hardly touched the ball with 30 minutes played and he certainly hadn’t had a save to make.
Coleman showed his class winning the ball from Reus before rounding Schweinsteiger to cheers of “Olé” from the home support. Moments later, O’Shea was caught in possession inside his own box and he pulled back Reus with the attacking midfielder in on top of Westwood and 15 yards out. It looked a certainly penalty, but 2011 Serie A Referee of the Year, Nicola Rizzoli gave a yellow card to the German for simulation instead.
Having not faced a shot, Irish goalkeeper Westwood is forced to pick the ball out of his net as a fine looped ball from Schweinsteiger eventually finds the just booked Reus in a crowded box. The 23 year-old takes a touch before banging the ball into the net off the underside of the crossbar from 10 yards out on 32 minutes. Ireland have battled very hard, though the visitors are well on top on the home side need to get some possession and to get a breather.
Eight minutes before half time, Germany play 30 passes together without facing a tackle and Müller hammers the ball high and wide from 25 yards. Germany have had 98% over the five minute period since the goal.
Reus makes it 0-2 six minutes before half-time with the home side caught on the counter attack as Ozil finds Boateng who plays it to Reus and he uses Coleman to leave the ‘keeper blinded and the Dortmund youngster picked his spot cracking an excellent shot low into the corner from 15 yards out and at a tight angle.
Half time whistle blows and following a positive start, Germany show their class and deservedly lead. Sammy Kedira has a suspected hamstring injury. Ireland’s biggest home defeat was 0-5 against Spain in a friendly at Dalymount in 1931.
The Germans very nearly add a third at two minutes into the second half with Miroslav Klose flashing a header narrowly wide from a corner.
Ireland then create their first real chance with McCarthy bursting through to the byline but goalkeeper Neuer manages to block the ball away.
Fahey is replaced by Shane Long six minutes into the second half, despite the Dubliner having done well.
Germany win a penalty when O’Dea takes Klose’s legs and Ozil clips the penalty home. Germany are three up and the game is well and truly decided.
Klose makes it 0-4 shortly before the hour mark as Schweinsteiger plays in the Lazio man and he finishes expertly from a tight angle for his 65th international goal.
Reus was very nearly in for his hat-trick as he rounded Westwood but Coleman did brilliantly to recover and clear the danger just short of the hour.
On 61 minutes, Kroos equalled Ireland’s joint worst home defeat ever. O’Shea headed away a ball into the Irish box and the 22 year-old banged the ball low into the corner from 20 yards out.
Amazingly, Kieren Westwood made his first save of the night with 11 minutes to play as Boteng let fly from 20 yards but the Sunderland man got down low at his near post. Germany’s efficiency was summed up by the fact that they had six bottles of Gatorade lined up in a row inside their technical area for the most of the game!
The sixth goal of the night was academic as Kroos netted his second of the night and the remainder of the game was played at a snail’s pace.
Ireland didn’t want for effort on the night but the Germans are a vastly superior force and they can come close to sealing qualification with a win over Sweden in Berlin next Tuesday.
I have been vocal in stating my belief that Giovanni Trappatoni has little interest in his job as Irish manager and I don’t think I need to state my belief once again. Alas, the FAI don’t have the money to pay off the contract they offered him in May, otherwise the Milanese native would not be manager by the time this weekend ends.
Republic of Ireland (4-3-3): 1.Westwood; 2.Coleman, 3.Ward, 4. O’Shea (C), 5. O’Dea; 6.McCarthy, 7.McGeady (20.Keogh 68), 8.Andrews, 9.Cox, 11.Fahey (14.Long 51′); 13.Walters.
Germany (4-4-1-1): 1. Neur; 3. Schmelzer, 17.Mertesacker, 20.Jerome Boateng, 14.Badstuber; 6. Khedira (18.Kroos 46′), 7. Schweinsteiger (C), 8. Ozil, 21.Reus (10.Podolski 63′); 13.Müller; 11.Klose (9.SChurrle 72′).
Referee: Nicola Rizzoli (Ital); Serie A Referee of the Year 2010-‘11
Kherida won a German Bundesliga winner’s medal with Trapattoni before moving to Real Madrid.