Republic of Ireland 0-0 Croatia

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Updated: August 10, 2011

Republic of Ireland and Croatia played out a very boring 0-0 draw in front of a half full Aviva stadium.

Richard Dunne had Ireland’s best chance but he headed it wide. Croatia should of got two penalties in the first half but neither were given. It was very poor performance for a team rated in the top ten in the world from Croatia.

Rep of Ireland 0-0 Croatia FT

Match tracker
Game over
90+2 Croatia win a corner. It comes to nothing.
90min Three minutes of extra time announced.
88min Both teams seem to be happy with 0-0.
86min More subs come on for Croatia.
85min Croatia get a shot on goal but Westwood makes a good save.
84min Cox and Tracey come on for Ireland.
83min Wales 1-2 Australia (Blake, 82 mins)
82min Robbie Keane is caught offside, there were inches in it.
81min Ireland win a corner that 2-2 on corners tonight.
80min Ten more minutes of football left, lets hope we get a goal.
78min Both teams finding it difficult to get a shot on goal, looks like its not going to be Irelands fifth win a row.
74min O’Dea comes on for Whelan. N Ireland 3-0 Faroe Islands (McCourt, 71 mins)
73min Shocking miss by Dunne, it was easier hit it in on goal. But its hit wide.
72min Croatia bring on two subs.
71min Good play by Keogh and Duff but it well defended.
69min Nothing much happening to report here.
65min Shocking corner from Croatia goes wide on the other side. Andy Keogh and Kieran Westwood come on for Given & Hunt.
63min Its all Croatia, only a matter of time to when they score.
61min Really good defending by Hunt.
59min Very poor second half so far, neither keeper has had to make a save.
55min Poor tackle by Gibson who gets a yellow card.
54min Bicycle kicks from Modric goes wide.
52min Ireland looked to have a good break away, but the ref brings it back for a foul. Yellow card for Vukojevic.
49min Gibson tries to get a shot on goal but its easily blocked.
47min Early attack from Croatia leads to some good defending from Kelly.
46min Second half underway.
R. Snodgrass puts Scotland back into the lead.
Half time
45+1min St Ledger header goes over the bar.
45min Robbie Keane hits a soft shot straight at the keeper.
44min Australia have taken the lead against Wales.
43min Poor end to the first half.
39min Good cross is well cleared by Whelan.
37min Scotland 1-1 Denmark (Erikssen).
36min St Ledger headers the corner over the bar.
34min Once again Long looks to be in for goal, this time it goes out for a corner.
33min Kelly clears the ball out, really good cross from Croatia.
31min Poor play by Hunt and Long, both looked well off match sharpness.
30min Shane Long caught offside.
29min Kranjcar shot goes well wide.
28min Really nice cross by Duff, but too many Croatian defenders.
26min Scotland are winning 1-0 against Denmark (Kvist og, 22 mins)
24min Good header on goal by Shane Long, but the keeper gets down to save it.
23min Ireland getting more into the game. Italy lead Spain 1-0.
21min Hunt looked to be in on goal but his touch let him down.
20min Croatia are making Ireland look very slow, they should be leading.
18min Poor shot by Corluka goes well wide.
16min Definite penalty for Croatia, Strinic was brought down by Kelly. Terrible home town call.
15min Good attack by Croatia but its cleared by Stephen Kelly.
13min Better play by Shane Long, he gets the ball into Whelen whos touch lets him down and the ball is cleared.
12min Quiet start here – typical friendly match.
10min Very poor play by Shane Long, his cross is way over hit.
8min Northern Ireland(Hughes) take the lead against Brian Kerrs Faroe Islands.
7min Shocking cross from Srna who missed all his men in the box, it goes out for a throw.
5min Great play down the wing from Duff, he passes it into Gibson who kicks a very tame shot into the keepers hands. He should of done better.
3min Hunt gets a nasty kick in the face from Srna but he shakes it off.
2min Early foul on Croatian player, but Hunt gets an early strike on goal. It goes well wide.
1min Match underway, in what should be quite an open game.
0min Small crowd so far in a dull Aviva stadium, the weather is very overcast.

Teams
Ireland Team: Given (Aston Villa); Kelly (Fulham), Dunne (Aston Villa), St Ledger (Leicester City), Ward (Wolves); Duff (Fulham), Gibson (Manchester United), Whelan (Stoke City), Hunt (Wolves); Long (WBA), Keane (Spurs)

Croatia: Pletikosa, Strinic, Simunic, Lovren, Corluka, Vukojevic, Modric, Srna, Madzukic, Kranjcar, Eduardo.

Preview
In form Ireland take on Croatia at the Aviva Stadium, kick off 7.45pm, looking to maintain the run of results that saw them claim the Carling Cup, beat Italy and the most important of the lot, claim three valuable away points against Macedonia in a May and June to remember for the boys in green.

Croatia may be ranked ninth in the world however they have only managed to beat Ireland once in five meetings and have never beaten Ireland on their own patch – with big games against Slovakia and Russia looming, Giovanni Trapattoni will be keen to keep confidence high in the camp.

As always the build up to any friendly has been marred with withdrawals and question marks over the timing and in keeping with tradition there has been a raft of players who have been declared unfit to play.

Kevin Doyle became the latest name on the list when he returned to his club for assessment ahead of the new season, the Wolves striker joining Stoke pair Jon Walters and Marc Wilson, James McCarthy, Seamus Coleman, Keith Fahey and Damien Delaney on the sidelines.

Therefore it was no surprise that a familiar looking side appeared when the starting line out was announced, the mainstays of the defence, Shay Given, Richard Dunne and Sean St Ledger flagged by the Stephen’s of Kelly and Ward.

Ward in particular will be keen to stake a claim for the Euro 2012 double header and after impressing in the end of season games another good performance could see edge out veteran Kevin Kilbane.

The absence of McCarthy is an opportunity lost for Trap, having missed the end of season games the clash with the Croats would have an ideal chance to assess our options in the middle however it’s not to be and instead Darron Gibson and Glenn Whelan will marshal the middle of the park.

For Gibson this game can’t come soon enough; a summer of speculation that culminated in the 23 year old captaining a second string side in a friendly against Spartans has yet to yield a move and with his national manager urging him to move, something it seems Sir Alex Ferguson agrees with, Gibson needs a strong game to show what he is capable off to potential employers.

Damian Duff and Stephen Hunt will man the flanks while up front the Premierships newest striker Shane Long will partner another man who has been told by the Italian to find another club, Robbie Keane.

The 72 year old will no doubt makes changes and with the likes of Simon Cox, who like Ward grabbed his end of season chance with both hands and Ciaran Clarke not to mention Chelsea youngster Conor Clifford all on the bench many fans will be looking at the changes more than the result.

Clifford in particular looks one for the future and the highly rated midfielder, who played for the U21’s in Sligo on Tuesday night, might be rewarded for catching the train over from the West of Ireland with a small cameo.

Both sides are in a similar one run of form with just one defeat in their last six games, Ireland’s 3-2 friendly loss proving less of a headache than Croatia’s loss to Georgia in Group F.

Slaven Bilic’s side currently sit a point behind Greece in their qualifying group and with players like Spurs trio Vedran Corluka, Niko Kranjcar, Luka Modric not to mention former Arsenal striker Eduardo and Rangers striker Nikica Jelavic in their ranks the Croats possess the players to give Ireland a difficult night.

Ireland Team: Given (Aston Villa); Kelly (Fulham), Dunne (Aston Villa), St Ledger (Leicester City), Ward (Wolves); Duff (Fulham), Gibson (Manchester United), Whelan (Stoke City), Hunt (Wolves); Long (WBA), Keane (Spurs)

Stats:

Form

Ireland WWWWLW
Croatia WDLWWW

Last six results:

Ireland

Ireland 2 Italy 0
Macedonia 0 Ireland 2
Ireland 1 Scotland 0
Ireland 5 Northern Ireland 0
Ireland 2 Uruguay 3
Ireland 2 Macedonia 1

Croatia:
Croatia 2 Georgia 1
France 0 Croatia 0
Georgia 1 Croatia 0
Croatia 4 Czech Republic 2
Croatia 3 Malta 0
Croatia 2 Norway 1

Previous meetings between Ireland and Croatia

Ireland 2 Croatia 2 Lansdowne Road 1996 Friendly
Ireland 2 Croatia 0 Lansdowne Road 1996 European Championship qualifier
Croatia 1 Ireland 0 Zagreb 1999 European Championship qualifier
Ireland 2 Croatia 2 Lansdowne Road 2001 Friendly
Ireland 1 Croatia 0 Lansdowne Road 2004 Friendly

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