The Republic of Ireland have won their first soccer match in the 2020s with a 4-1 win against Andorra yesterday.
The first half was a bit of a non-event with a very slow and lethargic performance from Ireland, with the ultimate indicator of this fact was no-one had a shot of target. Ireland, however created the best chance, with the best move of the first half, with a miss from a back post header from forward, James Collins from a Jason Knight cross.
This was an unconvincing performance for at least the first hour, with Ireland going a goal down after 52 minutes after poor defending from a set piece let Marc Vales of Andorra, score with a headed that looped in.
Ireland going a goal down, woke up the players, and thankfully Ireland levelled in the 58th minute through an individual goal from Troy Parrott who dribbled and then passed the ball in the corner of the net. Parrott then set up Ronan Curtis for a back post chance, but Curtis missed the chance and put it wide. Ireland took the lead in the 61st minute with a back post header from Troy Parrott, Andorra’s goalkeeper could have been stronger. Ireland had by this stage taken control of the game. The introductions of both Horgan and Idah for Curtis and Collins also sharpened Ireland’s relatively blunt attack, with more pace and urgency.
Ireland sealed the match with a goal from Jason Knight in the 83rd minute, who headed in a cross from substitute Daryl Horgan. The lively Horgan then scored in the 88th minute from a cross from Jason Knight.
Team Line ups.
Moises San Nicolás, Marc Vales, Mac Llovera, Joan Cervós.
Ludovic Clemente, Marc Rebés, Marco Vieira, Alex Martinez.
Jordi Aláez, Richard Fernandez.
Christian Martinez for Clemente 59th minute, Christian Garcia for San Nicolás 71st minute, Eric De Pablos for Rebés 71st minute, Francisco Perez for Iker 76th minute, Ildefons Lima for Alex Martinez 76th minute.
Republic of Ireland: (4-2-3-1)
Matt Doherty, Dara O’Shea, John Egan, James McClean.
Josh Cullen, Conor Hourihane.
Jason Knight, Troy Parrott, Ronan Curtis.
Daryl Horgan for Curtis 65th minute, Adam Idah for Collins 65th minute, Jamie McGrath for Parrott 82nd minute, Ryan Manning for O’Shea 85th minute, Shane Duffy for McClean 85th minute, Harry Arter for Hourihane 85th minute.
A win is a win: This is Ireland’s first win of the 2020s and is in the first time in the history that Ireland has scored four goals against Andorra. This is first time Ireland have gotten four goals since the 4-0 win against Oman in 2016.
Youngsters stepping up: Troy Parrott, who is still nineteen showed initiative and leadership in helping to drag Ireland out of an unacceptable result with two goals in three minutes. He was direct, taking on and driving forward, as well as getting his two goals. The opponents have to be taken into account, but good. Jason Knight and Daryl Horgan (he’s 28, so no youngster) also got their first international goals for the Republic of Ireland.
Lethargic First Half. Ireland’s performance for the first fifty was lethargic, slow and not good enough. Ireland being unconvincing against minnow teams has being a problem for Irish teams in the past, because Ireland are often not good in controlling possession and very often give away the ball quite cheaply, making minnow teams look better then they really are.
(c). Ferdia O’Mahony 2021.