A creditable performance and result from the Republic of Ireland soccer team tonight against Hungary.
The first half was a solid defensive performance from Ireland, but Ireland were still lacking a bit of a threat upfront. Ireland hit the woodwork early from a Shane Duffy header from a set-piece. Hungary had a header from Adam Szalai just before half time, but there was a great save from goalkeeper, Gavin Bazunu.
Half time substitution for Ireland was Caoimhin Kelleher for Gavin Bazunu. This was Kelleher’s first game for Ireland
Ireland had a half chance with great close control from substitute Horgan who then set up Idah, but the Hungary defender got there first. Ireland could have taken the lead with an Idah shot from outside the penalty area, but the Hungarian goalkeeper Bogdan saved. Adam Szalai had a good shot from a snap shot, Kelleher saved the shot.
Caoimhin Kelleher showed his talent as a goalkeeper with several very good saves in the second half, including two point blank saves within a minute of each other, one from a header from a cross, and then saving from a close range shot from a corner.
Ireland could have won it in the dying minutes, with a shot from substitute Ogbene from a tight angle. The fact that Ireland had pace up front, meant that Ireland always had a threat on a counter attack. This was a creditable and solid result and performance from Ireland.
Team line ups.
Ákos Kecskés, Willi Orban, Attila Szalai.
Bendegúz Bolla, László Kleinheisler, Ádám Nagy, András Schafer, Attila Fiola.
Adam Szalai, Roland Varga.
Gergo Lovrencsis for Bolla Half time, Kevin Varga for Roland Varga Half time, Ádám Bogdán for Gulásci 63rd minute, Loic Négo for Kleinheisler 63rd minute, János Hahn for Fiola 79th minute, Szabolcs Schon for Szalai 88th minute.
Republic of Ireland.
Shane Duffy, John Egan, Dara O’Shea.
Matt Doherty, Josh Cullen, Conor Hourihane, James McClean.
Troy Parrott, Adam Idah.
Caoimhin Kelleher for Bazunu Half time, Daryl Horgan for Parrott 56th minute, Jason Molumby for Hourihane 57th minute, Ryan Manning for McClean 85th minute, Chedioze Ogbene for Knight 89th minute, James Collins for Idah 89th minute.
Positives: Solid result. A 0-0 away to a team who have qualified for the European Championship and ranked above Ireland in the FIFA world rankings is always a decent result. Ireland looked solid and could have gotten a win with more conviction up front, but solid result and performance.
Goalkeeper: Ireland have a positive selection headache in goal, with both Gavin Bazunu and Caoimhin Kelleher putting their heads up for selection against Portugal in the Autumn. The fact that both of them are very young for goalkeepers is a great indicator for the future.
Ireland’s defence was also solid tonight.
Debuts included Caoimhin Kelleher and Chedioze Ogbene. Ogbene is the first player born in Africa to represent the Republic of Ireland
Negatives: A lack of cutting edge up front. Ireland looked at times a bit light weight up front. With the retirement of Robbie Keane and decline of Shane Long, Ireland are really searching for a consistent forward who can score the goals. Both Troy Parrott and Idah were quiet in the first half. Idah was better in the second half putting a shot on target and looking lively.
(C). Ferdia O’Mahony 2021.