International Football

Ireland end their World Cup qualifying campaign with a 3-1 win over Kazakhstan

Carl O'Malley Tue, Oct 15
 
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Kazakhstan
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  • 18:57
    There, there, it’s over. You can come out now. Michael Noonan can’t hurt you anymore. Well, he can’t continue to inflict pain on you for another year, at least, but you’ll be feeling this beating until then anyhow.
    I don’t envy him, Noonan, being wheeled out in front of a quivering nation like a jowly Hannibal Lecter, speaking in riddles most people don’t understand before that menacing grin creeps awkwardly across his face when the grim reality of what he’s just done dawns on him.
    By that time it’s too late, what has been said can’t be unsaid and what has been done can’t be undone. 
    Noonan plays a role much like the one Noel King has found himself in - the public face of a painful process. King has little responsibility for where the nation’s footballers, and by extension the nation’s football fans, find themselves right now. 
    The damage was done a long time ago and, let’s face it, someone’s gotta try and clean up this ugly mess while we hunt down the next fella to welcome, grow to dislike and, eventually, hound out the door. It’s the way it is, always has been and always will be. As long as nobody ends up wearing anybody else’s skin it’s usually harmless bread and circus.
    Of course, no Irish side should lose to Kazakhstan, not while we’re at our lowest ebb ever in the rankings and they’re over 70 places below us. That might change in 5 or 10 years time, if they reap a rich harvest from the extensive overhaul of their grass roots system they initiated some time ago. 
    It was the sort of project we should have embarked upon some time ago, and we still should, but for now, in the austere parlance of our times, we are where we are – a once proud, confident and, quite possibly, delusional nation, left clinging to the cliff-face of respectability. 
    So, grab your tin of spam, or the yellow pack lasagne you had to send the kid to the back of the freezer for, because you may well need some comfort food. This could get worse before it gets better. This is austerity football.
    And here's the team to deliver it:
    Forde; Coleman, Dunne, O'Shea, Wilson, Gibson, McCarthy, Reid, Stokes, Doyle, Keane
  • 18:58
    Pretty much as expected, the leaks were right on the money. 

    The return of Dunne and O'Shea from suspension, means Damien Delaney and Ciaran Clark get the heave-ho.
  • 19:04
    Marc Wilson is back at left-back ahead of Stephen Kelly, after spending the night in midfield in Cologne. 

    James McCarthy and Darron Gibson, therefore, look set to anchor midfield and Glenn Whelan makes way in the attacking three for someone more suitable in Andy Reid.

    Captain Robbie Keane is back in the front three presumable up top, but Stokes is still there and might well get a chance to make amends for those chances he missed against Germany.
  • 19:05
    The RTÉ coverage is upon us, clumsily and predictably using austerity budget puns from the off  .... oh, wait, nevermind.
  • 19:07
    Tony O'D tells us Doyle is on the right handside of the attacking three, with Reid in behind Keane and Stokes on the left. Tony was spot on last week, so we presume he's right this time round.
  • 19:10
    They're a bit surprised in the studio that Doyle is still on the wing but it was always one of Reid/Hoolahan/McGeady. It is a little odd to see Stokes on the left now and not Keane in behind him with Reid on the left. Two frontmen on the flanks is not exactly ideal.
  • 19:11
    Richie Sadlier, the fresh voice of reason, says the inclusion of Robbie Keane and Andy Reid, means long ball isn't an option. 

    "If it's similar to what we saw before, then it's a pointless selection."
  • 19:12
    Giles says formations are "pointless". Your senior analyst, folks. 

    "It's all nonsense".
  • 19:12
    "Pick your best players in their best positions and then they make the formation."
  • 19:14
    Have to agree with Dunphy that Keane can't play as the point man in the attack, but Darragh Maloney says we shuld be too good for them anyhow. 

    The "robust" Kevin Doyle should be up there, says Eamo. Kevin has looked anything but "robust" for about two years now.
  • 19:17
    A brief showreel of Crumlin's Andy Reid proves what this side has been missing over the last few years. He's not a saviour, but always worth having in  the squad.
  • 19:18
    Noel King insisting on the box, that he is still happy with the performance against Germany, having looked back on it.
  • 19:20
  • 19:21
    Giles giving out about Noel King making the criticism personal last week. Crikey, some neck. The kicking they gave King last week was completely over the top.
  • 19:25
    Elsewhere, Iceland are 1-0 up away to Norway and if that was to stay like that, they would be into the play-offs behind Switzerland. Greece are 1-0 to Liechtenstein too. If that stays like that and Bosnia don't score away to Lithuania the Greeks will top Group G.
  • 19:26
    In Africa, the only game going today was Ghana and Egypt, in the first leg of their two-legged play-off. They think it's all over, after Ghana won 6-1.
  • 19:27
  • 19:28
  • 19:29
    Gilesy rowing back from his original point on formations, and now I sort of agree with him. Damn you Giles!
  • 19:38
    10 minutes to go and the teams are heading out on the pitch.

    Dunphy suspects this will be trickier than people think.

    Sadlier's not sure but defeat, he thinks, is unthinkable

    Giles, despite not like anything about the formation or the personnel, would be "disappointed if we didn't win 2 or 3 nil"
  • 19:40
    It seems not even the FAI is taking this game seriously.
  • 19:40
  • 19:42
    This game obviously captured the public's imagination. They all dreamt of being somewhere else, and then they went somewhere else.
  • 19:42
  • 19:46
    Ronnie Whelan appears to be talking directly to Andy Reid from the commentary box.

    'Well done Andy, let's hope your talents are used and you get the ball down and do what you're good at.'

    Andy (strumming on a guitar and winking):  Cheers, Ronnie.
  • 19:47
    The Kazakh's get us underway but the main talking pount thus far is the pitch, it's in a heap at the north end, the end Ireland are playing into. It's hard to say whether that would be a help or a hindrance.
  • 19:48
    Ireland pressing high up the pitch, with six players in the Kazakh half when chasing possession. It's been energetic but a bit sloppy so far.
  • 19:49
  • 19:50
    That's Emmet, we'll have a match report from him later. He won't be focusing on the opening five minutes, I'd wager.
  • 19:51
    Nice stuff from Reid, first to Doyle into the corner and then a one-two with Coleman as the right back wins a corner.
  • 19:51
    Reid delivers the corner but O'Shea is nudged off it. Wasn't a great ball from Reid.
  • 19:52
    7 min: Reid's shot is deflected and then awfully sloppily dealt with by the Kazakh keeper, but Ireland fail to capitalise.
  • 19:53
    Reid involved quite a lot. It's almost like  he's confident and comfortable on the ball.
  • 19:54
    Doyle wins a free after some tidey possession play from Ireland. Free in gone short to Coleman.
  • 19:54
    Reid swings it in! Keane gets the glancing header and the keeper fumbles but gathers at the second attempt.
  • 19:56
    Dunne and  the rest of the Irish defence get in a bit of a muddle at the back and Baizhanov almost makes them pay. 

    At the other end, Doyle wins a corner. Reid not happy with that because he was lurling on the edge of the box.
  • 19:57
    Reid's corner, Dunne on target but the defender was all over his man and the whistle is rightly sounded.
  • 19:58
    13 min:  Roberto Martinez looks worried as James McCarthy picks himself off the floor after a hefty tackle
  • 20:00
    GOAL KAZAKHSTAN!!!

    Shomko after 13 minutes with a thunderous strike from the left after a very poor clearance from Séamus Coleman.

    Crikey
  • 20:01
    Gibson volleys on goalwards, it hits Keane and is cleared to Doyle, his cross is poor.

    Stokes wins a free at the edge of the box.

    Whelan wants to see more of that, Stokes on the flank rather than coming in early, despite saying at the start that he shouldn't be oiut there.
  • 20:01
    PENALTY IRELAND!!!!

     
  • 20:02
    Robbie Keane!!
  • 20:02
    1-1
     
  • 20:03
    Ireland right back in at after Reid's free to the backpost was touched away by a Kazakh hand under pressure from Dunne.

    Keane's penalty is as cool as you like.
  • 20:04
  • 20:05
    George Hamilton has just compared the hand that conceded the penalty to the "sword ox Excalibur rising from the penalty area". It's lines like that....
  • 20:06
    20 minutes gone
  • 20:07
    Lovely play from Ireland and Stokes hurdles the tackle but his cross is easily cleared for a corner.

    Reid's corner is cleared but Ireland have it back.

    Ireland have had 73% possession.
  • 20:08
    Whelan says you would hope that Ireland would have possession like that against Kazakhstan at home. 

    Well, yes, that's why we wanted the last guy to lay the foundation for that sort of game.
  • 20:11
  • 20:11
    GOAL IRELAND!!!
  • 20:12
    And it's John O'Shea of all people.
     
  • 20:13
    Andy Reid's corner is headed down by Dunney, flapped at by Sidelnikov-sy and rifled home by Sheasy. Lovely hurling.

    What a difference a deadball-delivery-merchant can make.
  • 20:14
    Good gravy, this Kazakh keeper is awful. Give it to Reidy!
  • 20:15
    He fields Wilson's cross easily enough though, after some good build up play from Ireland.
  • 20:18
    30th min:  Ireland concede a corner and the visitors make a change as Kislitsyn, who conceded the penalty is replaced by ..... 

    corner cleared
  • 20:19
    Finonchenko is the Kazakh substitute.
  • 20:20
    Darron Gibson is down now, and he looks in pain. I don't think it's because somebody has said something hurtful to him, but you can never rule that out.
  • 20:20
    More likely he jarred his knee a tad in the tackle. He's a big unit.
  • 20:21
    The good news is Glenn Whelan is being readied and, in truth, this does not look good for Gibson.
  • 20:21
    Des in HK Loving the updates and the comeback. Was the Kazakh handball for the pen red card worthy?
  • 20:22
    Not really, it was clumsy rather than a deliberate.
  • 20:23
    Gibson is off and Robert Martinez does not look happy. Nor does Gibso, naturally, who has his face covered with his two hands, like a man who knows this ain't good,
  • 20:23
    37 minutes gone 
  • 20:24
    Russia have qualified for the World Cup despite a late equaliser from Azerbaijan.
  • 20:25
    England are still scoreless against Poland and Ukraine lead San Marino 2-0, meaning Ukraine are on the road to Rio, and England are heading for the play-offs. One goal at Wembley for the homeside would change that.
  • 20:27
    Ireland trying to pick a few locks in the Kazakh defence, as they say, what? But they come acropper. Still, they're trying, bless 'em.
  • 20:27
    42nd minute now but there'll be a few minutes added.
  • 20:28
    England under the gun in London as Lewandowksi misses the best chance of the game.
  • 20:30
    Lovely feet from Coleman, but Doyle's return pass is too hard and George suggests he's saying to himself : why did I hit that so hard?'
  • 20:30
    Free out as Doyle penalised for pushing Shomko. It was a lovely move by Ireland and good cross again from Reid.
  • 20:31
    4 minutes added
  • 20:32
    McCarthy and Wilson combine to bamboozle one or two of the opposition but McCarthy's ball was over the Irish heads in the box.
  • 20:34
    Al gone a bit sloppy here from Ireland as Wilson crudely concedes a free, by giving his opposite number the ol' arse challenge over the sideline.
  • 20:34
    Ireland deal with the free comfortably.
  • 20:36
    That's half time and Ireland lead 2-1 after a thunderous strike from Shomko was cancelled out by a Keane penalty and then forgotten about with John O'Shea's first goal for Ireland in 10 years.
  • 20:38
    Right, I'm just going to come out and say it. 

    Noel King's Ireland is much better than Trap's Ireland. Discuss.

    I know it's Kazakhstan, I know we got walloped in Cologne, but we're dominating possession tonight and created about five decent chances against the Germans, while conceding half the goals Trap's men did at home.

  • 20:40
    We were behind tonight because of an outstanding strike. I don't know much about Shomko, but he'll never score one like that again.
  • 20:43
    The lads in the studio are having none of it, but. Ireland are awful and Kazakhstan are awfuller, apparently. The formation disgusts them.
  • 20:45
    The thing about this performance is, yes, it's not brilliant, it's not the level we want to be at, and there are players in strange positions that would be better suited to others, but it is ubndoubtedly better than the craven, mindless, classless performances put in by Ireland over this qualification campaign.

    Dunphy says Andy Reid hasn't been involved. Well, he set up both goals.
  • 20:46
    Yes, he'd probably do a bit better further back where he could see more of the pitch in front of him, but it's absolute rubbish to suggest he hasn't been involved.
  • 20:48
    England, by the way, are 1-0 up on Poland thanks to header from Rooney.

    Bosnia are through to the WC, Greece will head for the play-offs.
  • 20:49
    If it stays like that in Wembley England will top that group and Ukraine will head for the play-offs.
  • 20:49
    No changes for either team as they return to the field.
  • 20:52
    Because of scores elsewhere, Ireland are in danger of some  success. They could move up to the second tier for the Euro quaifiers if things stay the same and Romania don't win the two legs of their play-off.
  • 20:53
    Lively-ish from Ireland but Reid's cross to the backpost is too long for Doyole.
  • 20:54
    Coleman and Reid do well to hold possession under pressure on the right flank. Ireland keeping possession well until Keane is lumped off the ball.
  • 20:56
    21,700 people turned up for this, which, when you deduct the 20 per cent the FAI usually add to these things and then the take away the no-shows, It's a pretty poor attendance.
  • 20:57
    Free in for Ireland as kasgjdklsgjkdjskgjchenko handles it.
  • 20:58
    Coleman wins the corner after Andy Reid's shot is blocked by another hand.
  • 20:59
    Sidelnikov fists Reid's corner clear this time.

    McCarthy goes down clutching his knee and the Toffees could be in a sticky situation .... but he seems ok
  • 20:59
    Nice build up again, but Coleman's ball is poor again. Ireland really need better delivery from out wide.
  • 21:00
  • 21:01
    56 min: Stokes crosses with his left but Sidelnikov cuts it out before Keane can get there.
  • 21:02
  • 21:03
    Stokes and Reid combine nicely but Reid's shot is blocked out for a corner. Lovely back heel from Stokes after a neat inside pass from Reid, there. Corner comes to nothing.
  • 21:04
    Glenn Whelan volleys just wide after Stokes's cross to the backpost is cleared to about 25 yards. Good effort from the Stoke midfielder.
  • 21:04
    Nearly an hour gone now 
  • 21:04
    Hoolahan, McClean and McGeady are warming up.
  • 21:05
    Whelan would have started all of them instead of Reid, Doyle and Stokes.
  • 21:06
    Harry Is Kazakashtan spelt properly ?
  • 21:06
    Where? In your comment or on the scoreboard?
  • 21:08
    Sub Yurin shoots just wide of Forde's left hand post. Very nearly caught out there, Ireland.
  • 21:09
    Wilson heads Stokes into space and the Celtic striker cuts inside but his tame shoot isn't even good enough to trouble Sidelnikov.

    Reid tries to chip the keeper and narrowly misses out. Great vision.
  • 21:10
    Right, Kinger, where's yer replacements? Only 25 minutes left now
  • 21:12
    A little bit of possessiion from Kazakhstan. Fresh legs seem to have done them some good. It's not rocket science. It's probably science, though, to be fair.
  • 21:12
    TheRealCulls Lovin' your soccer ball coverage from Ohio. But what's that net behind the goal for?
  • 21:13
    Wait a minute, I know that cool dry wit.
  • 21:14
    OK, I was reluctant to stick the boot into King until now, but if there is not a substitution soon, Ireland could well lose their lead.
  • 21:16
    There's a lot of hoofin' going on. Players look tires. McGeady is apparently getting his groove on, on the sideline.
  • 21:16
    It's beginning to feel like a "friendly" as Whelan rightly points out. Perhaps that team sheet was on to something.
  • 21:17
    Sweden and Germany playing out another cracker in Stockholm. 3-4 to the Germans as it stands.
  • 21:20
    Oooooooooooooooh, almost a lovely goal from Reid, who stepped over McCarthy's pass and got it back form Keane, before striking the shot straight at Sidelnikov.
     
    That's his last involvement as McGeady replaces him.
  • 21:20
    McGeady goes left, Stokes goes in behind Keane. The other way round might suit better, but they might do it yet.
  • 21:21
    14 minutes left now. 

    Hang in there. 
  • 21:21
    Ireland corner after McGeady's cross is blocked and then his corner is headed clear by the first man
  • 21:22
    GOAL IRELAND!!!!
  • 21:23
    SHOMKO into his own goal, but it was a nice goal from Ireland, Stokes chases down a ball rolling dead, backheels to McGeady and he tears into the box from the left. He gets his head up for once, fires it across and Shomko gets the decisive touch.

    Keane would have got it anyhow.
  • 21:26
    George Hamilton unequivocally giving that goal to McGeady for some reason. Ok, George, but it's not his. 

    McGeady's looking lively, has shot blocked and then a cross gathered but he has them back pedalling and has taken the nerviness out of this game. It was heading south there for a while.
  • 21:27
    Corner Kazakhstan
  • 21:27
    And Finonchenko's shot is blocked. That was a let off. I spoke to soon. Dunne got the block.
  • 21:28
    7 minutes of normal time remaining
  • 21:29
    Dunne concedes the a throw as the captain Karpavich is replaced by Shabolin.
  • 21:30
    Solid defending from Wilson there and the Kazakh-attack breaks down.
  • 21:31
    McGeady inexplicably whistled for a nothing tackle and here comes Wes Hoolahan for Stokes.
  • 21:31
    He's got four minutes to prove yet another manager wrong.
  • 21:32
    Yurin blocks Dunne's clearance and it rebounds to Forde. That would have been a comical one to concede. Apt, in other words.
  • 21:34
    Man of the match time for Ronnie and it's ....... James McCarthy.

    When nobody stands out pick a centre mid from the winning team. Fair enough.
  • 21:35
    Dunne concedes the free and the visitors have on last chance.
  • 21:35
    Finonchenko's effort headed clear as two minutes of added time are announced.
  • 21:36
    It's fizzling out here, has been for a while, but McGeady's won a free for Ireland. 

    And then he wins a corner.
  • 21:38
    Headed away and the final whistle sounds. Ireland and Noel King have ended with a win.  

    It wasn't great, it had its faults but it was a damn sight better than the last time we played these fellas.
  • 21:42
    Yikes, that was meant to say "it wasn't great".

    Anyhow, Emmet's match report to follow, plus a bit of reaction and a round-up of what happened elsewhere.
  • 21:56
    England have qualified for the World Cup with a 2-0 win over Poland. Gerrard added to Rooney's opener.
  • 21:59
    A fairly hairy tet-a-tet between King and O'Donoghue. 

    "This it typical," says King after being questioned about  playing strikers on the wing. "Don't degrade the efforts of the players."

    "We scored three goals, do you want us to score six?"

    "Give the boys a bit of credit."
  • 22:02
    Dunphy:  "I think he has shown to be out of his depth".

    "There was nothing that Tony said there that denigrated his players. That response was  ... he's out of his depth"  

    Giles says he has been "very immature".
  • 22:05
    "He's not up to the job", adds Sadlier.
  • 22:08
    Have these fellas any idea how ridiculous they sound?

    "I don't care what Noel King thinks about John, Eamonn or Liam", says Sadlier eagerly trying to avoid looking as undignified as the rest of them.
  • 22:08
    Sadlier is succeeding by the way.
  • 22:29
  • 22:41
    Rod They're a lot more interesting than the football
  • 22:42
  • 22:47
  • 22:48
  • 22:50
    Shane Long hinting at a little disquiet in the camp there.
  • 22:59
    Right, that's it from me. It's been a pleasure. I'm off to stockpile tinned goods and beer.

    Slán