World Cup Qualifier

A 1-0 defeat for Ireland in Vienna means it's and over and out

Carl O'Malley Tue, Sep 10
 
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  • 18:52

    This evening, I will be mostly avoiding Ultravox.


    I would try and avoid the football, too, but it’s a contractual obligation unfortunately and, presumably, the reason some of you have tuned in. Again, just to stress, if you have come here looking for your fill of Vienna puns loosely based around a 1981 hit from a one of the leading proponents of the British electro-synth-pop scene of the same era, this is not the place for you.

  • 18:57
    This is a football blog, living in the here and now and, of course, the near future. We have no time for wistful nostalgia. We are focused on the grim reality of where we are, and, while we are in Vienna, there will be no melancholic reflection, nor wordplay, on the pop classic of the same name.  
    If all of that means nothing to you, great, we’ll carry on.
  • 18:59
    So, here Ireland are, in ... the Austrian capital, needing a win and help from elsewhere.  
  • 19:03

    Meanwhile, elsewhere, Astana in this case, Sweden have beaten Kazakhstan, which is absolutely no help at all.

    Apparently, Zlatan Ibrahimovic was considering doing us a favour but at some stage during the first 26 seconds he decided against it and thwacked in the winner in the 27th second.  

  • 19:04
    It leaves Group C looking like this and the Ireland players, desperately clinging to dreams of a World Cup in Brazil this morning, a lot worse off than they were when the awoke on the banks of the Wien. That’s just a turn of phrase, I’m sure none of them slept rough last night.
  • 19:06
    So, where to look for inspiration now?  
    Not the dressing room, it seems. The manager thinks his players aren’t up to much and the captain apparently believes the same, meaning their insistence that there is enough quality in this team to do precisely what it hasn’t done in 12 years, beat a side that’s halfway decent, rings a little hollow at this stage.
  • 19:07
    Call me old fashioned but if it is the case that this is the best that can be achieved with this group of players - and, frankly, I dispute that - surely reinforcing from within that they are sub-standard is not the best starting point in terms of morale. The manager has been doing it for some years now, constantly talking down his options, belittling his players by comparing them to some of the best to have ever walked the earth, and generally overstating what a pack of duds he’s been left with.  
  • 19:07
    Doesn’t this just undermine one of the greatest strengths Irish teams have had over the years; their self-belief and determination to prove wrong all  ‘outsiders’ damning them with faint praise by describing them as “plucky”?  
  • 19:09
    Take tonight’s team, for instance. Here it is: Forde; Coleman, Dunne, O’Shea, Wilson; McCarthy, Green, Pilkington, Walters; Keane, Long.
  • 19:10
    Now, the ones in bold are Premier League players.  Of the four who are not bolded, one is captain and record goalscorer Robbie Keane, and the other is Richard Dunne, the best Irish defender of his generation.

    Another is the goalkeeper, and the fourth, Paul Green, is only there because of injury to another Premier League player. This isn’t to say that their club status automatically makes them good players, just to point out that they are not exactly Dog and Duck standard.  
  • 19:10
    I am not completely wedded to this, by the way. I am aware Ireland’s troubles are not solely the responsibility of the manager and that, fundamentally, he does have a point about the standard of player at his disposal, or at least the standards said players bring to the international set-up, but surely, at some stage, let’s say after the first four years, you just make do with what you have and stop moaning about it all the time.
  • 19:11
    He is a workman, the players his tools, and he is essentially still saying: ‘What a bunch of tools!’
  • 19:12
    Anyhow, tools of varying worth they may be, but they’re our tools, dammit.  
  • 19:12
    Shiny new tool: Anthony Pilkington, who qualifies through his Irish grandfather Wolverine, will make his first start tonight.
    Shiny new tool: Anthony Pilkington, who qualifies through his Irish grandfather Wolverine, will make his first start tonight.
  • 19:16
    On the telly, Liam Brady's taken up his position for the defence of Trapattoni and says, basically, he doesn't have the players. He makes a fairly staunch case for his former boss, it has to be said.
  • 19:18
    "It's down to the calibre of the players we have," says Chippy. "The coach can't possibly have a role" in the footage he highlighted.  
  • 19:19

    Gilesy's up next, it's all very civilised so far.

  • 19:20

    "I don't think Trapattoni has given the players who could do it, the chance to do it."

    In a nutshell, Gilesy reckons he's been putting the wrong players on the pitch

  • 19:22
  • 19:26

    Anyhow, yisser all very quiet, get with it. You have to choose a side and then flip-flop constantly, despite having said 'and that's the bottom line' on numerous occasions.  

    Brady swung me there, briefly, and then Gilesy pulled me back in.  

     

  • 19:30

    Tony O'Donoghue suggests "they might surprise" us this evening. He can feel it in his wathers, apparently.  

    Dunphy's having none of it. "It's hard to imagine Paul Green doing something in midfield".  

    "What he is, is busy"

  • 19:31

    "If Wes Hoolahan was playing, and it's outrageous that he's not, we could control possession"


    Might be overstating it, a bit.

  • 19:31
    Kevin Sounds like you needed to get that opening off your chest for a few days! Well said
  • 19:31
    Tom mcquinn Why oh why no hoolahan, frustrated from norwich
  • 19:32
    Terence J. Husband Checking in, O'Malley. Hot day in the Washington, D.C., area--95 degrees, or thereabouts.
  • 19:34

    There's my favourite husband, welcome.


    Not sure Tom, it's difficult to fathom


    Kevin, it's cathartic. But it's all fleeting. Check back on the Sweden blog, I was actually quite optimistic before that game.

  • 19:38
  • 19:39

    Prediction time


    Gilesy: "At least a draw"


    Brady: "I think Austria will win"


    Dunphy: "Draw" and then some long winded explanation that involved a lot of head tilting and grimacing

  • 19:44
    Eoin Great coverage Carl! I actually fancy Ireland to get something from this, Pilkingtons crazy stylings have me in high hopes!
  • 19:47
    1 min: We're off and Shane Long forces an early throw. Back with the Ireland defence and John O'Shea and Wilson take turns to launch balls forward
  • 19:47
    Dicey The omens look good When we're just about to never watch an Ireland game again they go and spoil it with slim slivers of hope
  • 19:48
    Keane guilty of something similar to Long against Sweden, not putting Walters through early enough when in space on the right.
  • 19:48
    chris obrien have faith..we winn win 2-0..paul green wil surprse and get the first and conor sammon off the bench for the second
  • 19:49

    4 min:  Coleman gets in behind Fuchs but handles in the area as he battles away in there.

    It's been bright by Ireland so far, but isn't it always, early on

  • 19:52
    Austria team
    Austria team
  • 19:52
    7 min:  Keane called offside but he was hard done by. Walters was off but miles away.
  • 19:54
    Quite the atmosphere in the Ernst Happel Stadion as McCarthy tracks back nad gets a foot in. Then Coleman and Green combine to stop Burgstaller.
  • 19:55
    Austria appear to getting a hold of this now, but Ireland are showing good energy and Keane wins a free just on halfway.  
  • 19:56
    Dunne launches straight on to the chest of Dragovic
  • 19:57
    Pilkignton loses out for pace to Garics for the second time down the left. Norwich man has looked eager but his full-back has so far had him under control.
  • 19:58
    12 min:  Garics flights one over Dunne and into Burgstaller but the Austrian's control is poor and it bounces through to Forde
  • 19:58
    Alaba then tries to finds Burgstaller in the middle with a nice cross but again it runs safe.
  • 19:59
    14 minutes gone now
  • 20:00
    The wind has picked up according to Ronnie Whelan as Austria win a free in and take it short before testing Coleman in the air. He passes that test and Green tidies up.
  • 20:01

    Shane Long and Robbie Keane not on the same wave length and the former's pass goes astray.


    Walters is down after a challenge by Fuchs.

  • 20:04
    Firm challenge from Green but Keane's ball over the top is a touch too late for Long who is flagged offside.
  • 20:05
    Joe the boss What's the point, 3 wins and we still fail. Might as well dream here as in bed
  • 20:06
    Well, we won't do it with  that  attitude
  • 20:07
    21 min: Long offisde, but it's just as well because he failed miserably to get on the end of a good ball to the backpost from Walters. Really smacked of a player low on confidence
  • 20:09
    Weimann's effort out for a corner by Dunne. Alaba's cross headed away by Green and Kavlak sends one behind for a goal kick
  • 20:10
    An inexplicably ill-conceived kickout from Forde to COleman goes out for a throw. Ireland get the ball back, Dunne clears and Long wins a foul off Dragovic
  • 20:10
    Could have been a yellow, that one.  
  • 20:11
    25 minutes gone
  • 20:13
    Alaba's everywhere for Austria, a really tidy player. Scorer, of course, of the late equaliser in the 2-2 draw in Dublin
  • 20:14
    Green fouled by Weimann. The Leeds man has looked an improvement on Whelan thus far. Forde to clear it long.
  • 20:15
    And Keane benefits, as the ball breaks behind the defence the Ireland captain is on it in a flash but from a tight angle he hooks it across the face of goal.
  • 20:15
    Brian O'D Tuning in from work in Portland, Oregon. Thought this might make the day go a bit faster. How wrong was I.
  • 20:16
    Quite the charmer, you are.
  • 20:16

    Weimann is the one this time to miscontrol a pass from Alaba and Ireland get out of jail again. A better touch there and the Villa man was one on one iwth Forde.

    Dragovic fouls Long again and it's free in for Ireland.

  • 20:17

    Pilkington steps up. "A beautiful surprise", perhaps?  

    No, off the wall and out for a corner.

  • 20:18
    Pilkington takes the corner and it's decent but it's headed away. Green puts it back in but Almer gathers
  • 20:19
    Pilkington hits the sidenetting after a neat turn in the box, following Long's run and cross. Much better from Long and Ireland. Pilkington looks confident
  • 20:19
    34 minutes gone now
  • 20:20
    McCarthy in behind Garics this time and he had Long in the box but the ball is behind the striker and cleared.  
  • 20:21
    Alaba then breaks for Austria, bursts through midfield and forces a good save out of Forde. Corner drifts over everyone's head to safety
  • 20:24

    That was McCarthy who got that cross in for Long, btw, not Wilson.


    Alaba shoots and it comes back off Dunne's arse, breaks for Harnik but his shot is saved well by Forde.  

  • 20:25

    It's tit for tat now, but at least Ireland haven't faded like they usually do.


    Long's curls in a a ball to Walters in the middle but Almer reaches out low to gather it. Lovely ball by Long from the right but good goalkeeping.

  • 20:26
    Folbett Sitting in a leaving cert overview - sounds more interesting than the match
  • 20:26
    41 min: O'Shea heads Fuchs's cross out for a corner
  • 20:27
    Alaba's ball to the edge of the box is volleyed high and wide by Fuchs. Whelan is making no effort to soften the pronunciation of the latter's name.
  • 20:28
    Two minutes remaining in this half
  • 20:29
    Pilkington stopped by Kavlak and O'Shea is yellowed for hauling down Weimann. That means he'll miss the Germany game in Cologne next month.
  • 20:30
  • 20:31

    Pilkington wriggles away from trouble, out to Coleman but his ball is gathered by Almer.

    Half Time 0-0

  • 20:32
    Decent half by Ireland, rode their luck at the back at times, but looked cohesive in attack and sharper than against Sweden certainly. Pilkington brings more calm to the left hand side than McClean. Green's been busy too.
  • 20:34
    That O'Shea booking could be costly. The others on bookings going into this game were Dunne, Green and Coleman
  • 20:34
    Dicey Interesting advertising hoardings
  • 20:34
    Yeah, Aer lingus and UCC, among others
  • 20:36

    Brady: "They've only one player, Alaba in the middle of the park, apart from that they look very ordinary. Having said that, we look very ordinary too."


    Giles: "Not much in it, Bill. There's not much control in the game. It's a break in the ball here as to who's going to win this"

  • 20:37
  • 20:37
    Dunphy: "We need Wes Hoolahan"
  • 20:39
    Germany are 1-0 up against Faroe Islands away. Per Mertesacker with the goal
  • 20:40
    Brady agrees, but says "if we had a player like" Alaba we'd be laughing
  • 20:40
  • 20:42
    Northern Ireland are drawing 1-1 away to Luxembourg. Martin Paterson on the scoresheet from them
  • 20:43
  • 20:48
    46 min:  We're underway and Kavlak is off for Lietgeb. Keane was booked just at the break, by the way, for having words with the ref over O'Shea's yellow card
  • 20:49

    Pilkington does well in midfield to feed Walters and the ball out to Coleman almost reaches Long and/or Pilkington but it's headed out for a corner.

    Harnik heads that away and Alaba breaks

  • 20:50

    A good one two and he's off down the left but the cross is put behind by Harnik.


    O'Shea is injured and signalling he's in trouble.

  • 20:50
    O'Shea replaced by Ciaran Clark (his 8th cap)
  • 20:51
    Good practice for the Germany game for the Villa defender
  • 20:51
    barry hopefuly he's out for the next games so.. ideally a 20 game ban.
  • 20:51
    :) We'd be nowhere without Robbie
  • 20:52
    Lovely control and ball by Green to Pilkington but Garics has the measure of him again
  • 20:53

    Ireland far more measured in their passes out of defence here. There are far fewer aimles hoofs.



  • 20:54
    Seamus Coleman bursts down the right and takes a few for the team before feeding Walters, whose long range shot is well over the bar
  • 20:56
    Wilson shoots just over the bar after cutting inside and letting fly. Lovely effort from the Stoke man
  • 20:57
    barry and with him...??
  • 20:57
    Well, we had five fewer goals in this campaign
  • 20:58
    Burgstaller's ball finds nobody in the middle. Harnik nowhere near it. Clark then deflects his clubmate Weimann's cross out for a corner
  • 20:59
    Alaba takes adn Dunne heads clear. Back in but Walters brings it clear and Long wins the free. Good stuff from Ireland
  • 20:59
    Pilkington stands over it again
  • 20:59
    And Wilson
  • 20:59
    It's Wilson and he's curled this one over. Not was close as the last one but a nice strike.  
  • 21:00
    58 minutes gone
  • 21:00
    Pilkington almost through past Dragovic in the box, but Almer clears as the ball gets away from the Irishman
  • 21:00
    barry to quote John Cleese "It's not the despair... I can take the despair. It's the hope I can't stand"
  • 21:02
    Dunne penalised and it gerts worse for Ireland. The big lad is booked and he's out of the Germany game after a handball. Looked a genuine attempt to the get the ball and it's a poor decision by the Portuguese ref
  • 21:02
    Forde makes a mess of the free and Wilson puts it out for a corner. Danger cleared
  • 21:04
    62 min: Sub Arnautivic breaks down the left but his cross is too deep for Weimann
  • 21:05
    Clark wins a free after a high foot from Alaba. Ireland need to slow this down a bit if they can because Austria have stepped it up
  • 21:06
    Walters claims a penalty as the ball makes its way to Pilkington via Keane in the box. The Norwich winger crosses it but it's blocked. Half hearted appeals by Ireland.
  • 21:06
    Desmond Trellace Just stick to despair and you'll be alright.
  • 21:08
    66 min: After some shaky indecision between Forde and Clark, Austria come again and Fuchs finds Weimann, whose shot is straight at Forde and well saved by the Irishman.
  • 21:09

    Only poor touches letting the Austrians down now, at the other end Long takes another beating and the home side get away with it.


    There definitely has been a lack of consistency from the man in the middle tonight.

  • 21:10
    And, as I say that, it's free in to Ireland. Walters heads it down but Austria break with Weimann, his cross is too deep for Alaba, and the home crowd claim for a peno after the Bayern man went down.
  • 21:12
    Kieran Mchugh Following irelands progress on line is more exciting than watching the Swedish game live. Sitting in a hotel at Stansted with wall to wall Ukriane v England
  • 21:12
    Harnik blazes wide from close range on the right handside of goal. 20 minutes to go now and it's anyone's game
  • 21:14

    Clarke clears into space but nobody there. Still no sign of a change from bench.

    Oh wait, there is. James McClean is coming on. More of the same so.

  • 21:14
    Paul I love watching Ireland, love it, love it, love it. Can't wait for the next game! :-)
  • 21:14
    I'm picking up your sarcasm.
  • 21:14
    McClean replaces Pilkington as Ireland revert to kick and rush.
  • 21:15
    Janko is on for Austria in place of Weimann. Big lad, him. A more direct approach maybe? Maybe he has great feet for a big man.
  • 21:16
    Alaba wins a corner. Fuchs to take it.
  • 21:17
    Arnautovic's close ranger header is cleared by Green. McClean blocks Baumgartlinger's shot from the next one.
  • 21:17
    James McCarthy then clears brilliantly with a header from under his crossbar
  • 21:18

    Two fantastic blocks from Coleman as Harnik lines two efforts up from inside the box.

    Waves of Austrian attacks now

  • 21:18
    Dicey It's there for the taking says Ronnie but do we really want it ? We"d only have to watch the next game
  • 21:19

    Some brilliant defending from the young lads there, at the other end Fuchs concedes a free and Ireland have an opportunity. McClean over it.


    Terrible ball.

  • 21:20
    McClean puts in a good tackle on Harnik and the home crowd are disgusted but there was no free there.
  • 21:20
    79 minutes gone
  • 21:21
    Ian I was just thinking that if Ireland can play as well against the Germans as the Faroes currently are we'll be lucky. Then they get a fella sent off after a huge dive in the box by Müller. Unfortunate to the Faroes, the defender didn't touch him.
  • 21:22

    Long wins a corner off Fuchs in the corner. And then won another after the ref ruled him onside despite the flag going up. Came off an Austrian boot.



  • 21:22
    That's Long's last involvement as Sammon comes on.
  • 21:22
    Allan Watching Ireland play with German commentary from El Salvador, great craic altogether...
  • 21:22
    Kieran Mchugh Corner to Ukraine. Bad miss. England likely to get the point they need. Long way from Stuttgart and Sardinia.
  • 21:23
    That's all the substitutions by the way, so once again the most creative player at Trapattoni's disposal is left kicking his heels on the bench.
  • 21:24
    He only has to do it for another 8 minutes
  • 21:24
    Coleman turns Arnautovic brilliantly, well, with a bit of luck, but he makes his. His ball is miscontrolled by Keane, who throws himself to the floor.
  • 21:25

    GOAL AUSTRIA!!!


    Alaba scores with a roofed effort after Fuchs's cross is not cleared by Wilson and the Bayern lad smashes it home

  • 21:27
    I'm not sure where the scoreboard has gone but, trust me, it says 1-0 to Austria
  • 21:27
    Michael We can put this campaign to its Aleaba. Fuchs sakes
  • 21:28
    McClean gets the ball caught under his feet, shifts it on to his left, hits a cross, no, a shot, wait, a cross over the byline for a goal kick
  • 21:30
    Whelan gives man-of-the-match to Paul Green. He didn't have a bad one, in fairness to him.  
  • 21:30
    Like, from the perspective of what we have come to expect from him.
  • 21:32
    Alaba over a free kick here, but he hits it poorly wide
  • 21:32
    90 minutes are up
  • 21:32
    Ireland staring at fourth and a trip to Germany without their two centrebacks
  • 21:32
    Paul Prediction: Ireland to concede a goal in injury time. Any takers?
  • 21:33
    Wheel dog Good night trap.
  • 21:33

    Coleman concedes a free in the corner. He might have got a yellow there, we're not sure, but it wold rule him out of Cologne.

    Forde punches the free aaway

  • 21:34
    David Mc There was a very slight touch for the German peno but the defender very clearly tried to avoid contact. I could see no intent for foul play and Müller went down like a cheap hook...
  • 21:34
    DaveOfReckoning Is Alaba Austria's new... Wait for it.... Polster boy?
  • 21:34
    Kieran Mchugh Will he hang around like a bad smell for the final nails in the coffin. Maybe Denis O Brien will pay him off sooner rather than later
  • 21:34
    Free in for Ireland at the death.  
  • 21:35
    This to prevent Trap's first competitive away defeat.
  • 21:36

    No joy, some flailing limbs and desperate panting in the Austrian box but nothing to write about.  


    The final whistle sounds and, regardless of what way ye do your sums, Ireland are not getting through this group.

  • 21:38
    Germany beat Faroe Islands 3-0, so the group looks like this  
  • 21:38
    Niall Have to get Sir Alex n, come on Denis O' Brien!
  • 21:38
    Paul What's Jack Charlton up to these days?
  • 21:38
    Kieran Mchugh England get the point.
  • 21:39
    Dunphy: "If the right team was on the pitch, which it never is with this coach, we could have got second in this group"
  • 21:39
    MOTM decision a source of amusement to Dunphy and Giles.
  • 21:41
    land der berge U did it the austrian way, sorry for that nice greetings from vienna