World Cup 2014

World Cup 2014

IT Fri, Sep 7

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  • 16:31
    Well, this is it, just when you thought it was safe to come out from behind the couch, Ireland are back and ready to deliver another crushing disappointment via the medium of … eh, football, that’s it.

    The remote European outpost of Astana, Kazakhstan, is the first port of call for Giovanni Trapattoni’s men – the ones who’ve turned up, that is – after Euro 2012 delivered its verdict on our standing in the world game with a ruthless reality check.

    Regardless of who’s responsible – players, manager, over excitable fans, a fickle media, or a combination of all four – it begins again at 5pm, whether we like it or not.

    Of course, maybe that’s all too cynical for you. Crikey, it’s almost too cynical for me (Carl O'Malley, by the way, nice to meet you, thanks for coming out), so let us know of your hopes, dreams and aspirations for this side on its new dawn and whether you think there is something to be salvaged from the ashes of the summer as we embark on the road to Rio (and various other places in Brazil).
  • 16:34
    Billo seems chipper, anyhow. What a gent. Tony O'Donoghue is in Astana, naturally, on a unnatural artificial pitch which is apparently in a bit of a state. That's one excuse at the ready.
  • 16:37
    Johnny Giles, Richard Sadlier and Liam Brady are on the panel.

    Gilesy says there's a lack of optimism and no awareness among the management of the need to change.

    Sadlier, the burgeoning punditry talent that he is, has poured scorn on the management's lack of action already. He'll go far that lad. Sadlier, of course, branded Trap a "liabilty" in a recent column for some Sunday paper, the name of which escapes me right now.

  • 16:43
    The one thing the lads can all agree on is that James McCarthy's inclusion in midfield is a good thing.

    Other than that, they're baffled by the decision to include Cox ahead of McClean. Gilesy reckons there's no "logic" in the Ireland starting line-up.

    Good start, then.
  • 16:46
    Brady (former assistant to Trapattoni) insists the manager doesn't care who agrees with him and who doesn't.
  • 16:49
    Rep of Ireland: Westwood, O'Shea, St. Ledger, O'Dea, Ward, Whelan, McCarthy, McGeady, Cox, Walters, Keane
  • 16:52
    Nine minutes away from kick-off now. Around 200 Irish in the stadium. Amazing dedication , really. Let's hope they are rewarded after their eight hour flight.
  • 16:53
  • 16:55
    In Moscow, by the way, Northern Ireland are 1-0 down to Russia. Fayzulin the scorer for the hosts there.
  • 16:59
    George Hamilton and Ronnie Whelan have taken up the running from their commentary position in the Kazakh capital. There goes the anthem. Barely noticed, it seems, before the home version, which sounds like it should be accompanying Darth Vader walking into the stadium, swishing his cloak and dropping minions with the wave of a hand.
  • 17:02
    Robbie Keane, tasked with reading out some fair play jargon to a disinterested audience, is captaining his country for the 55th time tonight. Familiar.
  • 17:03
    We're almost off. Ireland will kick-off with Whelan and Keane.
  • 17:04
    Whelan to Keane, Keane to Ward and Ward hoooooof!  Ah, it's good to be back.
  • 17:07
    Westwood does the same. Not once, but twice. In fairness, Walters is getting some joy off them already and McCarthy guides a shot to the bottom corner and it's tipped around the post by the home keeper.
  • 17:07
    O'Shea's header deflected out for another corner.
  • 17:08
    O'Shea just misses the third corner, but there is definitely a defensive issue to be exploited there. Kazakhstan looked very uncomfortable defening those setpieces.
  • 17:09
    5 min:  Walters again flicks on but Keane loses the flight of the ball. It's an aaerial bombardment from Ireland as Westwood launches another.
  • 17:10
    McGeady shoots wide after Walters again creates confusion. It's not pretty, but it already looks like it might yield results. Sure, why try and outplay inferior opposition when you can just bludgeon them into submission?
  • 17:12
    And the first bit of actual football comes from the homeside, but it results in a skied shot from distance.

    The hosts, incidentally, are playing five in midfield. Weirdos!
  • 17:13
    Ian 10 minutes in and the commentary is hilarious. Great stuff!
  • 17:14
    I'm adding that comment, not as a 'big up' to myself, but merely to let you know that there is a comment section and you should use it. Even if it says the exact opposite to what my brot ... I mean, what Ian said.
  • 17:17
    Ward got the spinnies in possession there. I think he was the fourth Irishman to receive the ball in that passage of play, so he promptly kicked it to an opponent and they broke. But for one of those horrible astro turf balls that just keeps running, the hosts might have been in down John O'Shea's channel.
  • 17:17
    Conan Enjoying the commentary from Calgary, Canada right now. In fact, I'm quite sure the commentary is miles more entertaining than the football Ireland is playing right now!
  • 17:18
    Robbie Keane is 'making a nuiscance of himself', according to George, but it looks awfully like the hosts are growing in confidence to me.
  • 17:19
    15 minutes gone as a dangerous looking cross is fired across the box.
  • 17:19
    Diarmuid Watching from the Carribean. I predict a 6-5 thriller......
  • 17:20
    To who?
  • 17:21
    Here's the Kazakhstan team Sidelnikov: Kirov, Kislitsyn, Mukhtarov, Nurdauletov, Konysbayev, Bogdanov, Ostapenko, Schmidtgal, Nusrbayev, Rozhkov.  Subs: Mokin, Gurman, Shakmetov, Gridin, Islamkhan, Shabalin, Shomko, Dmitrenko, Dzholchiyev, Tsirin.

    Yeah, me neither.
  • 17:21
    Killian To whom, surely
  • 17:21
    Ciaran I will say one thing for Trap's dire management- it makes live blogs much more entertaining for those of us who can't watch the games (Couldn't find a bar in Boston, MA- honest).
  • 17:22
    Killian. I'm going to put that down to a typo. It's hectic stuff here. Prove I'm lying, go on, prove it.

    Pfft, thought so.
  • 17:22
    Diarmuid Quite right. To the 26 counties of course. Westwood with a hat trick. It feels like that sort of game. I'm sure you all agree.
  • 17:24
    20 minutes gone now. Ireland still craning their necks skywards, Kazakshtan maintaining their dignity.

    Free in to the hosts.
  • 17:25
    Headed away  by O'Shea. Sent back in and Ireland scramble to keep them out as Westwood pounces at the feet of an attacker, who was offside, anyhow.
  • 17:25
    Paul I am on the bus deciding whether to get off and watch the second half or if the football is that bad, to stay on and read the blog
  • 17:26
    Diarmuid Depends, are you the driver??
  • 17:26
    Niall Kazakhstan have changed their national anthem since Borat came out then? Not a mention of potassium?
  • 17:27
    There'll be no Borat references on this blog. Not after that one, anyhow.
  • 17:28
    Another free in for K'stan loops up in the air and Westwood gathers.
  • 17:28
    Conan My suggestion to Paul is to keep reading the blog. I find I usually imagine Ireland playing much nicer football than they ever play (at least with their usual lineup/formation).
  • 17:29
    25 minutes and counting.

    WW launches another one, and against it's dealt with. I say "again" but I haven't told you about the numerous such clearances that have happened since I surmised this tactic might pay off. They've got a number, I tells ya.
  • 17:30
    Niall Here, they're not even famous for being in Europe. What other Kazakhstani cultural cornerstones are there to reference?
  • 17:31
    There's a job for you, Niall. Off with you and educate us. I'll give you a halftime slot. It could be your big break. You have 20 minutes to cram.
  • 17:31
    Conor in New York Just checked on a map - Kazakhstan's bleedin' huge - the size of Australia. Who knew?
  • 17:31
    They guy who made the map?
  • 17:31
    Paul Thanks for advice. Will get off bus and read blog in beer garden
  • 17:32
    You might need something stronger. Lighter fluid, pehaps.
  • 17:33
    Conor in New York Anything happening on the field?
  • 17:33
    Just as you asked Robie Keane went in bravely for a header, Conor.
  • 17:34
    Ireland have, it seems, adjusted their tactic slightly and are keeping the ball on the ground a little more.  McGeady's seeing a bit more of it on the left.
  • 17:35
    McGeady fouled on the left and here's a chance to deliver a blow.
  • 17:36
    McGeady swings it to the back post where O'Dea is beaten to it by the defender. Another corner. Ireland's fourth, but McGeady hits the first man.
  • 17:36
    32 minutes gone. Ireland a little more composed. Relatively speaking, of course.
  • 17:37
    Tommy Are we gonna start belting out "The fields of Athenry" again I wonder? Keep us amused for a bit...
  • 17:37
    Andrew London Well spotted Killian, the best fans in the world deserve to read the Queens English.
  • 17:38
    Another corner for Ireland, after the Kazakh's break with some menace before they are crowded out.

    St Ledger heads this one into the arms of Sidelnikov.
  • 17:38
    Niall Trap's obviously misinterpreted all the demands to play Long.
  • 17:39
  • 17:40
    Free in for the hosts after Ward bundles over his man in the corner.

    And it's there!!!!!!
  • 17:41
    Schmidtgal's ball is a beaut and the captain Nurdauletov glances a header from the near post to the far corner. Lovely goal.

  • 17:43
    Well, well, well, things just got interesting. We'll see how much neck this side has now. Are we a team of ETs or Craig Bellamys?
  • 17:43
    Ciaran I actually hope we lose this now. Might put an end to this shambles.
  • 17:44
    Now, now
  • 17:44
  • 17:44
    Gerry I once read an interview with Sacha Baron Cohen where he said that when he was creating the Borat character he did some research that revealed that Kazakhstan has no tourism industry as such. Borat's nationality was immediately decided on the basis that it would be unlikely that Borat would run into someone who could challenge him on the daft things that he claimed are commonplace there… I remember finding that interesting at the time and I thought it would be worthwhile sharing it with the group give the occasion.
  • 17:44
    And you weren't wrong, Gerry, you weren't wrong.
  • 17:45
    Conan That is incredible. Trap will probably respond by bringing on someone like McShane. Probably wishes he had Green to call on as well. Surely Long will remain stapled to the bench though.
  • 17:46
    Ireland off the hook again. Westwood does well to stop a long ranger, the rebound is smashed off the post but the reboundee was offside.
  • 17:46
    Tommy This is shocking stuff. Any figures on how many Irish travelled to this?
  • 17:46
    About 200, I think
  • 17:46
    ted its early yet have faith
  • 17:46
    43 minutes gone
  • 17:49
    Ireland are like a drunk, fumbling for keys at the door, devoid of inspiration and, no doubt, full of self loathing.
  • 17:49
    Whelan says they don't know what to do. "They are all over the place at the moment".

    Can't argue with that.
  • 17:50
  • 17:51
    Well, Tommy, artist's impressions normally look beautiful. Unless they're doing crime scenes.
  • 17:51
    Back in a tick.
  • 17:51
    Halftime, by the way.

    Aaaaaaaaaand breathe.
  • 17:53
    Guest just watched the first half.........absolutely shocking...........trap has sent us back at least 25 years in football terms
  • 17:53
    Tommy As for drunks...I've a mate who once tried to open his front door with a fiver. Scroll past the purty pictures, the real Astana still looks nice...
  • 17:54
    Conan Well, worst case at least a loss today should spell the end of Trap. At least it should. Heck, even a 2-1 win should, but likely wouldn't. Embarrassed to say I might find the Canada/Panama qualifier this evening more entertaining and that's saying something.
  • 17:54
    A damning appraisal from the masses. That's what masses do, though. At least the ones I was brought up on did.
  • 17:56
  • 17:56
    funkilius he has to go!!!!!!........this is awful muck......if carlsberg did bad football this would be it
  • 17:58
    "Caveman football", says Gilesy.

    "You can't pick one player that is doing himself justice", says Brady.  "A nightmare".
  • 17:58
    Tommy Come on folks. Blame Trap all you want, but name me one world class player on the squad.
  • 18:00
    Ciaran Tommy, we're playing Kazakhstan. World-class players aren't exactly required!
  • 18:00
    He's got a point, Tommy.
  • 18:02
    Tommy Replace "world class" with "decent" then.
  • 18:02
    Ian I can't see the match as I'm on the U-Bahn here in Germany, but it sounds awful. Germany will stuff Ireland.
  • 18:03
    funkilius its down to traps coaching of the players......if trap had messi,ronaldo etc the tactics (for want of a better word) would be the same!!!!...........the players should abandon traps instructions and play their own game
  • 18:03
    John in Boston do we have time to fly Giles and Brady out for the second half?
  • 18:03
    Guest this is a complete disgrace.. I'm ashamed to have this team representing us!
  • 18:04
    Cripes, this is getting heavy.

    Ok, who brought the pitchfork and torches?
  • 18:04
    Brady is "frightened" it's too late to change. He says we have to look to the bench, McClean and Long.
  • 18:06
    Tommy We could throw the bench at them. It's pretty heavy...
  • 18:06
    And we're off.Launched to Walters, who fouls his man. Not really, but the ref says so.
  • 18:07
    Bazil Ibiza Do you just ignore my useless comments ???
  • 18:08
  • 18:09
    Whelan giving out that McCarthy comes to get the ball off the centre backs who boot it over his head. "The players do not seem to know what tactics they are using out there".
  • 18:10
    50 min: McCarthy bursts into the box but loses his footing. 

    Kazakhstan respond with a volley over the bar.
  • 18:11
    Ciaran Sorry, are you actually trying to tell me that there were no changes made at half time?
  • 18:11
    Oh, sorry, yes that is what I'm saying.
  • 18:12
    52 min:  Ireland keep possession across the back four before another hopeful punt. Goalkick for the hosts.
  • 18:13
    Nusrbayev causes O'Shea a few problems down the right and almosts finds a teammate bursting into the box..
  • 18:15
    Tommy Just received a text stating "The opposition r muck tho!" I have pointed out that we are losing. Losing to muck apparently.
  • 18:16
    56 minutes gone, McGeady is tripped on the left after Ireland play it out from the back!.  Free in.
  • 18:17
    McGeady standing over it and his deep cross is tipped behind for a corner. Kevin Doyle is getting instructions on the touchline.
  • 18:17
    Ciaran I wonder is there a Kazakh equivalent to this blog, where they're bemoaning the fact that they're only beating 'muck' by a goal!?
  • 18:17
    Who was our Kazakh researcher again? Tommy?

    Tommy! Get on it!!
  • 18:18
    Dave Ireland may not have many (any?) world class players to call on these days, but you don’t need world class players to beat Kazakhstan. This is a side that is almost entirely based in Kazakhstan. It’s perhaps worth pointing out that last season, the current reigning Kazakh champions, Shakhtar Karagandy, were knocked out of the Europa League by St. Patrick’s Athletic. Pats’ lack of word class players didn’t seem to hinder them all that much.
  • 18:19
    Doyle on for Cox. Not sure what that means. I think it means that fleet footed operator Jon Walters - a target man until now, remember - is on the right wing.
  • 18:19
    Guest If a 1-0 defeat here is what it takes to get Trappatoni out the door then so be it. He hasn't learned or being willing to change a thing since the Euro disater.
  • 18:20
  • 18:21
    Thanks, Tommy. That's some sterling research. You'll go a long way in the ad hoc blog runner boy business.
  • 18:21
    funkilius can't watch anymore of this blood pressures going thru the roof
  • 18:23
    C'mon Ireland, lets get him over the edge!!
  • 18:23
    62 minutes gone. Nothing to report, no silver lining. Nada. Walters is, indeed, on the right wing. I know he plays between the lines for Stoke, but come on, right wing with McClean and even Long on the bench?
  • 18:24
    Tommy Thanks. Bizarrely there is also a Kazakh version of Shay Guerin currently texting a version of Tommy. Not sure what the Kazakh equivalent of Bray slang is though...
  • 18:24
    Guest This is highly embarrassing? Where's Long, Gibson, McLean, Wilson, Ciaran Clarke. They're better players than the ones on that pitch. Trap out.
  • 18:24
    Kev How long is left??
  • 18:24
    26 minutes
  • 18:25
    Whelan says we have to get Keane off.

    "Get Long on, get McClean on, do something!"
  • 18:26
    McCarthy's effort in the second minute the only chance of note for Ireland so far.  This is utterly awful.
  • 18:27
  • 18:27
  • 18:30
    Nusrbayev shoots narrowly wide of Westwood's post. That's his last involvement.
  • 18:30
    Dan, Dan, DAN I was enjoying this until D McDonnell appeared. Now my life is ruined.
  • 18:31
    Shane Long is coming on for Walters with 20 minutes to go.

    That's three centre forwards we've had on the wing today, says Whelan.  But it looks like he's heading up top.
  • 18:32
    Morgan Just tuned in to your updates from Toronto, can some1 please explain whats going on? this is a joke right? Kazakhstan.... seriously? Why is the Italian still in charge? Bring back Quinn
  • 18:32
    Well, Morgan, Ireland are huffing, Ireland are puffing and Kazakhstan are blowing their house down.
  • 18:33
    A bit of possession from Ireland results in Whelan shooting on target. It's tame though.
  • 18:34
    16 minutes remain in this painstaking ordeal
  • 18:35
    Free in to Kazakhstan and they head to the corner. Bit early for that, lads. You can get another.
  • 18:37
    McGeady's free is flicked up in the air and Sidelnikov gathers. His delivery has been really poor today. He's actually looked lively, but the final ball, the bane of his life, has been a let down
  • 18:38
    First corner for Kazakhstan after Westwood is forced into a save. Very luck there. The corner comes to nought.
  • 18:38
    Seán We're missing Richard Dunne's leadership at the back big time
  • 18:40
    For those interested in news of Irish success (I know, right?), McIlroy is two off Singh's leader and three under for his second round at Crooked  Stick
  • 18:40
    RobbieD Soccer in Ireland was a damaged article after Euro 2012 but this will drive kids to other sports, big time!
  • 18:40
    Tommy It's like a car crash, I want to look away but can't.
  • 18:42
    81 min: O'Dea heads behind, straining to get his noggin on it at the backpost.

    Hamilton is just trotting out stats proving how awful Ireland are. Really, he seems to have a refill pad full of them.
  • 18:42
    Bluey Always with the changing of the strikers. Why is it always the strikers that we sub - the problem, to my mind, is clearly the midfield (granted at least one position in the midfield has continuously been strikers tonight). If we don't change the way we win the ball and provide service in the mids, it wouldn't matter if our strike force was Gerd Muller and Lionel Messi.
  • 18:43
    You see, that seems a reasonable point, Bluey.
  • 18:43
  • 18:45
    Kazakhstan have a man down. A bit of gamesmanship.  Crafty buggers. No sign of McClean yet. If ever there was an impact player.
  • 18:46
    Bazil Ibiza Shame Duff retired and young Robbie Keane decided to stay on to put us through more of this painful tripe !
  • 18:47
    There's three minutes left and Ireland have a penalty!!
  • 18:48
    Doyle has won it!
  • 18:48
    Keane is up for it.
  • 18:49
    MLS legend Keane has scored the equaliser from teh spot. Here's a charge for a winner.!!!
  • 18:51
    And there's a winner. bizarre. A cracking volley by Doyle after Ward's header back across goal from a free.

    Whelan: "A great three points to start off the campaign"

    Jesus wept!
  • 18:51
    Tommy A scandal, they don't deserve it and we should take no pride from it.
  • 18:52
    Niall I hear Keane dreamed of being called and MLS Legend on this blog when he was a boy.
  • 18:53
    The revisionism of this one will be interesting. Make no mistake, Ireland have been dire this evening. As bad as they have been for some time.
  • 18:55
    Fair play to Doyle, he won the penalty and scored the winner and the "road to Brazil is still open", says George.

    Is it, George? Is it?

  • 18:56
    Ian A very England-like win. Played off the pitch and winning it at the end. at least the Irish media will be realistic.
  • 18:56
    Seán Ah lads... This result was never in question.
  • 18:56
    Bazil Ibiza Hilarious stuff !
  • 19:03
    Okay, that's it from me folks. Thanks for the feedback, the contributions, the highs, the lows. You've all played a stormer here tonight, especially you Tommy, but especially you, Bazil Ibiza.

    There'll be a match report and reaction shortly. 

    I'll leave you with the words of one R Sadlier.

    "We beat Kazakhstan, the 142nd ranked team in the world, let's not dare celebrate that."

    And then, it comes. "Find out how much it costs to pay off Trapattoni", he adds.

  • 19:05
    Brady doesn't agree, he's practically shushing the whippersnapper in the studio. 

    "The players need to get together with the manager and say 'we need to change the way we play'."
  • 19:07
    Okay, I'm definitely going now. Stuff to do, people to see, managers to lambast.