Ireland v Northern Ireland

Friendly or not, both Martin and Michael O'Neill sorely need a win at the Aviva Stadium

Patrick Madden Thu, Nov 15
LIVE: Ireland v Northern Ireland

Sort by:

  • Latest first
  • Oldest first
  • This event has now ended
  • Good evening!

    Welcome to our coverage of Ireland’s International friendly with Northern Ireland, live from the Aviva Stadium (kick-off 7.45pm).

    The heady days of Euro 2016 never seemed such a distant memory. Tonight these two sides play out the 11th instalment of their rival with the prospect of Uefa Nations League relegation hanging heavy.

    Next Monday, Martin O’Neill’s men travel to Denmark knowing only a victory will stop them tumbling into League C – although with the Danes facing Wales tomorrow evening, Ireland’s fate could be sealed before they take to the pitch in Aarhus.

    Northern Ireland find themselves in a similar predicament. They need Bosnia and Herzegovina to get a result against Austria tomorrow night, before beating the Austrians themselves on Sunday, to have any hope of survival.

    Tonight’s fixture is unlikely to have the edge of old – but while more important assignments lie ahead both Martin and Michael O’Neill will be desperate for a victory, and the boost it could bring.

    Plus, Ireland welcome back both Seamus Coleman and Robbie Brady – enough in itself to add a bit more intrigue ahead of the trip to Denmark.

    We’ll be bringing you all of the action from the Aviva throughout the evening.

    Come on!!!


    Ireland: Randolph; Egan, Duffy, Lenihan; McClean, Whelan (capt), Hendrick, O’Dowda; Brady, Robinson, O’Dowda.

    Northern Ireland: Peacock-Farrell; Lewis, Evans, Cathcart, Smith; Saville, Davis (capt), C. Evans; Dallas, Boyce, Whyte.

  • Robbie Brady is back in an Ireland shirt! The Burnley midfielder is making first international appearance in more than a year after recovering from a knee injury - he should offer some of the ball retention the side have been sorely missing in his absence.  

    O'Neill looks to have persisted with a 5-3-2/3-4-3 formation, with James McClean in a left wingback role. There's also a start for Blackburn Rovers defender Darragh Lenihan, alongside Shane Duffy and John Egan.

    Brady looks to be lining up in an advanced role on the left, presumably with plenty of freedom to drift inside. Callum Robinson will lead the line.

  • A mixed reception for James McClean as his name his read out - cheers just about drowning out the boos from the travelling support.

    The Aviva is a ghost town at the moment.

  • 15 mins until kick-off!
  • If England's game against the USA tonight is the Wayne Rooney friendly - as Wembley waves goodbye to a legend - tonight's clash at the Aviva is the Glenn Whelan game.

    He takes the armband on what is set to be his fial international appearance.

  • There could be a first appearance off the bench for 18-year-old Southampton striker Michael Obafemi tonight, with his agency releasing a statement today saying he is "100 per cent" committed to playing for the Republic.

    That saves Martin O'Neill having to cap him just to keep him out of the clutches of Gareth Southgate.

  • The teams are out at the Aviva. There aren't many in. . .
  • Here we go. . .
  • Northern Ireland to get us underway. Lots of booing.


  • 1 min: Ireland lining up with a back five - Coleman and McClean offering the width. Whelan holding with Brady and Hendrick ahead of him.  
  • 3 min: Ireland dominating the ball in the early exchanges, more boos for McClean as he gets his first touch down the left. He then loses out   to Whyte on the left, his low cross is turned behind for a Northern Ireland corner.
  • 4 min: Lewis plays it short before curling one in towards the near post - Egan heads it behind ahead of Randolph. The following corner is turned behind again by Egan at the front post.
  • 5 min: This time the visitors work it short, with Ireland struggling to get out. Micahel O'Neill's side now enjoying the majority share of possession.
  • 7 min: Whelan seeing plenty of the ball and trying to dictate things - but it's predictably static. He switches play for McClean on the left who earns a throw. Ireland work it to Robinson who tries to make space for a shot on the edge. He exchanges passes with Hendrick then sees his effort deflected behind for a corner.

  • 9 min: Ireland's corner is towards the back post but easily cleared. Moments later Robinson looks to have slipped Coleman through on the inside right - but he's flagged for offside.
  • 13 min: First real chance of the game. The ball is lofted down the Northern Ireland left and flicked on by Boyce for Dallas. He is through and squares it to Whyte in acres of space inside the box. He takes a touch but his low effort draws a superb save from Randolph. Let off.
  • 15 min: Boyce got clocked as he tried to follow up from Randolph's save - he's playing on with a bandage round his head and a shiner to boot.
  • 18 min: The ball is curled in towards Boyce's bandaged head - Duffy is there to clear.
  • 21 min: A jinking run from O'Dowda on the right draws a foul from Davis - first chance for Beady to whip one in.

    His delivery is an excellent one, but Duffy mistimes his jump and heads into the turf - Peacock-Farrell clawing the looping ball over the bar for an Ireland corner. Brady's corner kick is just about headed clear - McClean follows up but thrashes his volley miles over.

  • 23 min: Northern Ireland have a corner on the right - Egan with a monster header back out for a throw. The ball is launched into the box and sparks a bit of a scramble, Smith stabbing an effort wide on the right.
  • 25 min: With all the time in the world, Whelan trries to switch the play to Coleman on the right and sees his pass comfortably picked off by Dallas. He tries to curl it into Randolph's top-right corner but overcooks it.
  • 27 min: Egan lets Whyte get goalside on a bouncing ball and he drives towards goal. It's squared for Boyce, who is clattered by the tracking Hendrick.

    Northern Ireland free-kick in a dangerous area - the wall does its job and the ball floats behind for a corner.

  • 29 min: Good tracking from Brady and he forces Boyce to the byline, forcing a goal kick.
  • 32 min: Northern Ireland try to work a few triangles but Robinson presses well from the front.

    "You're just a small part of Europe," chant the Northen Ireland supporters. Well, technically they're not wrong.

  • 34 min: O'Dowda draws a foul from Saville on the right - another good chance for Brady. Again, the delivery is good - Hendrick can only steer his header straight at Peacock-Farrell.
  • 35 min: Whelan is replaced by Conor Hourihane, and gets a good reception as he trundles off. A brilliant servant.
  • 37 min: Another Ireland free-kick after a foul on McClean. Brady with another good delivery - this time from the right - and it's headed to the edge. McClean meets it with a volley, but again he can't get over it.
  • 39 min: A nice bit of hold-up play and a back heel from Robinson, but O'Dowda is instantly disposessed.
  • 41 min: Not the brightest passage of play for Lenihan. His low cross is easily dealt with by the visitors who break down the left, and with Lenihan out of position Dallas is able to run onto a ball down the inside left channel and cut onto his right - how effort is comfortable enough for Randolph.
  • 44 min: Northern Ireland work it down the left - Boyce finds Dallas in space on the edge and he squares it to Saville. Saville, in acres of space,   leans back and curls a first-time shot into tier three.  
  • 46 min: Ireland lose the ball on halfway and Northern Ireland break, Egan forced into conceding a late corner. They work it across the box and then back to Smith - he hits one first time from the edge with burns fractions over Randolph's crossbar. Good effort.
  • The teams are back out for the second-half - Ronan Curtis of Portsmouth is on for his international debut.


  • 47 min: Egan nearly gets done by a long ball down the right - Whyte getting in behind - but he recovers with aplomb. Davis battles to win the ball back for Northern Ireland, they've been the brighter since the interval.
  • 48 min: Davis then wins a corner on the right. Smith takes, and drills it low to Davis on the edge - he shins it over the bar.
  • 51 min: Anyone expecting to see some intensity from Ireland at the start of the second half will be disappointed. Brady, at least, harries after a lost cause down the left and gives away a free-kick.
  • 53 min: Robinson drifts into the inside left channel and tries to flick it round the corner for Curtis - the ball skids out for a goal kick.
  • 54 min: Brady wins the ball back inside the Irish half and leaves it for Egan, who finds McClean. He is fouled as he cuts inside - Ireland send the big lumps forward, Brady's free-kick is is easily plucked out of the air by Peacock-Farrell.
  • A generous 31,241. . .
  • 56 min: Hendrick with a spectacularly aimless ball upfield which bobbles out for a Northern Ireland throw. He's been largely anonymous.
  • 57 min: Brady shows neat feet on the edge and looks to find Coleman on the right with the outside of his boot - the ball is a yard behind the Ireland skipper and out for a throw.
  • 59 min: First chance of the half for Ireland. Coleman does well to beat a man on the right, looks up and laces a diagonal to McClean on the edge of the box on the left. It takes an age to come down and McClean drills it low, Robinson unable to keep his flick at the front post down.
  • 61 min: Another good run from Coleman down the right, he gets beyond Lewis and tries to burst into the box but is forced off it - he wants a free-kick but nothing doing.
  • 62 min: Dallas runs at Hendrick in the Irish box - the Burnley midfielder doesn't know much about it but manages to snuff him out. Moments later Coleman is disposessed on the right, with Hourihane booked as he tries to win it back. That's his first real involvement since replacing Whelan.
  • 65 min: Corner for Northern Ireland on the left. It's worked short and crossed for Boyce, who can't keep his header down.

    Double replacement for Ireland - Enda Stevens on for McClean, Sean Maguire on for Robinson.

  • 67 min: Robbie Brady does well to win the ball back on the right and feed Maguire - he looks to break his is too easily dispossed by Davis. Brady then slides in and gives away the free-kick, which Stevens heads clear at the back post.
  • 69 min: A glimpse for Northern Ireland. They have a long throw from the right, and Duffy's header away is poor. Smith follows up on the byline and drills a low first-time cross into the six-yard box which Randolph has to turn away sharply - Boyce can't pounce on the rebound.
  • 71 min: Kyle Lafferty's introduction isn't exactly greeted warmly. . .
  • 72 min: Randolph has saved Lenihan and Ireland's bacon again. A clumsy touch from the Ireland defender allows substitute Jones to bounce - he drives into the box but his low effort is met by the big left boot of the Irish 'keeper. That's his second world class save of the night.
  • 75 min: Brady either doesn't spot the brilliant run of Stevens on the left or neglects to use him, and is then dispossessed. Northern Ireland break and Dallas finds Davis in the box - he turns down the chance to shoot and his return ball has too much on it.

    Saville is booked for hacking Curtis down on the counter.

  • 77 min: Northern Ireland are having much the better of things now, Ireland - as ever - unable to get on the ball and retain it. Curtis tries to break down the left and is checked again, this time by Davis.
  • 78 min: After the briefest of cameos Maguire is limping off, Scott Hogan his replacement.
  • 81 min: Jones scampers after a hopefulball down the left. Hourihane has it covered, but Duffy races out to clear - he thrashes it into his teamates's midrift and it bounces for a corner. Story of Ireland's night.
  • 83 min: Hendrick is far too easily bypassed in midfield and Dallas breaks for Northern Ireland. Lenihan is replaced by Christie - he's had a difficult evening.
  • 85 min: The first real quality from Ireland for what feels like an eternity. Curtis lays it off to Brady on the left and he dinks it deftly over the top for Stevens, who bursts into the box and sees a low cross turned behind. Brady's delivery is beyond Duffy but headed as far as Hourihane, who volleys a mile over.
  • 88 min: Randolph, unsurprisingly, gets the man of the match award.
  • 90 min: There'll be two minutes added time.
  • 91 min: Brady hooks a regulation pass miles behind Coleman on the right. It's been one of those nights.
  • 92 min: Ireland with a late bit of pressure - the offside flag goes up.
  • On a night of boos, the fulltime whistle is greeted by more. . .boos.
  • Right, thanks for joining tonight as Ireland managed to avoud what would have been a pretty damning defeat.

    Bring on the Danes. . .

    Cya next week!