Ireland v Iceland

It's the battle Ire and Ice as O'Neill's men take on the Euro 2016 quarter-finalists at the Aviva

Patrick Madden Tue, Mar 28
LIVE: Ireland v Iceland

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  • Good evening!

    Welcome to our coverage of Ireland's friendly clash with Iceland - two sides separated by one consonant, 800-odd miles and just one place in the Fifa world rankings.

    Friendlies like this can often seem a chore at the best of times, but with Martin O'Neill naming a young and experimental side on a sun-kissed Dublin evening I'm sure there's enough for us to get our teeth stuck into at the Aviva.

    We'll be bringing you all of the action, so get settled and savour every last drop as we wave goodbye to international football until June - just how will we cope?!

    Come on!!!

  • O'Neill hands out two international debuts tonight - Brentford defender John Egan and Aston Villa midfielder Conor Hourihane picking up their first caps.

    Robbie Brady also returns to the fold, and he takes the captain's armband. Brady was sorely missed on Friday night, both for his passing ability and his set-pieces.

    There's also a start for Aiden McGeady, who has enjoyed a Deepdale renaissance in recent weeks - but his Preston North End teammates Daryl Horgan and Andy Boyle have to settle for a place on the bench.

  • Ireland's Euro 2016 last-16 defeat to France meant we were cruelly denied the opportunity to see this fixture played out at a major international tournament. The thunderclappers were one of the surprise packages of the Euros, and they handed England one of the most chastening defeats in their history, beating Roy Hodgson's men 2-1 in the second round. Their heroic run then came to an end against the hosts in the quarters.
  • The teams are out at a sparesely populated Aviva. No sign of any Coleman tribute t-shirts, yet...
  • It's a big game for Cyrus Christie tonight - he can make the rightback position his own in the absence of Coleman.
  • Anthems done in Dublin - nearly time!
  • Ireland to kick off - BEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEP!
  • 1 min: Skipper Brady looks long for McClean down the left channel. Ireland setting up with Hayes on the left and McClean up top by the looks of things.

    4-4-2! 4-4-2! 4-4-2!

  • 2 min: Baptism of fire for Egan - he's taken one in the chops already and is off getting a cut seen to.
  • 3 min:  Replays show Egan got an elbow from Finnbogason, but he's come from the Championship so doubt it's anything he's not used to.

    And it's taken three minutes for the first thunderclap. Hopefully that's the last one but I'm not holding out much hope.

  • 5 min: Predictably scrappy start at the Aviva - Ireland the side trying to knock it around thus far.
  • 7 min: Sharp turn from McGeady on the right but it's nicked off him by R Sigurdsson - who he then hacks down.
  • 8 min: Good chalenge from Gislason in midfield, hooking it away from Hendrick as he looked to break. Searching ball into the right corner but Brady is on hand to shepherd it out.  
  • Terence J. Husband Do you think Bale's should have appealed?
  • It might not have seemed the most tasteful thing to do given what happened to Coleman but ultimately if Wales think there's any chance of having their best player available for their toughest game then they're going to try and take it.  
  • 12 min:  Gunnarsson's long throw was a serious weapon for Iceland during the Euros and he has one in a dangeorus spot, but it's well flicked clear and Ireland survive.
  • 16 min: The ball is turned round the corner and Pearce shows good strength to hold off Finngbosan and nurse the ball back to Westwood, who gets a boot to the arm from the Iceland striker as he follows through.
  • 19 min: Finnbogason making a nuisance of himself and he takes a tumble after he's tugged by Egan who found himself one-on-one, and christens his first cap with a booking after 20 minutes. Very dangerous free-kick for Iceland.




  • Lovely free-kick from debutant Magnusson, who lifts it up and over the wall with his left peg and into the bottom right hand corner. Westwood didn't move.


  • 23 min: Ireland looking for an instant response and McGeady slides in Christie on the right - he cuts onto his left and his cross is hackecd clear. McGeady then launches a throw into the box but again there are plenty of white shirts back.
  • 25 min: Good ball down the right for McClean to chase and he checks back to the touchline where McGeady takes over. His cross is poor but he gets a second bite at the cherry after he's slid in by Christie, but again it's easily turned away.
  • 28 min: Glimpse of danger as Bodvarsson flicks it round the corner and darts into the Ireland box but he's crowded out it's a goalkick.
  • 30 min:  A Sigurdarson lets fly from 30-odd yards - one of the worst attempts you will ever see.

    Good hustling from Doyle and he earns Ireland a free kick in a dangerous spot on the left. He whips in a good ball but it's just over Egan and headed away.

  • 32 min: Another effort from range - this time Finnbogason drilling a low one wide. Westwood had it covered.
  • 35 min: McGeady gets a bit of space on the right and tries to get on the outside but is forced to check inside and goalscorer Magnusson takes it off him.

    McGeady whips in an early ball from the left and Doyle meets it with a glancing header but it skims well wide.

  • 37 min: Needs must and all that but seems a waste playing Brady at fullback tonight. Hendrick has been anonymous and Ireland need someone to keep it ticking over in the middle.
  • 39 min: Good ball stood up to the back post but the header back across goal is too close to Westwood who gathers easily.
  • 41 min: Hayes scampers down the left and towards the byline but his low cross is easily turned away.

    Ireland have a corner, Brady takes and his deep out-swinger is easily cleared. Moments later Brady puts in a good ball but there's nobody gambling at the back post.

  • 44 min: Doyle turns to chase after a long ball but the flag is up. Thrill a minute this.
  • The referee played about six seconds beyond the 45 minutes there. He knows what the people want.
  • John Cow This game just ain't for us. A study in frustration -- following the boys in green. Rugby, okay. But not this soccer stuff. Total waste of time. Got to have a playmaker.
  • The second half is underway!
  • 46 min: No changes at half time for Ireland. Hendrick fouls on the right and Magnusson swings in a dangerous ball which bounces in the box but pops up kindly for Westwood.
  • 47 min: Decent link up play from Hendrick and McClean who looks wide and plays a deep cross which finds its way to McGeady on the right. He turns outside and back in and crosses but it's easy for 'keeper Kristinsson.
  • 48 min: Christie crosses from the right and Hayes picks it up on the left. He does well and puts in a dangerous cross which Magnusson just about chests behind for a corner.
  • 49 min: Brady's in-swinger is fisted away by Kristinsson.
  • 50 min: Good dummy from Christie and he plays a one-two with Doyle before crossing low. Better from Ireland and McClean is played in on the left, he's fouled but has to settle for a corner, which R Sigurdsson heads clear. Brady then puts in a good ball and Ingason heads away brilliantly under pressure.
  • 52 min: Magnusson blocks a Christie cross and Ireland have another corner. The hosts are exerting a bit of pressure here. Brady's deep ball is towards Egan but again Ingason flicks clear.
  • 54 min: Good pass from Brady to Hayes in the box but he can't quite take it in his stride.
  • 54 min: Sigurdarson's ball from the left is headed clear to Gunnarsson, who lines it up but can't get enough dip on his half-volley.
  • 37,241 hardy souls at the Aviva tonight.
  • 60 min: Hayes gets a bit of space on the left and crosses for Hendrick in the box. He nods it down to Doyle who was already on the deck and Iceland scramble it clear.
  • Triple change for Ireland - Darly Horgan replacing Hayes who's been one of the better performers. Eunan O'Kane is on for Hourihane, Stephan Gleeson on for Hendrick and Andy Boyle on for Egan.
  • 65 min: McClean chases one down the left and gets hacked down by Ingason as he looks to cross - yellow card.

    It's knocked to O'Kane who fizzes in a daisycutter which is hooked clear.

  • 70 min: First glimpse of Horgan and he does brillaintly, stealing a yard on his man and fizzing a ball across the six yard box from the left. Nobody gambling on it, though.
  • McClean replaced by Shane Long, McGeady replaced by Callum O'Dowda.
  • 73 min: Brilliant again from Horgan, engineering a bit of space on the left and putting in a good ball which Iceland just about deal with at the back post.
  • 75 min: One of the best bits of play from Ireland. O'Kane plays an incisive pass round the corner to O'Dowda, who carries to the edge, beating one, and has a shot deflected for a corner.
  • 77 min: First spot of bother for Ireland in this half, Gislason hooking a cross back across goal which Westwood flaps at.
  • 78 min: O'Kane plays a good first-time ball to O'Dowda in the inside right channel put he gets caught on his heels and it runs for a goal-kick.
  • 81 min: Long throw from Christie and Doyle's knock down won't quite drop for Horgan. 10 minutes for Ireland to salvage something.
  • 82 min: O'Kane has been bright since he came on and he sprays a good ball wide to Christie under pressure. Ireland corner but it's dealt with again by Iceland.
  • 85 min: O'Dowda jinks onto his left and puts in a good ball which again is hacked away. Doyle hasn't got on the end of anything tonight.

    Ireland have another corner after Brady's right-footed delivery is flicked away. And surprise surprise it's headed clear.

  • 87 min: Appeals for hand ball after Brady's shot is blocked but nothing doing.
  • 91 min: Long isolated but it takes a good tackle from Magnusson to hook it out for a throw.
  • 92 min: Annoyingly Iceland are seeing more of the ball in the closing minutes than they have for the entire half.
  • 93 min: Horgan gets on the outside but Ingason clears it again. He's won everything tonight.
  • 94 min: Brady makes space for the cross from the inside left channel and pulls it back to the penalty spot where there's no green shirt to meet it. Christie has a long throw - last play of the game - and Boyle's header is eay for the 'keeper.
  • That was Ireland's first defeat at the Aviva since May 2014.
  • Thanks for joining tonight - Ireland will be back in action in June, but I'm sure our paths will cross again before that.

    Emmet Malone's match report form the Aviva Stadium will be live imminently.