Thursday 18 December 2014

Clark buoyed by Zlatan shut-out

Published 23/03/2013 | 13:01

Ciaran Clark was pleased with his performance against Sweden
Ciaran Clark was pleased with his performance against Sweden

Ireland defender Ciaran Clark will take big confidence from shutting out Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

Sweden's star striker, who scored four goals against England last November, endured a frustrating night as Ireland claimed a creditable goalless draw in their World Cup qualifier in Stockholm.

The Paris St Germain forward, whose combined career transfer fees total more than £130million, found chances hard to come by at the Friends Arena with his one meaningful effort deflected wide. Aston Villa centre-back Clark said: "He is a big, strong guy and his technical ability is unbelievable."

He added: "Managing to keep a clean sheet away from home is obviously a brilliant result.

"I am sure it will give the whole back four, and everyone else, confidence going into the next game."

Ireland will now hope to follow up their strong performance in the Swedish capital by beating Austria back in Dublin on Tuesday.

Germany have taken a five-point lead at the top of Group C but the battle behind them is tight.

Ireland have slipped to fourth but they are just a point behind second-placed Sweden and level with Austria.

Clark, 23, said: "It is a big game but we are happy with the point here and we can go on now, play at home on Tuesday and with a big crowd behind us hopefully we can get three points."

Press Association

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