Saturday 22 July 2017

Armenia pile suffering on Givens' Ireland as winless run continues

Stephen Finn

The Republic of Ireland continued their poor form in the UEFA Championships qualifiers after they suffered a home defeat to Armenia in Tallaght last night.

A second consecutive loss to the Armenians -- who had a man sent off with 12 minutes left -- leaves Don Givens' side bottom of their group with no wins in seven.

The Irish made six changes from the side hammered 4-1 in Yerevan in November with Seamus Coleman, David Meyler, Conor Clifford, Owen Garvan, Alan Judge and Sean Scannell all starting.

Former Russian U-17 international Gevorg Goharyan tore the Irish defence apart in the previous fixture and he looked Armenia's strongest threat early on. Goharyan shot across goal in the 10th minute after pouncing on a poor header by Darren Dennehy.

The BATE Borisov striker was denied a certain goal by a last-ditch tackle by Callum Morris six minutes later after Cian Hughton's sloppiness allowed Davit Manoyan to send Goharyan through.

Owen Garvan was unlucky to see a powerful drive whistle just wide in the 33rd minute when Hovhannisyan punched away a Clifford free-kick.

Squirm

Less than a minute later the Irish were behind. The home defence backed off Levon Hayrapetyan and his low shot skidded under the body of 'keeper Shane Redmond to squirm into the Irish net.

Gevorg Ghazaryan then extended the Armenian lead in the 40th minute when he found the net with a stunning free-kick from 25 yards to further emphasise the difference between the sides.

Cillian Sheridan threatened most for Ireland in the second half and had a shot blocked by Yedigaryan four minutes after the restart before heading narrowly wide in the 67th minute.

In the meantime Goharyan forced a good save from Redmond after being set-up by Ghazaryan on the hour. Redmond had to deny the same player again in the 77th minute and from the resulting corner Armenia bizarrely had Masis Voskanyan dismissed for a second booking for time wasting.

Substitute Ian Daly and Terry Dixon combined to pull a goal back for Ireland in the 79th minute, Dixon laying off for Daly to drill home after the 'keeper parried a Hughton strike.

IRELAND -- Redmond; Coleman, Morris, Dennehy, Hughton, Meyler (Daly 46), Clifford, Garvan, Judge, Sheridan, Scannell (Dixon 62).

ARMENIA -- Hovhannisyan; Yedigaryan, Arakelyan, Yuspashyan, Hayrapetyan, Manoyan (Manasyan 92), Voskanyan, Mkrtchyan, Malakyan (Yagan 70), Goharyan, Ghazaryan.

Ref -- N Dunauskas (Lithuania).

Irish Independent

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