Friday 24 February 2017

The game at a glance

Liam Kelly

Liam Kelly

Key man

Kevin Doyle

A solid display of teamwork by all of the home players against the minnows of Group B, but Doyle's unstinting work rate and his well-taken goal showed his value to the team.

Magic moment

Lovely to see Kevin Kilbane scoring his eighth goal for his country on the occasion of his 105th cap. A great servant to the Irish team, he is as honest as the day is long and got the home side off to a great start.

Turning point

Robbie Keane's goal in the 54th minute to make it 3-1. That shock Andorra score just before half-time caused a ripple of unease among the crowd. Not that we were really worried, you understand, but Robbie settled us down.

Referee watch

Leontios Trattou of Cyprus was a bit fussy and booked two Andorrans in the first half. But how did he not give a penalty to the Irish when Kevin Doyle was flattened in the 66th minute?

Manager watch

Giovanni Trapattoni was delighted with the two first-half Ireland goals but at half-time he looked more like a strict father who was forced to remind his children about their dereliction of duty for the Andorran goal. Looked happier at the finish.

Crowd watch

The opposition weren't of the highest calibre, but the supporters got the new 'Aviva roar' going at the start, even though there were plenty of empty seats. Russia will face a daunting atmosphere.

Match stats

Yellow cards: Ireland 1 (Dunne 62); Andorra 3 (Silva 30, Lima 36, Moreno 56).

Red cards: Ireland 0; Andorra 0.

Shots on target (inc goals): Ireland 6 (3); Andorra 4 (3).

Shots off target: Ireland 7 (5); Andorra 2 (2)/

Frees: Ireland 13 (5); Andorra 11 (7).

Corners: Ireland 3 (1); Andorra 1 (1) .

Offsides: Ireland 1 (1); Andorra 1 (1) .

Official attendance: 40,283

Irish Independent

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