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Wednesday 22 November 2017

As 1D conquer Croker, Keano and Martin's boy band slip up against Turkey at Aviva

Roy Keane and Martin O'Neill
Roy Keane and Martin O'Neill

Sam Griffin

DUBLIN may have played host to the world's biggest boy band this weekend but there was only one show in town where football fans were concerned.

The 25,000 fans who cheered on the Boys in Green to a 2-1 loss to Turkey were outnumbered by those in Croke Park, but the enthusiasm was not lacking.

One fan, 12-year-old Sinead Haslan, from Caragh, Co Kildare, was in no doubts about the 'direction' she'd taken with dad Paul and mam Ann.

"She goes to Caragh National School and all the girls are at One Direction tonight. We've just met the boys from her class who were all slagging her for choosing football over the concert," Ann told the Irish Independent. "But she loves football so this is where she wants to be."

Sinead, attending her first international, beamed: "I much prefer football. And Shane Long."

Long, substituted after an hour, couldn't prevent an Irish defeat – the second under Martin O'Neill and Roy Keane.

Much of the pre-game build-up focused on rumours linking Keane with the vacant Celtic job. But last night, the general view from fans was that Keane was "going nowhere", while others were keen to point where improvements should be made.

More firepower up front, for instance. Former favourite Kevin Doyle impressed on club duty at QPR at the weekend and an international recall could now be on the cards.

"Kevin is desperate to get back involved with Ireland," Doyle's aunt Josie Gahan, at last night's match, revealed.

The small Turkish contingent were responsible for much of the noise of the encounter.

"We're confident," said Mahir Et, who moved to Dublin over 10 years ago but now lives and works in Mullingar.

Unfortunately, his prediction of a Turkey win was spot on.

See Sport

Irish Independent

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