Sunday 19 November 2017

game at a glance

Man of the match

Amid the sea of mediocrity, the home side's Henrikh Mkhitaryan was clearly the occasion's most skilful player. Pity he plays for such a lowly ranked nation.

Magic moment

Keith Fahey's first international strike was out of kilter with much of his team's shoddy efforts and ended the home side's brave resistance.

Turning point

Ireland's goal enabled them to dictate the play to a much greater extent. The Armenians proved less adept at chasing a game they had previously dominated.

Talking point

Ireland's standard of play was a vast disimprovement on their last competitive outing in Paris, making one query whether they are really capable of pushing on to another level in this arduous campaign.

Referee watch

The Hungarian referee Zsolt Szabo angered Irish supporters, turning down two decent penalty shouts and concurring with an assistant's decision to rule out a goal for offside. Inconsistent otherwise.

Manager watch

One wonders how many of Ireland's players questioned the tactical approach at half-time or, as we are led to believe by officialdom, are they incapable of proffering constructive criticism?

Crowd watch

Just over 300 fans made the exhausting trek to cheer on their heroes. Despite a poor vantage point, they did their best to sing their lungs out, even when their team flagged in their efforts.

David Kelly

Irish Independent

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