Friday 20 April 2018

Game at a glance (Austria v Ireland)

David Kelly

David Kelly

David Alaba (Austria)

Befitting the only real quality player on show, the sole holder of a Champions League medal, David Alaba, was a constant thorn to the Irish midfield, on either side of the pitch or driving through the middle. His calmly taken goal deservedly capped an awesome display.

MAGIC MOMENT

Alaba was a class apart and his excellent technique to deliver a rasping drive in the first-half was the game's highlight; equalled by David Forde's excellent parry.

TURNING POINT

Alaba's goal delivered the final nail to Ireland's slim chances of staging a last-gasp dash to Brazil. The end is nigh for this manager, and Irish football could be on its knees for some time yet.

TALKING POINT

It is now a matter of when – and at what cost – the FAI can remove Trapattoni as manager. Ireland's seeding may provide the next manager with a perilous proposition for Euro 2016 qualification.

CROWD WATCH

There were 48,500, a virtual full house, with about 1,200 or so from Ireland high up in the bleachers occasionally finding their voice for the limited occasions when their side threatened to go close.

REF WATCH

Referee Olegario Benquerenca from Portugal enraged Robbie Keane with his soft booking of John O'Shea, sufficiently enough to earn a yellow card for his protestations at the break.

MATCH STATS

Shots on target:

Austria 8 Ireland 0

Corners:

Austria 11 Ireland 2

Yellow cards:

Austria 0

Ireland 2 (John O'Shea (44), Robbie Keane h-t)

Red cards:

Austria 0 Ireland 0

WHAT'S NEXT?

Ireland, now out of contention, travel to Cologne to tackle group leaders Germany on October 11 before concluding their campaign at home to Kazakhstan four days later. Austria conclude their charge for second place with a veritable play-off in Sweden, before visiting the Faroe Islands.

David Kelly

Irish Independent

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