Tuesday 24 October 2017

McCarthy clockwatch

6.58 McCarthy joins his team-mates in an almost empty Aviva Stadium as U2 hit 'Pride' blares out over the PA system.

7.02 Darren O'Dea has a focused word with the Wigan Athletic midfielder; Keith Fahey does the same before he leads the way in a more intensive warm up.

7.26 Leaves the pitch for his first Giovanni Trapattoni team-talk as a starter.

7.44 Doesn't sing 'Amhran na bhFiann' -- but he's not the only one.

7.46 Stephen Kelly addresses the troops in the huddle before Ireland break away and McCarthy issues instructions to Paul Green.

7.47 Uruguay kick off.

2 mins First touch, taking Ciaran Clark's throw-in and giving it straight back to him.

5 Shows some bite by going in late on Alvaro Pereira. Referee Said Ennjimi allows play to go on.

10 Beats Diego Forlan to the ball, which results in Shane Long being upended in a promising position.

12 Loosely makes a one-man wall and watches Forlan's free sail over his head to set up Diego Lugano's fortuitous opener for Uruguay.

15 Again watches the ball go past him, but this time he has reason to celebrate as Long heads Ireland level.

16 Shows good work ethic to harry Martin Caceres into conceding a throw.

18 Andy Keogh breaks forward and finds Long as McCarthy races into space in the penalty area. Long goes the other way, however, before Fahey chooses to ignore the 20-year-old, who is in acres of room on the right. McCarthy is visibly frustrated.

22 Forced to tip off again as Edinson Cavani puts Uruguay back in front.

24 Just beaten to a Long knock-down as he continues to be crowded out by the visitors' deep-lying central midfielders.

32 After Forlan blasts over, McCarthy goes back into midfield to demand more of Green and Fahey. Little changes as he becomes more and more peripheral.

45+1 With Uruguay 3-1 up, he gets his first ball in the box from Lawrence, but Cavani races back to dispossess him and he's denied a corner.

47 First meaningful piece of action for the youngster, who arrives late into the box to latch on to Long's cut-back and wins a penalty. On first glance it looks like he and Keogh get in each other's way, but replays show the French referee makes the right decision. Fahey, who started the move, tucks the spot-kick away.

58 Keogh wins a header against Caceres, who has his clearance closed down by McCarthy. Ball runs to Liam Lawrence, whose shot is blocked.

66 The board goes up and the No 10 is displayed. On comes Keith Treacy to win his second cap as McCarthy takes his place on the bench after a first start that passed him by to an extent. It's all part of the process, though, for a young man on whose shoulders lie great expectations.

Irish Independent

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