Sport Soccer

Saturday 20 January 2018

Scotland hits brace to give Keane a welcome reprieve


Ipswich eased the pressure on manager Roy Keane as his side ended their losing streak in a bizarre Championship clash played in atrocious conditions at Portman Road.

Keane's side had lost their previous six league games but roared into a 3-0 lead in the first half against Sven-Goran Eriksson's men in heavy snow thanks to goals from David Norris and a Jason Scotland brace.

The match was held up by a 15-minute interruption in the second period as referee Stuart Atwell took the players off to allow groundstaff to clear snow from the playing surface. Keane must have feared the worst but Atwell allowed the players back on and Ipswich completed the job and picked up three vital points.

Leicester began with purpose and captain Andy King almost got on the end of a through ball before debutant Chris Kirkland was picking the ball out of his net in the sixth minute. Jack Colback sent a long free-kick forward for Damien Delaney to head back across goal. Shane O'Connor helped it on to Rory Fallon, who did well to lay the ball off to Norris on the edge of the area, and he finished well into the far corner.

Fallon tested former England goalkeeper Kirkland with a powerful header from the edge of the area as the home side settled well in the difficult conditions. The Tractor Boys continued to dominate and deservedly doubled their lead in the 27th minute.

Fallon was crucial in the build-up again, holding up the ball well and turning to pick out Scotland on his left and the Trinidad & Tobago international fired a shot across Kirkland and into the net.

Eriksson made a quick change, bringing on target man Steve Howard in the hope that he could replicate Fallon's impact at the other end, but it was Keane's men who instead increased their lead in the 39th minute.

O'Connor made the run on the left of the area and though Yuki Abe seemed to win the ball, he hesitated to allow O'Connor the chance to pick out Scotland on the six-yard line for a tap-in. The work for the groundstaff continued at the break as they cleared snow from the pitch before the second period began.

Eriksson, Keane and Atwell then gathered for a conversation just before the hour mark and the players soon left the field to allow the staff to work on the pitch again.

Atwell called for an extra five minutes and then decided to resume from the 59th minute and Curtis Davies thought he had instantly pulled one back, only to see his volley chalked off for offside.

And Leicester's miserable evening was concluded when Angelo Miguel Vitor pulled his hamstring with 15 minutes left, forcing the Foxes to finish with 10 men.

Sunday Independent

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