Friday 23 March 2018

The game at a glance

Jonathan Walters: Given the unique situation whereby Trapattoni was for the first time unsure about a team selection, the striker justified his manager's choice with an all-action, bustling display that fed encouragement throughout the team.

Magic moment

Aiden McGeady's early incision was inspired as he executed the most difficult of deliveries, the precise stand-up cross from a standing position, from which Keith Andrews provided Ireland with a firm foothold in the tie.

Turning point

Estonia could have coped with the loss of an early goal; contemplating the loss of a man was something entirely different, making their attempted comeback a fiendishly more difficult task.

Talking point

Ireland's unbeaten prowess away from home in competitive matches under Trapattoni continues unabated, confirming the manager's adherence to a sense of order that is now clearly understood by every one of his players.

Crowd watch

The locals in the 13,000 or so scored highly on the noise stakes, with their persistent horn tooting refusing to be silenced by the unwanted series of events that were unfurled before them. The magnificent Irish fans, so many the worse for wear, were as throatily lustful in support as always. The second goal cued delirium.

Ref Watch

The Hungarian whistler Viktor Karssai is an experienced referee despite his relative youth and any significant decisions were utterly backboned by the correct interpretation of the rules.

Yellow cards

Estonia 4 (A Stepanov 21 and 34, J Ahjuper 41, R Klavan 70); Ireland 0

Red cards

Estonia 2 (A Stepanov 34, R Piroja 80) Ireland 0

Shots on target

Estonia 1

Ireland 11


Estonia 4

Ireland 2

What's next?

Ireland play Estonia in the second leg of the Euro 2012 play-off at Lansdowne Road on Tuesday night (kick-off 7.45).

Irish Independent

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