Sunday 19 November 2017

The game at a glance

Man of the match

Richard Dunne (Ireland)

While Aiden McGeady got the official gong, it was the Tallaght man who again showed he'll be indispensable over the next five weeks.

He had Edin Dzeko in his pocket on Saturday, winning headers, crunching into tackles and even bursting forward when it suited. A real leader.

Talking point

Darron Gibson's 90 minutes opened up real possibilities for Trapattoni in midfield.

Apart from a dodgy 10-minute spell during the first half when he gave possession away a number of times, the Everton man was heavily involved in taking the ball off his defenders and linking the play in a way neither Keith Andrews or Glenn Whelan can.

Referee watch

Swiss official Nikolaj Haenni missed a blatant penalty for Ireland in the early stages when Asmir Begovic hauled down his Stoke clubmate Whelan on what was otherwise an unremarkable day.

Crowd watch

There was plenty of colour and even more shorts on display on a warm afternoon in Dublin 4.

However, the small Bosnian contingent stole the show in the Havelock Square End with their Poznan dances and consistent singing on what was an enjoyable day out for everyone.

And finally...

McGeady gets a hard time for his Irish displays, but he showed in 45 minutes why the man in the pink boots is crucial to Ireland's cause.

A constant danger, his jink and cross for Shane Long's goal was sublime.

Match stats

Yellow cards: Ireland 0, Bosnia 1 (Vrancic 51).

Red cards: Ireland 0, Bosnia 0.

Shots on target: Ireland 8, Bosnia 2.

Shots off target: Ireland 8, Bosnia 7.

Corners: Ireland 5, Bosnia 4.

Possession: Ireland 50pc, Bosnia 50pc.

Attendance: 37,100.

Ruaidhri O'Connor

Irish Independent

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