Home / Euro 2016 / Republic Of Ireland vs Sweden a few quick thoughts

Republic Of Ireland vs Sweden a few quick thoughts

  • The mood in the Republic of Ireland camp will be one of reflection Today as they will ask themselves how they did not come away with a win from their opening Euro 2016 encounter with Sweden
  • The performance was certainly a marked improvement on their offering during in Euro 2012 but they as well as Sweden will feel like this is the result that neither side would have wanted
  • With them both to face Belgium and Italy in their remaining group matches both sides would have looked at this game as a must win if they are to have any real hopes of qualifying for the Round of 16
  • Martin O’Neill’s side certainly started the livelier and created the most dangerous chances in the first half
  • Jeff Hendrick rattled the frame of the Sweden goal and also called Andreas Isaksson into action with a well drilled effort from outside the box
  • Robbie Brady was vibrant down the left hand side and constant threat
  • While John O’Shea was agonisingly close to prodding home Ciaran Clark’s flick on
  • Ireland were well marshaled and had certainly kept Zlatan Ibrahimovic quiet during the first 45 minutes
  • Darren Randolph was called into action though on a number of occasions but he was more than equal to anything that the Swedish attack threw at him
  • Would Martin O’Neill’s side regret not taking those early chances though
  • Well they wouldn’t have been concerned just three minutes after the restart when Wes Hoolahan fired home a sublime volley from the edge of the box to send the Irish fans into ecstasy
  • The goal was nothing short of what they deserved but the goal was almost their undoing
  • Once going ahead they lost the intensity that got them there in the first place
  • They then decided to sit back and invite wave after wave of Swedish pressure
  • Once again Randolph was busy but Ireland were still just managing to fend off the Swedish attack
  • But how long could they keep this up
  • The answer was not long
  • In when one of the rare moments in which Ibrahimovic broke free he managed to get a low cross in and Ciaran Clark evoked the spirit of Richard Dunne by heading into his own net to give Sweden an equaliser
  • Despair for Ireland and the failure to take those chances in the first half had come back to haunt them
  • It was then Sweden in the ascendancy and you got the feeling that if anyone was to get a winner it would be them
  • But credit to the boys in green there were resolute to hold on for a share of the points in what would have ultimately felt like a disappointing draw
  • But they will certainly take positives from this performance, although they need to make sure they can do it for 90 minutes and not fizzle out after an hour
  • Because Italy and Belgium will not pay them the same respect that Sweden did
  • Next up Ireland take on Belgium and will aim to stay ahead of them in the group while Sweden take on Italy
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