As it happened: Republic of Ireland 1-0 Bosnia and Herzegovina
It finished Ireland 1-0 Bosnia and Herzegovina in our warm-up match at the Aviva. JOE was there and here's your blow-by-blow account of how it went.
The Irish team stay behind to applaud their supporters as a massive "C'mon you Boys in Green" banner is unfurled in the south stand. A good performance against a side that nearly qualified for these Euro 2012 Championships and fell short against Portugal in the play-offs. Ireland showed their attacking flair today, while Keiren Westwood only had one save of note to make.
Robbie Keane is being interviewed on the pitch now he tells the crowd that he'll see them at the Euros to rapturous applause and cheers.
A magnificent, truely world-class save from Begovic denies Long his second goal after (guess who?) McGeady crosses on to his head. Andrews following up with a header from the rebound can only put it over.
He's only been on roughly 35minutes but Aiden McGeady is the 3 Man of the Match. Well deserved too.
Walters thinks he missed an open-goal from a corner-kick. He hasn't he was offside. The burly Stoke forward has put himself about well since coming on and could have at least two goals, if only he was that little bit sharper with ball at feet...
All the hacks in the press box are also waxing lyrical about McGeady. McLean has just one a free-kick showing his strenght by holding off Stevanovic and giving him no choice but to foul the Derry-man.
Time to catch up on a few things, McGeady has nearly set Walters up for a goal, immediately after he gave that assist to Long. Great stuff from McGeady since he came on and we now have a selection problem on the wings as Duff and McClean have been great as well. Also Stephen Kelly has come on for Paul McShane. The "Fields of Athenry"is getting it's first outing of the day too...
Great ball into the box from McGeady who sold his opposite number for dead, crossed superbly for Long who headed in an unstoppable effort. 1-Nil. That's Long's 7th international goal. Crowd going mad!
Wow great ball into the box from McClean for Walters who really should have put it into the back of the net from there. McClean has acquitted himself superbly. The match is opening up now too, Bosnia's fullbacks are given McGeady and McClean FAR too much room.
Crowd number is 37,100, is that a little disappointing for a warm-up game before our first major tournament in ten years? I think so...
Sean St Ledger has come on for Richard Dunne. There dosen't seem to be anything wrong with done, probably just precautionary from Trap. Good to see "The Honey Monster" come through 70minutes and get a standing ovation from the crowd.
A few lads in the crowd doing the whole topless supporter shtick. Believe me - they're not sporting washboard abs...
Booyah, my speculation was right! Double substitution by Trap as he launches Walters and Long from the bench for Keane and Doyle. New strike partnership. In other news I don't like the room number 21 for Bosnia Miroslav Stevanovic is getting on the wing that McGeady is guarding.
Robbie Keane must have drank some Red Bull at half-time becuase he looks lively nearly laid on a good pass to Doyle there and made a very good jinking run into the box that came to nought a few minutes prior to that. The Irish crowd finally in good voice now.
Westwood pulls off a great save from a 35-yard Pjanic free-kick. Trapattoni and Tardelli have been out on the sideline in deep discussion for at least five minutes. Changes on the way?
Substitute for Bosnia Damir Vrancic is given the first yellow card of the match after a cynical foul on Gibson who was stampeding towards the box. Kevin Doyle has been body-checked moments earlier in a similar fashion when the former Cork City man could have been clear-in on goal and the referee just shrugged.
McGeady hits the post with his first shot after the ball was headed into him in the box. Nice instincts and good touch by the Moscow man, McClean's subsequent corner is gather by the keeper.
The Irish team emerges first as we look to start the second-half Keith Andrews has replaced Glenn Whelan and Aiden McGeady has replaced Duffer.
So the main points at half-time, Ireland and crucially James McClean have edged their way into the match, their fortunes nearly mirroring each other - an inauspicious start, but they have gradually worked their way into the game and Ireland are certainly in the ascendency now.
Duff has been Ireland's star performer, he may have lost some pace over the years, but he is the one trying to make things happen and he has gained a lot of footballing intelligence over the years.
Robbie Keane hasn't been on the ball much, but has been getting into some good positions and this may be one of matches where he gets one chance and puts it away.
Phew...couple of things going on in the last few minutes, McClean has had a shot saved after he picked up a good position on the edge of the box and then hit it low and hard at the near post. He's very dangerous picking up those positions.
Then Doyle and Duff linked up superbly and not for the first time, in the box, but Bosnia and Stoke's keeper Begovic did well to save.
Steven in Limerick has emailed firstname.lastname@example.org "What's up with this ref?!? Seriousily is he giving us anything?!?"
In short, no he's not Steven, but he's not given a few fouls to Bosnia and Herzegovina either. The referee Mr. Haenni is from Switzerland, maybe he wants to appear to be neutral and pacifistic?
Duff has just had a shot flash wide after good work from Kevin Doyle to tee him up. The referee has stopped awarding fouls and James McClean is beginning to ease his way into the match, picking-up good positions and looking to get past his man. Also I am really charmed by the Bosnian fan's singing - such variation in their songs and melody and clapping...I think they may be winning the battle of the noisier fans unfortunately...
"Where's that man's passport! He has to go!" says one hack nearby as McShane turns on the afterburners races to the bylines and then deftly tricks a recovering Bosnian defender into conceding a corner with a back-heel. Worth the admission money alone!
Whelan sprays the ball out brilliantly alá Juan Veron to McClean, who rounds two players, leaves the ball to Gibson...who scuffs the shot in uncharacteristic fashion.
McClean and Duff switched wings about five minutes ago, Duff has been getting a bit more of the ball, but McClean has been quieter, he's also getting sucked into the middle and leaving a LOT of space for Pjanic.
Ireland awarded a free-kick that comes to nothing after a Bosnian defender performs a great tackle...for a rugby player. Sign him up Joe Schmidt
Glenn Whelan races through one-on-one with the keeper after picking up a loose ball, is fouled and the referee awards a kick-out. That's four fouls that have been commited on Irish players close to the Bosnia box that haven't been given. The ref's not a "homer."
Robbie Keane is down hurt after midfielder Medunjanin has come close with a rocket from inside the box. The Bosnia and Herzegovina fans are in fine voice, as they should be for their side looks technically a bit better than Ireland. The Irish fans realizing this have started trying to drown them out with old-faithful "Olé, olé" chants.
Stuttgart's Ibisevic looks dangerous up front a long Dzeko he has scored 8 goals in 13 matches this season and has already fired a ball across the face of the Irish net. Keep an eye on him, he's drifting across the front line.
Bright opening from the Irish. Doyle knocks on a nice header to Keano in a style reminiscent of the Doyle-Keane partnership. McClean and McShane have already linked up on the right and have got their first touches out of the way. That should settle down our "ginger-connection" on the right of midfield.
We're about to get underway here, one change to the Irish team, St Ledger is on the bench and O'Dea is starting, O'Dea said he is only capable of playing centre-half at international level and not left-back which was interestingly honest. As for the crowd they're still filing in, but it's going to be way off a full-house, the corporate level, as usual, looks sparse. I remember in 2002 we had full crowds fo our send offs.
Ireland's 1988 hero from Stuttgart Ray Houghton has been doing a pitchside interview, he reckons there are huge similarities between the massive challenge Ireland faced in Euro '88 with a group of USSR, Holland and England and our group of Croatia, Spain and Italy this year...Good point I thought...What do you reckon was the tougher group lads? Answers to @joedotie on Twitter or email@example.com
A beautiful day today in Dublin and there certainly is a carnival atmosphere around the Aviva stadium, there were even people making cocktails at the train station when your correspondent made tracks this morning. The teams are out too:
Ireland: 1. Westwood, 2. McShane, 3. Ward, 5. Dunne, 18. O'Dea, 11. Duff, 22. McClean, 15. Gibson, 6. Whelan, 10. Keane (c) 9. Doyle.
Subs: 23. Forde, 2. St Ledger, 7. McGeady, 8. Andrews, 12. Kelly, 14. Walters, 17. Hunt, 19. Long, 20. Cox, 21. Fahey.
Bosnia and Herzegovina: 1. Begovic, 7. Jahic, 5. Pandza, 13. Mujdza, 16. Lulic, 18. Medunjanin, 6. Rahimic, 8. Pjanic, 10. Misimovic (c) 14. Ibisevic, 11. Dzeko.
Subs: 12. Sehic, 20. Zahirovic, 21. Stevanovic, 17, Ibricic, 19. Alispahic, 9. Vrancic, 2. Svraka, 3. Vranjes.