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Ireland v Sweden - Euro 2016
Ireland began the Euro 2016 finals campaign against Sweden in the Stade de France in Saint Denis on Monday 13 June 2016.
The Irish team manager, Martin O'Neill, made a positive selection signifying his intention to attack Swedes rather than play on the counter attack. Ireland began the match in a very positive fashion pushing the Swedes back. It wasn't long before the chances and half chances began to flow Ireland's way. With less than ten minutes gone Jeff Hendrick of Derby County had a long range shot that demanded a good save from Isaakson.
After 17 minutes Ciaran Clark's header from a Robbie Brady cross fell invitingly for captain John O'Shea. Unfortunately his outstretched leg just couldn't make contact and a really good scoring opportunity went a-begging.
Irish hearts were in their mouths as Swedish talisman Zlatan Ibrahimovich lined up a 35 metre free kick after 21 minutes. Fortunately for the Irish the big Swede drove the ball straight at the defensive wall. Despite some sustained possession the Swedes failed to threaten Darren Randolph in the Irish goal.
Coming up on the half hour Brady let go of a piledriver from over 30 metres that dipped a little bit to late as it rippled the top of the Swedish net. Shortly afterwards the impressive Jeff Hendrick rattled the Swedish crossbar with Isaakson left clutching fresh air.
A very impressive first half from the Irish team ended up without the breakthrough for either team,
The Irish players resumed the second half where they left off in the first and it wasn't long before they got the goal that their play deserved. Some brilliant play out wide by Everton's Seamus Coleman resulted in a cross into the Swedish box. Wes Hoolahan anticipated the flight of the ball and met it beautifully with a right footed volley that arced it's way beyond the despairing Isaakson dive. Ireland was 1-0 ahead after just two minutes of the second half.
Almost immediately the Irish began to defend more deeply as the Swedish players played with a greater degree of urgency. The Irish survived a series of Swedish corners and opportunities however Olsson was creating all kinds of trouble for the Irish down the left flank. After 71 minutes Ibramhimovich cut back a ball from the bye-line across the face of the Irish goal. Under pressure from the lurking Larsson Ciaran Clark headed past Randolph to score an own goal.
Both teams sought to get
the winning goal as O'Neiil sent on both Robbie Keane and Aiden McGeady.
Despite chances for both sides the match ended in a 1-1 draw. The Irish
were left to rue the missed chances in the first half and the Swedes were
aggrieved that they hadn't made the more of their chances in the second
Euro 2016 - Republic of Ireland V Sweden Statistics
Irish & Swedish Teams
Republic of Ireland Team
Date: 13 June 2016. Venue: Stade de France, Saint Denis, France. Attendance: 80,000. Referee: Milorad Mazic (Serbia).
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