World Cup Qualifiers – important games for North and South even though only ROI play…

A vital game for the Republic this evening against Italy at Croker has become slightly less critical due to Cyprus beating Bulgaria this evening thus all but assuring the Irish a play off place from Group 8 at the very least. Too much to hope for automatic qualification surely? Whelan gave Ireland a deserved lead early on cancelled out by Camoranesi in the 26th minute – the game remains pretty even.
Update St Ledger scores with 3 minutes left ! Can Trappatoni’s men hold on? Update No they can’t. Italy equalise in the last minute of normal time.

Update Group 8 results: Cyprus 4 Bulgaria 1; Ireland 2 Italy 2. Italy qualify, Ireland in the playoffs – a bit of concentration at the end and it could have been very different. A fair result at the end I feel. Let’s hope it’s Greece, Bosnia or Slovenia if FIFA stop this seeding nonsense, eh?

Northern Ireland don’t play this evening, their chances of the play-offs all but gone… or are they? The matches between the other protagonists in the group are both 0-0 at half time (Slovakia v Slovenia & Czech Rep vs Poland) – a goal for the Slovaks and if the other game stays goalless it might just keep the dream alive into the game against the Czechs on Wednesday. I’m keeping my browser refreshed just in case! Update Harrumph! Czech Rep 1 Poland 0. A win in Prague is all that will do if it stays like this. Update Oh no! Slovakia 0 Slovenia 1 Disaster with half an hour left in Bratislava – NI hopes hanging by an increasingly fraying thread.

Update> Group 3 Results: Czech Rep 2 Poland 0 ; Slovakia 0 Slovenia 2. Northern Ireland retain a theoretical chance of second in the group but that is all given Slovenia’s superior goal difference and the fact they play pointless San Marino in their final game. If only Worthington’s men had started better… A win is essential on Wednesday to finish third or a draw for fourth otherwise they risk finishing second bottom despite such a great campaign – it really is a cruel game at times. Very important for seedings for Euro 2012 I would imagine.

  • Mark McGreg

    Come on Ireland. You can do it! Kick the feckers

  • Mark McGreg

    ‘He has done it for Stoke City he just needs to do it at this level’

    Feck aff, he is playing a WCQ not Sunday football.

  • John

    2-1!!!!!!!!!!1 YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!11

  • Slugger O’Toole Admin

    Bloody hell… Keep it tight lads right to the very end!!!

  • Slugger O’Toole Admin

    Damn 2=2…

  • John

    Bah, it was good while it lasted 🙁

  • John

    Fuck’s sake – so close.

  • Greenflag

    Held the lead for three minutes -No feckin discipline again ;

    john ,

    ‘ it was good while it lasted 🙁

    Three minutes -three feckin minutes -they could’nt control their euphoria for 3 feckin minutes . Gobshites .

    Still against the world champions I suppose we should be grateful for the draw 🙁

  • Mick Fealty

    You would have taken 2-2 before the match… Understand Trap was hitting stuff as team made its way off the pitch…

  • consul

    Jayz they’re the greatest men to get in front but they just can’t stay there. Good game though.

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit

    meanwhile away from the ladyball….Munster still on track despite narrow loss to old enemies Northampton in a brilliant game.

  • Garza

    Pity NI didn’t qualify, we will make it some day!!

    Good luck to ROI for the world cup.

  • Thanks Garza. This ROI fan wishes NI success in the future – hopefully not at ROI’s expense 🙂 –

  • the future’s bright, the future’s orange

    only kept a half eye on the game but it looked to be a superb performance from ROI. Super energy in the 1st half – tired a little in the 2nd but well deserved the point and unlucky not to win. Italy kept the ball quite well for long periods which was impressive but I though ROI made a really good account of themselves.

    as for the proper sport, not sure how sammy can say still on track after a defeat to a mediocre side but I guess I get what he means. Munster are extremely rusty at the minute – no coherence in the backline whatsoever. That said, if and indeed when they do gel, they are going to be vitually unstoppable lol. Surprised by Leinster’s defeat as well but didn’t watch the game so can;t comment. Ulster had another excellent performance on Friday night which sets us up nicely for a trip to edinburgh next weekend.
    (apologies for going off-topic but dewi must have forgotten about the rugby this weekend :).

    Well done the roi.

  • Sean

    you mean IRL 🙂

  • Greenflag

    garza ,

    ‘Pity NI didn’t qualify, we will make it some day!

    Yes it is a pity . And if the Republic qualifies we could have joined North Korea and South Korea . With the world looking on at the spectacle of two small countries having four teams in the finals FIFA might be inundated with requests for team applications from Northern and Southern Scotland , and ditto from many of the also rans . 😉

    We’ll probably draw France or Russia no doubt for the play off 🙁

  • Ms Wiz

    Very disappointing for the RoI, played a great game given the players they have, 2-1 up with minutes left…just close the game out! Probably academic anyway cos highly unlikey Italy would have lost at home on Wed to Cyprus, still would have made things interesting.

    For NI the damage was done in the very first 2 games of the campaign, needed to get at least 4 points from them but blew it big time. The 2 early wins against San Marino always gave the table a false reading and just 1 point from last 2 games puts it all into perspective. They have to learn to win away against decent opposition if they’re ever going to qualify for anything.

  • kensei

    Very disappointing for the RoI, played a great game given the players they have, 2-1 up with minutes left…just close the game out! Probably academic anyway cos highly unlikey Italy would have lost at home on Wed to Cyprus, still would have made things interesting.

    Trap’s interview was interesting. He said Italy would not lose against Cyprus, but he wanted the win for the prestige and the confidence.

    It really would have ben a big mental boost. We always do this. I’m watched it twenty times. It’s good when can draw witht he World Champions home and away but there’s always going to be that nagging if we’re a goal up with ten minutes remaining.

  • Greagoir O Frainclin

    Great game. The atmosphere was electric at Croke Park. Great goal from Whealan. Pity we didn’t win it.

    Roll on the qualifiers, but it will probably end in disappointment however……as always!

  • Republic of Connaught

    It’s hard to know how much Trappatoni has done really. We only won four games against the mighty Cyprus and Georgia, couldn’t beat a very average Bulgaria home or away. Trappatoni is lucky we got a poor group. Watching us play is abysmal viewing. No passing, wrong players picked and long ball football used when we need a goal.

    Perhaps we simply have poor players and shouldn’t expect much more. But Stephen Ireland, Andy Reid, Steve Finnan and Lee Carsley could be in that first 11 if we had a manager who really wanted them there. Trappatoni likes grafters with no ability and that won’t get us to a World Cup if we play any half decent side.

    As an aside, how about the NI lads lend us Johnny Evans and Steven Davis for the qualifiers. They would be welcome additions.

  • Tochais Si­oraí

    Who is Stephen Ireland?

  • Tim

    Steve Finnan is returning from injury – Nothing to do with Trapattoni. He will be back in the squad when fit.

    Lee Carsley is 36 & has basically retired from international football.

    Stephen Ireland has no interest in playing for his country, he has fallen out with every manager in his career, he killed his grannies before Trapattoni arrived.

    Andy Reid was nearly 20 pounds overweight last season when he told Trapattoni to f*ck off during a boozing session at the team hotel. He’s done well to get fit, improve his game and keep a positive attitude. Disrespected the manager big time but deserves another chance.

  • Guest

    Roc,

    Are you seriously suggesting that Lee Carsley is something other than a grafter??

  • kensei

    Guest

    He might hold on to the ball a bit better in midfield. He might be a useful addition to the squad, maybe, but his age means that he’s no future. It is right to blood younger players, even if they aren’t quite as good.

    Andy Reid is being made a lesson of, though. Don’t mess with Trap.

  • Guest

    He certainly wouldn’t have hit the ball like Whealen did against Italy and Montenegro(or Georgia?).As for Andy Reid,he’s a decent player but nowhere near what Dunphy would like us all to believe.Trap is making a lesson of him but I thought that he would recall him at some stage to chime in with his fatherly image.Apparently,when trap’s foot goes down it doesn’t come back up.

  • Guest