The ‘Young Boys in Green’ thoroughly deserved this 1-1 draw against a highly regarded German side, full of Bundesliga regulars at Turner’s Cross tonight. For the majority of the game the home side were on top against their much more experienced counterparts and must surely be disappointed not to have won.
Don Givens gave debuts to five players in total, with Graham Carey coming off of the bench late on to make his first appearance at this level.
David Meyler, who has risen meteorically from playing schoolboys with College Corinthians in the southside of Cork City to this level in the space of 18 months, didn’t seem phased whatsoever against a much more experienced Germany midfield.
Trapattoni and Co. were watching the game from their base in Portmarnock and the Italian was surely impressed with Seán Scannell, who deserved the man of the match accolade. While Alan Judge, who was captain instead of Preston North End’s Eddie Nolan, was also another player who may have caught the Italian’s eye.
Germany took the lead in the 22nd minute when Sando Wagner scored at the second time of asking. The striker cut in from the right wing before shooting. Shane Lowry blocked his effort, however, the MSV Duisburg striker scored from the most acute of angles with his second effort.
It didn’t take long for the Irish to equalise, though. The ball was crossed in by Owen Garvan and Michael Spillane, unmarked 6 yards from goal, headed into the top corner despite the best efforts of Manuel Neuer to bring the side level.
Germany were then denied by the woodwork twice in short succession, 10 minutes before the break. Daniel Halfer got the better of Brendan Moloney, another of the debutants, before driving the ball goalwards. Shane Redmond, who is currently playing with Eastwood Town in England’s lower leagues, made a good save by tipping the ball onto the crossbar and then out for a corner.
From the corner, Wagner almost got his second with a left-footed effort. His shot, though, came off of the woodwork after he was left unmarked at the back post.
Scannell also forced Manuel Neuer into making a couple of saves before the break. The lively Crystal Palace striker was unlucky not to have gotten his name on the scoresheet after terrorising the Germany defence on several occasions.
After the break there was very little goalmouth action to warm the souls of the 3160 supporter’s who braved the icy conditions, although Spillane did go close again with another solid header. Cillian Sheridan, was also unlucky with an acrobatic effort in the 83rd minute, but the game fizzed out.
Overall, Ireland were well on top in the second period, with the German’s failing to threaten Stephen Henderson. Patrick Ebert, who struck a free kick high into the Curragh Road End, in the first half, had a chance to make amends with a similar situation with an hour on the clock but put it straight down the throat of Henderson.
Republic of Ireland: Shane Redmond (Stephen Henderson 46), Brendan Moloney, Michael Spillane, Shane Lowry, Michael Liddle; David Meyler, Stephen Gleeson, Owen Garvan; Alan Judge, Cillian Sheridan, Sean Scannell (Graham Carey 86).
Subs: Christy Fagan, John Joe O'Toole, James McCarthy, James Berrett, Scott Davies.
Germany: Manuel Neuer, Daniel Schwaab, Dennis Aogo, Matthias Jaissle, Jerome Boateng, Patrick Ebert, Sami Khedira (Fabian Johnson 29), Anis Ben-Hatira Dennis Grote 86), Kevin Prince Boateng (Rouwen Hennings 46), Daniel Halfer (Marcel Heller 46), Sando Wagner.
Subs not used: Florian Fromlowitz, Benedikt Howedes, Daniel Adlung.
Referee: Fernando Teixeira Vitienes (Spain).
Official Man of the Match: Sean Scannell
Extratime.ie Man of the Match: Alan Judge.