Ireland hammer Scotland 3-0 in UEFA Nations League


Photo: Stephen Gormley (Red Eye Photo Agency)


Ireland recorded their first win in thirteen UEFA Nations League matches with an emphatic 3-0 victory at home to Scotland

Before this game, Ireland had gone ten home competitive games without a win, and had only scored two goals in a dozen winless UEFA Nations League games. This included defeats away to Armenia and at home to Ukraine in this campaign’s Group B1 earlier in June.

Under significant pressure, Ireland manager Stephen Kenny made five changes from their match with Ukraine. The 3-4-3 formation was also changed to a 3-5-2 formation. The goalkeeper and defence stayed the same, but there was now a three-man central midfield, with Knight dropping deeper in contrast to previous games.

Ireland started off on the front foot and looked very sharp with Alan Browne in midfield dictating play, taking on Andy Robertson for the full 90 minutes of the match.

In the 19th minute, McClean’s cross looked to be heading to Obafemi but McKenna just got in with the slightest of touches to take the ball off the striker’s head. However a minute later the Irish got the goal they deserved. McClean’s corner was headed back across goal from Shane Duffy and Browne reacted quickest, getting a crucial touch to bundle the ball into the Scottish net to make it 1-0.

In the 27th minute, Shane Duffy was careless playing the ball out from the back and McGinn was gifted the ball but he flashed the ball past the Irish post.

Scotland were to rue this good chance as moments later Obafemi played a clever little flick to his striking partner Troy Parrot who guided a clever header past the on-rushing Gordon to make it 2-0, sparking wild celebrations from the Irish crowd.

It was more of the same in the second half with Scotland looking tired and finding it hard to deal with the Ireland pressure.

In the 51st minute, Obafemi picked the ball up 30 yards out from goal and hit a thunderbolt of a shot past Gordon to make it 3-0 to Ireland. A very impressive first goal for his country.

In the 62nd minute, it could have been 4-0 when Hogan got up above Robertson to head the ball to the far corner of the goal. However, Hanley got back to clear the ball just before it crossed the line.

Photo: Stephen Gormley (Red Eye Photo Agency)The match ended 3-0 giving the Irish their first Nations league victory after 13 attempts thereby taking some pressure off Ireland manager Kenny who said –

“It was the most significant victory for Ireland in seven long years.”

Ireland had not beaten a higher-ranked team at home since Bosnia in 2015 in a Euros play-off match.

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