Hungary 0 Ireland 0: Trapattoni praises Given’s first-half display
Giovanni Trapattoni pleased to avoid any injuries after the Republic of Ireland extend unbeaten run to 14 games in Hungary
Giovanni Trapattoni praised Shay Given after the goalkeeper dispelled fears over his fitness and helped the Republic of Ireland extend their unbeaten record to 14 games with a goalless draw against Hungary.
Ireland’s impressive run came perilously close to ending ahead of Euro 2012 in the first half amid difficult weather conditions which had put the friendly in doubt before kick-off.
Aston Villa’s Given showed no signs of injury when he made a superb reflex stop from a deflected effort, before producing a stunning full-stretch save to deny the dangerous Balasz Dzsudzsak in the 30th minute.
Trapattoni’s side improved after the interval, and substitute Simon Cox tested Hungary goalkeeper Adam Bogdan as the West Bromich Albion striker made a case to feature in Ireland’s opening Group C game against Croatia on Sunday.
“They deserved to score in the first half, one or two goals, but Shay Given saved us,” Trapattoni told BBC Sport.
“In the second half we changed a bit and had fresh energy, with Jon Andrews and Simon Cox coming on, and we could have scored.
“But I am pleased with the draw and not having any players injured.”
Richard Dunne described the mood in the Irish camp as “confident” ahead of their European championship opener and moved to allay fears over Given’s fitness after his Villa team-mate was replaced by Keiren Westwood for the second half.
“We were always confident and we are happy to come away with a draw,” said Dunne.
“We didn’t pull out of any tackles but happily we did not have any injuries.
“It was arranged that Shay Given would come off at half-time. Goalkeeper is a specialist position and others have to get game time.”