England 1 Republic of Ireland 1: Lessons as Lampard nets at Wembley
England 1 Republic of Ireland 1: What lessons did we learn as the Three Lions were left frustrated by the Boys in Green at Wembley?
Millwall’s Forde keeps England at bay
England were held to a 1-1 draw by the Republic of Ireland in an intriguing clash at Wembley. For the visitors, it was Millwall shot stopper David Forde who stood out, showcasing his excellent agility and concentration levels throughout the 94 minutes. On numerous occasions, the Lions star managed to keep the English attacks at bay by parrying, palming and collecting the ball with a tremendous commanding presence. In particular, his denial of both Theo Walcott and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain were a joy to behold as the goalkeeper managed to keep his side in the game and allowed the back four time to regain their composure and re-build their shape time and time again.
England fail to beat the Irish – again
Before Wednesday night’s clash, it had been 28 years since England had last defeated Ireland – that was back in 1985 when Gary Lineker helped the Three Lions to a 2-1 win. The home side’s inability to convert a host of chances, particularly in the second period, means that they will have to wait until the sides meet again to attempt to undo the Irish defence. In the 23rd minute, Chelsea’s record goal-scorer Frank Lampard managed to draw his side level after capitalising on uncertainty in the Irish defence, but that was as good as it would get for Roy Hodgson’s side as they simply could not capitalise on the chances they did create, and in the end, were left to rue missed opportunities.
Ireland show promise against quality opposition
Both sides started the match rather well, with Giovanni Trapattoni’s charges looking to build upon the expansive passing game they had begun to play during periods of their Austria and Sweden qualifying matches. And, with a mere 14 minutes on the clock, Ireland’s purposeful play reaped some terrific rewards as Seamus Coleman did well to whip in a delightful ball from the right wing which striker Shane Long did ever so well to finish with his head. It was a wonderful goal that sent the travelling fans wild, but once again it would be their defensive frailties that would undo them only 10 minutes later. The Boys in Green continued to battle hard and carved a few more chances of note for themselves, however they couldn’t rattle the home side’s net again and the tie remained level.