Football

Almost Everyone Has Forgotten Ireland's Last Competitive Match In Cardiff

Almost Everyone Has Forgotten Ireland's Last Competitive Match In Cardiff

Can you name the Republic of Ireland manager when the side last played Wales away from home in a competitive match?

You would be forgiven for thinking it was Steve Staunton. Some might even guess Brian Kerr or Giovanni Trapattoni. It was in fact Don Givens.

The last time the two teams played each other in a competitive match was the final game of Euro 2008 qualifying. Staunton had been relieved of his duties before the game, with Givens taking charge.

Such was the uneventful nature of the occasion, videos of the match remain relatively scarce. American highlights of the match is the best available.

In a game that meant nothing to either team, it finished in a 2-2 draw, with Jason Koumas scoring a late penalty to secure the draw for the home side. Robbie Keane and Kevin Doyle both scored for Ireland in front of a half-empty Millennium Stadium.

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Both Irish goals were extremely well taken, with Robbie Keane chipping Wayne Hennessey. Stephen Hunt's cross for Kevin Doyle's goal was also well worked.

Such is the turnover in international football, only two players from that side could feature tonight. John O'Shea and Aiden McGeady are unlikely to start, but they were part of the team in 2007.

For the record, Ireland finished in third place in the qualifying group on 17 points. It was ten points behind second-placed Germany in a largely forgettable campaign.

The atmosphere in Cardiff on November 17th, 2007 will be in stark contrast to what awaits both sides on Monday evening in Cardiff.

Let's hope the result is a little better too.

Daniel Kelly

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