21.08.2007 at 19:00 Furth
Referee: Vlado Svilokos (Croatia)
Manuel Neuer ;
Marc Andre Kruska (capt.), Fabian Schonheim,
Stephen O Halloran
Darren O Dea
Jim O Brien
Germany 2- 2 Rep of Ireland
Hennings 17 Gleeson 38, 66
The Republic of Ireland Under-21 were held to a draw by Germany this evening in a friendly match in Furth as they stepped up preparations for the upcoming UEFA qualifiers.
Ireland could have won the match but the home side drew level with just five minutes remaining on the clock.
Germany illustrated their threat just five minutes into the contest. The ball broke to the lively Ashkan Dejagah ten yards out but his goal-bound shot was brilliantly blocked by Stephen O’Halloran.
Ireland’s first chance fell on eleven minutes. A free-kick from 35 yards out was flicked-on by Adam Rooney but Clarke, from an acute angle, could not direct his shot on target.
The home side came within inches of giving the 5,000-strong crowd something to cheer about four minutes later. Andreas Beck crossed from the right touchline and Rouwen Hennings’ header brushed the outside of the post and rolled wide.
Germany did take the lead on 17 minutes. After brilliant work on the right-hand side by Beck and Dejagah, Dennis Aogo unleashed a vicious shot from 18 yards. Randolph could not hold the shot and Hennings tapped home the rebound.
It was the half-hour mark before either side really created another goal chance and James O’Brien will feel that he should have done better.
Billy Clarke crossed low across the box and the ball fell to O’Brien, who was in plenty of space 12 yards out. However, his shot could hit only the side-netting.
Ireland again had an opening to score merely minutes later. Stephen Quinn robbed the defence of the ball and played through Adam Rooney, whose miss-hit shot rolled harmlessly wide with the goal at his mercy.
Ireland were coming back into the game and a rasping volley from Clarke on 35 minutes, saved by Neurer, was further proof of the danger of the Irish attack.
Quinn, in particular, was causing problems to the home side - his bursts from midfield engineering confusion in the home defence on several occasions.
It was another member of the Irish midfield trio who was to equalise on 38 minutes. The German defenders were passing the ball amongst themselves when Stephen Gleeson – making his Under-21 debut - intercepted off Juri Judt’s toe and put himself one-on-one with Neuer. Despite the goalkeeper’s best effort, the shot by senior International Gleeson sailed into the German net.
It was no less than the Irish side deserved, and clever inter-play between Stephen Quinn and Billy Clarke presented them with another opportunity just before the break but the Ipswich Towns man had his shot dealt with by Neuer.
There were a total of five changes at the break and both sides took time to re-group. Chinedu Ede almost took advantage of confusion in the Irish defence on 49 minutes but O’Halloran reacted well and quashed any danger.
It was one of the substitutes who almost put Germany in the lead on 63 minutes. Stephan Furstner’s brilliant shot from 20 yards flying just inches wide of the top corner.
Germany were now enjoying their brightest period and forced several corner-kicks.
However, Ireland made this work to their advantage brilliantly on 66 minutes when a quick counter-attack resulted in the visitors taking the lead.
Billy Clarke broke down the left and switched the ball across to Eddie Nolan on the opposite wing. Nolan side-footed the ball into the box where Stephen Gleeson stroked home to grab his second of the night.
Ireland manager Don Givens introduced three young eircom League of Ireland stars into the match mid-way through the second half. Shane McFaul and Conor Powell entered the action on 70 minutes, with Bohemians’ John Paul Kelly joining them five minutes later.
It appeared as though Ireland were on the way to an historic win. However, German leveled matters with just five minutes remaining. German captain Marc Andre Kruska floated in a free-kick from the left and tall right back Andreas Beck rose highest to head past Randolph.
Despite some German pressure, that was to be the last real goalmouth action of the night, as Don Givens’ side secured a very impressive draw ahead of next month’s European Championship qualifier against Portugal at Turner’s Cross.
Germany: Manuel Neuer (Floran Fromlowitz h/t); Andreas Beck, Sebastian Boenisch (Marko Marin, 63 mins), Dennis Aogo, Chinedu Ede (Dennis Grote, 56 mins), Ashkan Dejagah (Stephan Furstner h/t), Rouwen Hennings, Marc Andre Kruska (capt.), Fabian Schonheim (Robert Flessers, 63 mins), Daniel Schwaab, Juri Judt (Pascal Bieler h/t)
Republic of Ireland: Darren Randolph; Tony Kane (Eddie Nolan h/t), Stephen O’Halloran, Richard Keogh, Darren O’Dea (capt.); Patrick Cregg (Shane McFaul, 70 mins), Stephen Gleeson, Stephen Quinn (Michael Collins h/t); Adam Rooney, James O’Brien (John Paul Kelly, 75 mins), Billy Clarke (Conor Powell, 70 mins)