14.08.2013 at 19:30 Cardiff City Stadium
0 - 0
Republic of Ireland
Referee: Pavel Kralovec (Czech Republic)
Friendly / PROG-match
Wales 0 Republic of Ireland 0
The Republic of Ireland played out a scoreless draw with Wales in an international friendly at Cardiff City Stadium.
Some excellent saves from Welsh goalkeeper Boaz Myhill ensured that the Welsh kept their first clean sheet in 12 games and earned their first draw in six years since they drew 2-2 with Ireland back in November 2007 at the Millennium Stadium.
Giovanni Trapattoni's side were well organised and defensively sound against a Welsh side that had come into the game on the back of two wins out of their last three games including a 2-1 victory over Ireland's qualifying group rivals Austria.
His one disappointment would have been that his side failed to convert one of the 12 chances they created during the game which would have given them a morale boosting victory ahead of the crunch September qualifiers at home to Sweden and away to Austria.
Ireland opened with a 4-4-1-1 formation which saw Wes Hoolahan playing behind lone striker Shane Long and they enjoyed the bulk of the early possession but it took 23 minutes before they started to turn that control into goal scoring chances.
A good Irish break swept down the field and ended with a ball from Jonathon Walters ball being laid itno the path of Glenn Whelan by Robbie Brady but the Stoke City midfielder pulled his shot wide from the edge of the box.
Then, a couple of minutes later, Shane Long laid the ball off for the supporting Brady but his shot was too high while seconds later Long lazed over from 10 metres with the goal at his mercy following a great pull-back from James McCarthy.
The chances continued to come and Walters shot wide from the edge of the box before the best chance of the half was carved out by Brady following good work by Hoolahan and Long. Showing quick feet on the edge of the box, the Hull City player wriggled his way into space and sent a curling shot past Myhill that just edged past the far post.
Wales' best opportunities in the opening half came from the four corners they earned. From their first, John O'Shea showed great alertness at the back post to head away as Ashley Williams prepared to pounce while, from their last of the half, the unmarked Ben Davis made a late run into the box but blazed his first time shot across the face of goal.
Giovanni Trapattoni introduced James McClean for Robbie Brady at half-time and Marc Wilson and Long headed over from corners as the Irish continued to carve out the chances at the Welsh end.
The last half hour saw both managers emptying their benches with Ireland bringing on Darren O'Dea, Conor Sammon, Paul Green, Andy Keogh and Paddy Madden for his senior debut.
The Yeovil Town striker certainly made an impression during the 24 minutes he was on the pitch after replacing Hoolahan and his first contribution was to link-up with Long who burst through the Welsh defence and fired a shot that was slightly too close to Myhill. who saved at the second attempt.
A good run down the left by Walters finished with a pull back to Madden whose first time left-footed shot was brilliantly parried by Myhill and Williams then blocked McClean;s goalbound effort from the rebound.
Shortly afterwards Madden had another opportunity with a right footed shot which was saved by the excellent Myhill who was fortunate in the dying moments that his botched fisted clearance was volley over by Madden who showed a remarkable ability to be in the right place a lot of the time.
Wales created few chances, the best being a long range free kick from Craig Bellamy which was saved by Keiren Westwood while substitute Sam Vokes shot wide when a long diagonal ball over the top gave him a brief glimpse of the Irish goal.
Welsh captain Ashley Willaims and Ireland striker Shane Long were booked after 35 minutes for unsporting behaviour following an off the ball incident.
Four different players wore the captain's armband with O'Shea, Long, Walters and Seamus Coleman assuming the captaincy for various periods of the game.
After the game Giovanni Trapattoni declared himself reasonably happy with the exercise.
"I think we deserved to win. We had three clear chances but the goalkeeper of Wales was fantastic. It's our first game, it's pre-season but I am happy with the team at this moment. I was worried that after the holidays the team would not have the same mentality but I saw enough good things this evening."
Wales: Myhill; Gunter, A Williams, Ricketts, B Davies; Ledley (King 60), Allen (Crofts 86), Collison (C Davies 82), Robson-Kanu (Taylor 74); J Williams; Bellamy (Vokes 60).
Republic of Ireland: Team: Keiren Westwood: Seamus Coleman, John O'Shea (Darren O'Dea 60), Ciaran Clark, Marc Wilson; Jonathan Walters (Conor Sammon 84), James McCarthy, Glenn Whelan (Paul Green 60), Robbie Brady (James McClean 46); Wes Hoolahan (Paddy Madden 69); Shane Long (Andy Keogh 74).
Referee: Pavel Kralovec (Czech Republic).