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England expose Irish shortcomings in comfortable friendly win

It was a chastening night for the Republic of Ireland, who suffered a first defeat to England sin...



England expose Irish shortcomi...
Soccer

England expose Irish shortcomings in comfortable friendly win

It was a chastening night for the Republic of Ireland, who suffered a first defeat to England since 1985. 

Gareth Southgate's side won 3-0, courtesy of goals from Harry Maguire, Jadon Sancho and a Dominic Calvert-Lewin penalty.

Ireland boss Stephen Kenny had to contend with more late withdrawals for the game at Wembley. Captain Seamus Coleman suffered a recurrence of a previous injury, while James McCarthy was absent due to family issues.

A seeming concussion to John Egan early in the game meant Ireland had to rely on a horribly out-of-form Shane Duffy more than ever.

Despite all that, there was a bright opening for the visitors, with Daryl Horgan causing England early worries down the right flank, often combining well with Alan Browne.

But the hosts opened the scoring with 18-minutes on the clock. Harry Winks lofted a ball in from the right, with Harry Maguire outfoxing Shane Duffy to nod beyond Darren Randolph.

Duffy atoned for losing that battle seven-minutes later, blocking a Dominic Calvert-Lewin effort after Jack Grealish and Reece James conspired to slice open the Irish defence.

But England were beginning to dictate the game, and on the half-hour they were 2-0 up.

Jadon Sancho found himself in far too much space down the Ireland left, the Dortmund man cut inside and curled a right-footed shot low inside the far post.

Gareth Southgate's side continued to take advantage of Ireland's defensive short-comings, particularly down the right. Jack Grealish left Cyrus Christie standing to send an inviting square ball across the area that wasn't converted.

And just before half-time, Tyrone Mings grazed the side-netting with a shot from distance.

England started as the second half how the ended the first, Grealish setting up Bukayo Saka who found the side-netting when it seemed easier to score.

Christie was having a bad night, compounded by his concession of a penalty by fouling Saka. Calvert-Lewin made no mistake from the spot.

Ireland's first shot on target came with 19-minutes remaining. Alan Browne's shot cannoned off debutant Dean Henderson and out for a corner.

Substitute Ronan Curtis was next to test the Manchester United keeper, after a surging run from Jayson Molumby.

In the end it was all too easy for England, who made 17-year old Jude Bellingham their third youngest ever player.

For Kenny, it's again the hope that one day - maybe - he'll have a full-strength squad at his disposal.

Football greed equals injury woe, Klopp into the market, Ireland’s issues | JOHN GILES

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Read more about

Adam Idah Alan Browne Conor Hourihane Cyrus Christie Daryl Horgan Duffy England Grealish Harry Maguire Ireland John Egan Kenny Republic Of Ireland Seamus Coleman Shane Duffy Stephen Kenny

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