Ireland slump to Greece defeat

Jose Holebas scored the winner as Greece beat Republic of Ireland 1-0 in Wednesday's friendly in Dublin.

Last Updated: 15/11/12 at 08:18 Post Comment

Jose Holebas: Is congratulated by team-mates after notching the winner

Jose Holebas: Is congratulated by team-mates after notching the winner

More of the games that matter

Upgrade in minutes or watch with a NOW TV Day Pass.

Ireland should have had a first minute penalty when Stephen Ward's cross from the left clearly hit Konstantinos Stafylidis on the hand but the referee waved on.

And Giovanni Trapattoni's side were made to pay when Georgios Samaras found Holebas, who scored from the edge of the box on 29 minutes.

The Italian's experimental side, which featured Ciaran Clark, James McCarthy, James McClean and Robbie Brady from the start and Wes Hoolahan after the break, competed well for long periods, but were unable to carve out the openings to take something from the game.

In front of a sparse crowd at the Aviva Stadium, where they were battered 6-1 by Germany in a World Cup qualifier last month, Ireland showed plenty of endeavour and at times craft, but they could not find the killer touch in front of goal.

As a result, Holebas' sweet 29th-minute strike was enough to win the game for the visitors and leave Trapattoni's detractors with enough ammunition to maintain their opposition to his continued presence at the helm heading into March's crucial World Cup qualifiers against Sweden and Austria.

But Ireland had strong claims for a first-minute penalty waved away by Israeli referee Eitan Shmuelevitz and defender Stafylidis could consider himself extremely fortunate not to be penalised for his less-than-effective attempt to deal with Ward's deep cross.

Cox went to ground inside the box under Sokratis Papastathopoulos' challenge three minutes later, but the appeals on that occasion were more muted and also ignored, and McClean scuffed a long-range effort wide.

The Republic looked certain to take the lead with 10 minutes gone when full-back Seamus Coleman, whose performance was a real plus for the hosts, crossed for Cox who headed at goal unopposed but he was unable to hit the target with just keeper Orestis Karnezis to beat.

Greece made Ireland pay when skipper Samaras, who had earlier had to leave the pitch for treatment to a head wound, turned Konstantinos Mitroglou's pass into the path of Holebas, who span John O'Shea and thumped the ball into the bottom corner.

Ireland pressed in the second period but could find no way through as Greece coasted to the final whistle and victory with few alarms.

Republic of IrelandTeam StatisticsGreece
0Goals1
01st Half Goals1
3Shots on Target2
7Shots off Target4
4Blocked Shots0
12Corners3
14Fouls13
1Offsides3
2Yellow Cards1
0Red Cards0
82.9Passing Success82.7
14Tackles15
71.4Tackles Success86.7
58.2Possession41.8
55.3Territorial Advantage44.7
508Total Passes369
34Total Crosses19
155Lost Balls151
55Recoveries52
52.41st Half Poss.47.6
63.22nd Half Poss.36.8

Football365 Facebook Fan Page

The Football365 fan page is a great place to meet like minded people, have football related discussions and make new friends.

More Match Results

Thursday, 23 April 2015
04:00
USA U23 3-0 Mexico U23  
Thursday, 16 April 2015
01:30
USA 2-0 Mexico  
Wednesday, 01 April 2015
02:00
Mexico 1-0 Paraguay  
01:00
Argentina 2-1 Ecuador  
Tuesday, 31 March 2015
20:45
Portugal 0-2 Cape Verde  
19:45
Italy 1-1 England Report
Holland 2-0 Spain  
19:30
Austria 1-1 Bos&Herz  
Slovakia 1-0 Czech Rep  
19:15
Luxembourg 1-2 Turkey  

Footer 365

QPR's Rio Ferdinand is astounded by reaction to his wife's death

QPR defender Rio Ferdinand has been astounded by the levels of support he received following the death of his wife.

Raheem Sterling would interest Manchester City – Sky sources

Manchester City would be interested in signing Raheem Sterling if he were to become available, according to Sky sources.

Alan Pardew not sure Crystal Palace can match fine season in 2015-16

Alan Pardew says it is going to be difficult to repeat Crystal Palace's sensational second half of the season when the 2015-16 campaign starts.

Mail Box

Only One Real Manager Of The Year

Winning the Premier League with the best squad in the Premier League is only par; Ronald Koeman did a whole lot better. Plus, the last word on Raheem and...

Don't Slate Sterling For Ambition...

Raheem Sterling deserves credit for his desire to quit Liverpool, according to one mailboxer. Also: why football should not be compared to business and Degsy's latest spot of bother...

© 2015 Sky Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media company