Spain vs Ireland
Suwon -- (1-1 aet)
Spain win 3-2 on penalties.
Robbie Keane's first chance for Ireland flew wide of the
Spanish goal, as both teams searched for an early goal.
Cheered on by their vociferous supporters, The Boys in
Green continued to push forward.... with Damien Duff looking good down the Irish right,
before laying the ball off.
-- GOAL -- 1-0
Carles Puyol received a knock-back from his throw-in, on the right, and crossed into Fernando
Morientes, who beat Gary Breen to the ball and headed past Shay Given; with only
eight minutes gone.
Spain sat back a little, as Ireland tried everything in
their repertoire to get back on level terms, then countered with long balls up to Raul and
In the 20th minute, one such counter had Raul getting the
better of Steve Staunton on a dash through the middle.... but the ball was too far from
the Spaniard and Shay Given booted clear.
Five minutes later, Spain put together another elegant
combination as Raul flicked the ball up for Morientes, in the Irish area, who headed back
across to Luis Enrique to put in the net...... but the flag for offside was already up.
Ireland continued to play the offside trap well; giving the
linesman, with his eye on the Spanish forwards, plenty of work to do. Just before the
break, Matt Holland chipped the Spanish defence for Robbie Keane to sprint behind them and
try an acrobatic juggle over Iker Casillas.
Half-time: Spain 1 -- Ireland 0
Ireland have pegged back similar half-time scorelines
against Cameroon and Germany; their fans will hope that the Boys in Green can pull it off
Steve Staunton struggled to shake off an injury he sustained in the first-half and was
replaced by Kenny Cunningham, five minutes after the restart as Ireland had another clear
chance to level the score.
Iker Casillas dropped the ball but Kevin Kilbane's shot was
cleared away by Hierro -- who also had Helguera behind him as a double cover.
With six or seven Spaniards filling the penalty area,
Ireland were finding it difficult to get through them so Niall Quinn was brought on for
Gary Kelly; to add some more height to the Irish attack.
Damien Duff earned Ireland a penalty in
the 62nd minute. Ian Harte stepped forward to take it..... Casillas saved and Kilbane
skewed the follow-up.
The luck of the Irish was running out and Damien Duff was
starting to look tired.... although he pulled himself together to shoot narrowly wide with
a little over ten minutes to go.
Iker Casillas flew into Robbie Keane shortly before the end
as they both went up for a 50-50 challenge.
-- GOAL -- 1-1
Second penalty for Ireland as Hierro is booked for holding Niall Quinn's shirt, with both
hands, and trying to lift him off the ground. Robbie Keane brought
Ireland level with 20 seconds of normal time remaining.
Into Extra Time:
Spain moved slowly in the first period of extra-time, as if
they would be happy with penalties.
Ireland, meanwhile, continued to show tremendous fighting
spirit and huge lungs as they battled for everything -- huffed, puffed and even produced
flashes of brilliance through Damien Duff.
In the second period, Shay Given parried away Baraja's
drive and at the other end Cunningham's grass cutter was narrowly wide, although Casillas
had it covered.