Euro 2016: Belgium vs Ireland… Live

by | Jun 18, 2016

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Ian June 18, 20161:49 pm

Good afternoon everybody, and welcome to another afternoon’s soccer, starting with Belgium vs Ireland from Bordeaux. Belgium were dismal against Italy earlier this week, while Ireland were unlucky not to beat a poor Sweden team. Who will take a big ole’ step towards the second round of the competition this afternoon? Stay tuned to find out!

The Teams:

Belgium: Courtois; Meunier, Alderweireld, Vermaelen, Vertonghen; Dembélé, Witsel; De Bruyne, Carrasco, Hazard; Lukaku

Ireland: Randolph; Coleman, Clark, O’Shea, Ward; Hendrick, Whelan, McCarthy, Brady; Hoolahan; Long

Ian June 18, 20161:59 pm

Nainggolan and Fellaini replaced by Dembélé and Carrasco for Belgium, following their horror show against Italy earlier in the week. For Ireland, Jon Walters is injured, so Martin O’Neill has had a little bit of a reshuffle and pushed Stephen Ward into the defence.

Ian June 18, 20162:02 pm

And Belgium get us under way!

Ian June 18, 20162:07 pm

Five minutes in, and the only moment of note so far has been a low cross from the right which is smothered by Randolph.

Ian June 18, 20162:15 pm

Still finding it hard to penetrate Andy Townsend’s thick Irish brogue. Belgium have just headed wide from a corner, which is wider than optimal. Ireland haven’t got going at all yet.

Ian June 18, 20162:28 pm

Eden Hazard blazes over after some good work on the right. It pops up perfectly to the left of the penalty spot and his finish is very poor. Chances are coming thick and fast now: Ireland respond immediately with one of their own that is closed down on the edge of the Belgian area. Within minutes, Belgium have one chalked off for offside. Something’s a-brewin’ in Bordeaux.

A remark that would work better if Bordeaux were a beer town.

Ian June 18, 20162:38 pm

Belgium now repeatedly probing in the Irish third. Who’d have thought that dropping Marouane Fellani could make your football team a more cohesive outfit?

Ian June 18, 20163:02 pm

Half-Time: Belgium 0-0 Ireland: Mostly Belgium, but Ireland have had their flashes, much as we might have expected. Looks as though it’s set up for Ireland to score against the run of play, and then for Belgium to score in the last minute to equalise.

Ian June 18, 20163:06 pm

Goal! Belgium 1-0 Ireland! Kevin de Bruyne sweeps to ball in from the right hand side and Romelo Lukaku get it under control and curls the ball around Randolph’s hand and into the corner of the goal.

Ian June 18, 20163:10 pm

Half a shout for a penalty for Ireland, but no dice.

Ian June 18, 20163:19 pm

Goal! Belgium 2-0 Ireland! Axel Witsel starts and finishes a move which ends with him heading wide of Randolph from eight yards. This is not looking good for Ireland, who have not been impressive this afternoon. Belgium may be finally grinding into gear.

Ian June 18, 20163:29 pm

Goal! Belgium 3-0 Ireland: And it’s starting to turn in to a bit of a massacre. Break on the right hand side with Ireland having committed too many players forward, and the ball is pushed inside to Lukaku, who has all the time in the world to drive the ball into the corner and wrap up a win for Belgium, and a convincing one, too. Twenty minutes left to play.

Ian June 18, 20164:37 pm

Full-Time: Belgium 3-0 Ireland. Very convincing from Belgium, who have dragged themselves right back into this tournament with this win, whilst Ireland now need to beat Italy to have any chance of staying in it at all. A disappointing afternoon for them. We’ll be back later for the next match, between