Ireland hold Swiss
By Ben Linfoot
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Ireland hold Switzerland to a 1-1 draw in Basle with a goal from Clinton Morrison.
The Republic of Ireland fought out a creditable 1-1 draw with Switzerland in Basle.
Ireland had to withstand Swiss pressure for much of the game, and will be happy to come away from the game with a point.
Brian Kerr's men are well aware of the threat from Switzerland after losing twice to them in the Euro 2004 qualifying campaign, and they got off to the perfect start when scoring with their first serious attack in the eighth minute.
Damien Duff delivered a pinpoint cross from the left and Clinton Morrison was on hand to direct a header into the bottom right hand corner of the net.
Switzerland stepped up a gear after they fell a goal behind and almost hit back with an immediate reply, with Murat Yakin striking a thunderbolt free kick against the bar from 30 yards.
Incessant Swiss pressure followed, with Shay Given making two excellent saves in quick succession from Alexander Rey and Hakan Yakin.
Yakin was not to be denied a second time though, and he fired a low shot past Given after he broke through a hesitant Irish defence. It was the Swiss striker's third goal against Ireland in three games, having scored in both Euro 2004 qualifiers between the two countries.
Clinton Morrison almost restored the lead for Ireland with a close range header, but he was denied by Pascal Zuberbuhler.
Roy Keane, making his first competitive start for his country in almost three years, was booked for what looked like an innocuous tangle with Hakan Yakin.
Few chances fell to either side in the second half, although Shay Given made another vital save from the dangerous Hakan Yakin.
Robbie Keane did manage to put the ball in the Switzerland net in a rare Irish attack, but the whistle had already been blown for offside.
Switzerland and the Republic of Ireland currently hold the top two places in Group 4 with four points each, with the Swiss topping the group because of their goal glut against the Faroe Islands at the weekend.
| ||Switzerland||Ireland|| |
|Shots on target||6||4|| |
|Shots off target||1||0|| |
|Blocked shots||5||2|| |
|Yellow cards||2||3|| |
|Red cards||0||0|| |
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Switzerland v Rep of Ireland