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Ireland V Germany - World Cup 2002 Match Report
Robbie Keane gets his
shot away against Germany
On the 5th June Germany came into this game at the Kashima Stadium, Ibaraki needing a victory to guarantee passage into the knockout stages of the 2002 World Cup. The Irish had to avoid defeat to ensure that qualification remained in their own hands going into the third match against Saudi Arabia.
Having thrashed the Saudis 8-0 the Germans were brimming with confidence and it showed in the early exchanges. Miroslav Klose, already on three goals for the tournament, looked particularly menacing and it was no surprise when he took advantage of a lapse in the Irish defence to nod home a Michael Ballack cross from out wide. The majority of the Irish fans who were behind Shay Given's goal were stunned into silence - 1-0 to Germany after 20 minutes. At this stage it looked like it was going to be a long day at the office for the Irish players and the fans.
Ireland Respond to German Goal in Ibaraki
A few minutes after Klose's goal the ball fell to Matt Holland in a similar circumstances to his goal against Cameroon. Unfortunately for Roy Keane's stand-in this time the ball flashed narrowly wide with German goalkeeper, Oliver Kahn, diving full length. Despite the Irish pressure the Germans maintained their narrow lead into the half-time break.
In the the second half Ireland continued to press for the elusive equaliser. Ten months into the second half Damien Duff drew a fantastic save from Oliver Kahn. Later in the half Matt Holland also came close to securing an equaliser.
The Germans also had their moments in the second period with Shay Given pulling off a great save from a Michael Ballack shot from outside the box.
Ireland Equalise Against Germany
In the 74th minute the Republic of Ireland manager Mick McCarthy withdrew the uncle and nephew combination, Gary Kelly and Ian Harte. In their place he brought on the inexperienced Steven Reid and the veteran striker Niall Quinn. Damien Duff moved into a wider position as Ireland stepped up the pressure on the German defence. As the match entered in to injury time it appeared that the efforts of the Irish would prove fruitless, Steven Finnan sent a long ball forward to Quinn who was just outside the German box. Quinn nodded the ball into the path of the onrushing Robbie Keane. Somehow Keane was able to wrap his right foot around the ball to get his shot away and he squeezed the ball between Kahn's finger tips and the post. With just moments to spare the Republic of Ireland had equalised and earned a creditable draw with Germany.
Ireland V Germany Post-Match Comments
Manager Mick McCarthy was relieved to secure the draw and was impressed with the Irish performance
"We deserved something out of that game. We battered them and gave Germany a good doing actually. We had to take a chance at the end but what's the point in going out without a fight. That was never going to happen. It's a brilliant result. We're in with a chance."
Winger Damien Duff was also relieved having doubted that the equaliser would ever come despite all of the Irish pressure
"We had missed a couple of chances including myself. To score in the final minute was an unbelievable feeling. When Quinny came on he gave us something different. We thoroughly deserved a draw and could have even won the game."
World Cup 2002 - Republic of Ireland V Germany Match Statistics
Ireland V Germany World cup 2002 Team Line Ups
Republic of Ireland Team
Attendance: 35,854 - Referee: K Nielsen from Denmark
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