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Pressure piles on Stephen Kenny after Luxembourg defeat

Mar 27, 2021 22:03 By Dave Hooper
Pressure piles on Stephen Kenny after Luxembourg defeat Pressure piles on Stephen Kenny after Luxembourg defeat
11 November 2020; Republic of Ireland manager Stephen Kenny ahead of a Republic of Ireland training session at Wembley Stadium in London, England.
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Ireland suffer shock defeat at home to Luxembourg

Pressure piled on Stephen Kenny as Ireland slumped to their worst ever results as Luxembourg scored a 1-0 win over Ireland in the Aviva stadium.

The result left Ireland’s World Cup dreams in tatters after just two games as Kenny is yet to win a game as manager.

Gerson Rodrigues strike five minutes from time sealed Luxembourg fourth ever victory in World Cup qualifying in truth Ireland looked like they would take three points.

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Ireland only came close once in the game to finding the net when James Collins effort was stopped point blank by Luxembourg keeper Anthony Morris on 18 minutes.

It was a flowing move from Ireland, with Robinson’s inch perfect ball sent goal wards by Collins after good build up play, but it was Ireland’s only real chance of the game.

Debutant Gavin Banzunu produced a smart save three minutes before the break, Rodrigues attempted an audacious chip from well outside the box.

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The teenage keeper sharply shot backward and clawed the ball back from dropping over his head into the net and under the crossbar, gathering the ball at the second attempt.

The best chance of the second half fell to the visitors Vincent Thill carried the ball across the pitch on 62 minutes and while blocked by Dara O’Shea managed to wiggle his way into a second chance.

A close-range effort was slammed at the Irish keeper, who spread his body well at the near post to avert the danger.

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James Collins had Ireland’s best chance of the game on 70 minutes, attempting an overhead from Robbie Brady’s cross, the effort was the wrong side of the post.

The goal did eventually come on 85 minutes, while somewhat out of the blue it, Gerson Rodrigues strike was crisp and powerful as it shot into the bottom corner of Banzunu’s net.

Ireland had no response, they lacked pace and creativity in forward areas and while still able to retain the ball, they were unable to carve a chance out against the 98th ranked team in the word.

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Ireland’s hopes of qualifying for the 2022 World Cup are now all but over, the Stephen Kenny reign not last much longer either.

Ireland: Gavin Bazunu, Seamus Coleman (c), Dara O'Shea, Ciaran Clark (James McClean 61), Matt Doherty (Robbie Brady HT), Enda Stevens, Josh Cullen (Jayson Molumby 88), Jason Knight, Alan Browne, Callum Robinson (Shane Long 73), James Collins (Troy Parrott 88)

Luxembourg: Anthony Moris, Marvin Martins, Maxime Chanot, Enes Mahmutovic, Laurent Jans (c), Vincent Thill (Maurice Deville 79),Christopher Martins, Olivier Thill, Leandro Barreiro, Gerson Rodrigues, Danel Sinani (Lars Gerson 90)

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Referee: Fran Jovic (CRO)

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