Ireland extend their unbeaten home run to 11 matches as they draw 2-2 with Slovakia at the Aviva Stadium. Two more friendlies to come in May, against the Netherlands and Belarus, before that Euro 2016 finals meeting with Sweden on 13 June.
- 2nd Half
- 1/2 Time
- 1st Half
- McShane (o.g.)45'
- McClean (P)24'
- Long (P)22'
Republic of Ireland - Slovakia
International friendlies - 29 March 2016
International friendlies – Follow the Football match between Republic of Ireland and Slovakia live with Eurosport. The match starts at 19:45 on 29 March 2016. Our live coverage lets you follow all the key moments as they happen.
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Two minutes of additional time at the Aviva Stadium.
McClean is harried by Tesak as the WBA player tries to get onto the end of a ball into the centre, and Slovakia have a free-kick.
McGeady runs into a wall of blue and Duda has a chance to switch play - but puts his pass to the left flank straight out of play.
But this game has petered out dramatically with all the substitutions - talking of which, Svento comes off to be replaced by Lukas Tesak.
Plenty of things for O'Neill to take from this match - Christie has impressed at full-back and Pilkington and Hayes have looked sharp too since coming on.
Hayes' corner is too long and Slovakia can clear.
Hayes gets to the byline but Pekarik is across to block and concedes the corner.
Elliot has gone to hospital to have a scan on his injured knee, by the way.
Mak takes on Brady, who is now playing at left back, but the Slovakia sub shoots into the side netting.
Hrosovsky pulls back McGeady and there is a chance for Whelan to float a ball into the area. But he goes short, and Slovakia can will the ball through Hamsik and break.
The rhythm has totally dropped now - another substitution as Jonathan Hayes replaces Ward.
Hubocan is unable to get on the end of a low cross towards the near post and Randolph can gather.
Ireland have looked really good tonight, but Ireland depend so much on Hoolahan. Now he is off the field, have Ireland got the ability to unlock the Slovaks defence?
Oohs as Christie's cross drops onto the top of Kozacik's crossbar.
Randolph almost sets up a chance with a long ball towards Pilkington - Slovakia make another change as Patrik Hrosovsky replaces Gregus.
Aiden McGeady replaces the man-of-the-match Hoolahan.
Christie has been excellent tonight - Brady was very close to netting from a Christie cross midway through the half.
Brady again doesn't get his effort on target - it sails over the bar. For a set-piece expert, Brady really struggles to hit the target with his free-kicks!
Gregus gets a yellow card for hauling back Pilkington - on the touchline, Long looks fine so that will be a relief to Southampton and Ireland fans.
Another fine cross from Christie doesn't find a green shirt - but the Derby player's crossing has been excellent tonight.
Pilkington comes on for O'Kane.
Weiss, Duda, Mak and Nemic come on for Slovakia, replacing Stoch, Sestak, Sabo and someone else!
Hoolahan's shot from the edge of the box is charged down. from second phase possession, then Pekarik fouls Wes and gets a yellow card.
Brady's free-kick hits Skrtel in the wall and floats away for a corner.
Skrtel fouls Hoolahan on the edge of the area and Ireland have a free-kick.
CHANCE: Slovakia break through the left channel following an O'Kane mistake but Stoch's shot is unconvincing and Randolph saves.
Everything is going through Hoolahan, who is now dropping back into midfield. Slovakia's defence stay firm,, but Ireland keep on the ball for another 15 passes. That is good stuff from Martin O'Neill's side.
Hamsik and then Stoch are unable to break down the well-organised backline of Ireland.
The intensity of the first half is nowhere to be seen - which is a shame, as the first 45 minutes were very entertaining.
Hamsik plays a lovely pass down the left but Stoch, I think, was unable to control the measured ball.
Treatment for Sestak, who seemed to clash heads with McClean on the edge of the area. But he is soon up.
Kozak has obviously told Gregus to man mark Hoolahan - but Wes is now playing up front and the Slovakia defender is looking at the bench and asking what should he do - mark Hoolahan or go and mark Brady...
Randolph apologies for messing up a kick that hits Vittek, but deflects off for a throw.
Good build up on the left, and Ward sets up O'Kane, but his effort is well wide of the Slovakia goal.
There is a crowd 30,217 at the Aviva tonight. Skrtel heads clear from McClean from ward's cross from the left.
Hoolahan lays the ball off to Brady at the edge of the area, but the substitute's effort is well over the bar.
Ward crosses from the left but his centre is poor and Hamsik is back to clear. Hoolahan is now playing in a more forward role, with Brady at the point of the diamond.
Robbie Brady comes on for Long, while Alex Pearce replaces O'Shea. Slovakia kick off the second half.
An entertaining 45 minutes come to an end, and it is Ireland 2-2 Slovakia. McShane was at fault for both goals, while Hoolahan has been the shining light in midfield.
McShane may have got the final touch. The Reading man is not covering himself in glory tonight.
Goal: Ireland 2-2 Slovakia. Vittek flicks a header past Randolph at the near post from Pekarik's cross from the end line.
Long has drifted to the left as he attempts to run off the injury. There are 16 players on the Ireland bench - surely he should come off?
Long tries an optimistic shot from 35 yards that deflects off a blue shirt and loops into the arms of Kozacik.
Sabo tries a shot from the edge of the area, as Ward's tackle drops to him after deflecting off Vittek, but Randolph makes a comfortable save.
O'Kane cushions a header back to the goalkeeper from Pekarik's cross from the right - but it was a dangerous moment, as Vittek anticipated it and almost got there before Randolph.
Hoolahan crosses from the left but this time Gregus clears.
Relief for Southampton and for Ireland - Long is back on and running off the injury.
Hoolahan fouls Svento on the halfway line and that's a free-kick for Slovakia. But Hoolahan is everywhere tonight.
Long has injured his left knee - Ronald Koeman will be fuming if this is a problem. Long seems to be OK though - he wants to go back on.
Long sets Christie free down the right but the Derby defender had no green shirt in the area and Salata clears. But more bad news for Ireland - Long is down and holding his ankle.
CHANCE: O'Shea sees a header from O'Kane's corner go straight into the body of Svento, two yards from the goalline.
Ward cuts back and puts in a delicious cross from the left that Long is just unable to get a good connection on. Hoolahan was the instigator of the move, again.
Sabo goes in late on Whelan, after getting away with a tackle on McCarthy, and gets the first yellow card of the match.
Hoolahan has been the standout player of the first 30 minutes - the Norwich playmaker is so dangerous when given room.
Good cushioned header from Christie back to Randolph from a dangerous Slovakia cross from the right.
Ireland are showing great tenacity in midfield - McCarthy comes back to make a crunching, but fair, challenge on Pekarik.
Ireland have a corner on the right, which Slovakia awkwardly clear. From second phase, Hoolahan finds Christie, whose cross hits Vittek and Ireland have a fourth corner of the match.
McShane fouls Vittek in the centre circle - the Reading defender is fortunate not to get a yellow card for that challenge.
Goal: Ireland 2-1 Slovakia. McClean drives a low penalty, just, past Kozacik to make it 2-1. That is two stupid challenges from Slovakia in the area, and two penalties.
Another penalty, as Skrtel brings down Long as he runs away from goal following Randolph's long kick out!
Goal: Ireland 1-1 Slovakia. Long sends the goalkeeper the wrong way to net his 15th international goal in his 61st match for Ireland.
Penalty for Ireland as goalkeeper Kozacik brings down Long as he heads away from goal from O'Kane's pass.
Another ball by Hoolahan finds Long, but the Southampton striker is unable to find a green shirt with his header.
Elliot caught his studs in the turf as he dived, and has injured his knee. That doesn't sound good news for him, Newcastle and Ireland.
Whelan sees a shot deflected for a corner. From second phase after O'Kane's corner, Hoolahan angles in a cross that just evades McClean.
Elliot is being stretchered off - on comes West Ham goalkeeper Randolph
Elliot seems to have hurt himself when trying to save that effort from Stoch - the physio is on now but the Newcastle goalkeeper looks in trouble. Randolph is warming up on the bench.
GOAL: Ireland 0-1 Slovakia. Stoch drills home from Sabo's cross after a mistake on the halfway line by McShane.
Vittek claims a foul after Ward seems to knock the veteran striker down as the pair compete for a Svento pass. Norwegian referee Ola Ober Nielsen rules no foul.
SAVE: McClean comes in from the flank and shoots left-footed from 25 yards but Kozacik is down smartly to block low to his left.
Whelan concedes the corner following a cross from the right towards Vittek. Ireland win the ball and break.
O'Shea's distribution has been poor so far - he has wasted two passes from the back so far.
Slovakia are not playing a pressing game at all, and allowing the Ireland midfield plenty of space. Hoolahan in particular is revelling in the room he has been afforded.
Hoolahan pops up on the left, and his cross is dangerous but headed clear by Skrtel.
Good patient build-up play by Ireland in midfield, and the ball comes out to Christie on the right. The Derby full-back's cross floats just over the head of the leaping Long, who is unable to get a clean connection under pressure from Skrtel.
Hoolahan floats a free-kick from the left touchline towards the six-yard box but goalkeeper Kozacik is out to make a comfortable catch.
O'Kane breaks down the right but his pass to McClean is overhit and the ball runs out of play.
O'Kane trips Svento and Slovakia have a quick free-kick. Vittek almost feeds Hamsik from a one-two but the Napoli star is unable to control in the area.
McClean is over on the right side of attack at the moment, so it looks like a diamond in midfield with Whelan at the base and Hoolahan in the playmaker role.
Ireland kick off from left to right - Ireland in their usual green shirts and white shorts, Slovakia are in all blue tonight.
Anthems completed on this, the 100th anniversary weekend of Ireland's Easter Rising. A warm round of applause for the President of Ireland Michael D Higgins, who is in attendance tonight.
Slovakia will face England and Wales at this summer's European Championships so Kozak will use tonight's game and the match against Northern Ireland on the eve of the tournament to prepare his players for the "British" style of football.
It's fair to say, this match hasn't really caught the public's imagination. There were around 35,000 in the Aviva Stadium for the match against Switzerland - but that was on Good Friday, where the Lansdowne Road ground was one of the few places you could legally buy alcohol in the Republic of Ireland.....
Slovakia finished second in Group C behind Spain to qualify for the finals of Euro 2016 this summer, and beat the European champions 2-1 in their home fixture in Zilina in October 2014.
Ah, the glamour of Irish domestic football...
“I think Robbie would be thinking he would want to try to make the 23 first and foremost, and then we will see how things develop after that,” the 64-year-old said. “He’s been very supportive the whole time he has been here and even when he hasn’t started in matches, he’s still with the team, so, yes, that is a thought, I must admit.”
O’Neill says he could take captain Robbie Keane to the Euro 2016 finals even if the 35-year-old does not make it into the 23-man squad. The LA Galaxy striker, who is Ireland’s record goalscorer with 67 goals in 143 appearances, has returned to the United States after failing to recover from a niggling knee injury.
"James McClean has played up front before - I've seen him play for Wigan there and he's done exceptionally well," said O'Neill.
Robbie Keane, Kevin Doyle, Jonathan Walters and Daryl Murphy have all withdrawn from the squad through injury, so Shane Long is the only remaining specialist striker and O'Neill hinted before the game that he may move winger James McClean to a more central role against the Slovaks.
Newcastle goalkeeper Rob Elliot comes in for West Ham's Darren Randolph to win his fourth cap, while Cyrus Christie replaces Seamus Coleman at right-back. Of the starters tonight, expect John O'Shea, Glenn Whelan, James McCarthy and possibly Wes Hoolahan to start against Sweden on June 13 in Paris.
Slovakia boss Jan Kovak makes eight changes from the side that played out a goalless international friendly draw with Latvia on Friday night. Defenders Peter Pakarik and Martin Skrtel, and Napoli star Marek Hamsik are the only players to retain their place from last week's match.
Eunan O'Kane will presumably play on the right and James McClean will be given licence to attack a la Jon Walters when Ireland have the ball. But that is pure conjecture. This is a first start for Paul McShane under Martin O'Neill, by the way.
Ireland manager Martin O'Neill makes ten changes to the side that started the 1-0 friendly win over Switzerland on Friday, as he looks to give the fringe members of his squad a run-out. Shane Long is the only player who retains his place for the visit of the Slovaks to Dublin.
Hello and welcome to Eurosport's live commentary from the international friendly between the Republic of Ireland and Slovakia. This is Nick Royle (@nickaroyle) taking you through all the action from the Aviva Stadium in Dublin.