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# Je vois la ville en fete et en delire
# Suffoquant sous le soleil et sous la joie
# Et j'entends dans la musique les cris, les rires
# Qui eclatent et rebondissent autour de moi
COMMENTATOR: Welcome to Bordeaux, where the Republic of Ireland face
Belgium. Both teams will have been frustrated after their opening in
counters. The Republic of Ireland because they failed to win against
Sweden, Alger because they failed to turn up against Italy. A big game in
Bordeaux, but it is the Belgians who will be feeling the pressure ahead
of this one. Questions have been asked following
a 2-0 defeat at Italy, and the coach makes three changes today. Marouane
Fellaini is dropped from midfield. Thomas Meunier comes into the
defence. Romelu Lukaku retains his place at the head of the attack.
Eden Hazard captaining Belgium in these championships following the
injury to Vincent Kompany. John O'Shea, well over 100 caps now. And
the referee, by the way, from Turkey, who took charge of Ireland's
2-0 defeat Italy four years ago. Martin O'Neill has been forced to
make a change to the side that acquitted itself so well against
Sweden in Paris, Jonathan Walters misses the game within a killer
these injury, so Stephen Ward comes in. -- and Achilles injury. Wes
Hoolahan is left to float in behind Shane Long.
Almost ready to go in Bordeaux, many of those Irish fans of Ernie
appeared in the last five minutes or so. I think it took some of them are
little while to head out from the bars and restaurants of central
Bordeaux. Up to the outskirts here, and this new stadium. Ireland and
the white shirts, Belgium to get is under way. The referee from Turkey
refereed both Champions League semifinals this season, the first
leg of one, the second leg of the other. Kevin Kilbane, 110 caps for
the Republic of Ireland is alongside me in the commentary box here, and I
suppose, as much as you will be watching Ireland, it is also very
much about which Belgian team turns up today. That is very true, and a
lot of the time throughout this game will be about containing the
Belgians with the talent they have got. As we proved against Sweden, we
have real talent in the side, so it is about what we do as long as we
have the ball. Kevin de Bruyne putting the ball out to the left
side, but the Turkish referee quick to blow his whistle, and it is a
free kick to the Republic of Ireland, who led against Sweden at
the Stade de France NFL is to match. That was handball against the brine,
by the way. -- against de Bruyne. And unfortunate if Martin Clark, he
scored an own goal in that match. Nothing much he could do. Wes
Hoolahan has now reached legendary status in Ireland, a wonderful
finish and capped off a really good first half. Randolph with that
kicks, it is still going up, and it is away by Thomas Meunier, the right
back who plays for club Bruges. Sliding in to put the ball out of
play, Young Vertonghen, and Thomas Vermaelen and a heart of defence.
You mentioned with Hendrix, of slight change of system, he is in an
unfamiliar role on the right-hand side today, so he will be looking to
track act, maybe an Eden Hazard as well, but with the energy he has he
needs to try to get forward and hurt particularly Vertonghen at left-back
for Belgium. Brought back by Hazard, Belgium's
captain. Picking out de Bruyne, who has really become the main man with
his performances in the qualification process. He is slap
bang in the middle of the pitch, Kevin de Bruyne, with Hazard to his
left, and on the nearside, Yannick Carrasco, one of those brought into
the team today. Only winning his sixth cap.
I think what we will see from those three supporting Romilly Lukaku is a
change of position. That is the ability they all have. Lukaku
keeping his place up top. He has options, Christian Benteke, talk
among the Belgians that Batshuayi might have been thrown in for this
one, but Lukaku given another chance. It is forward from De
Bruyne, sending it again. This is Carrasco.
First misunderstanding of the day, but fortunately for Belgium, still
in play. He hasn't played too many games
lately, McCarthy, struggling with an injury. He did struggle in the game
against Sweden. Playing a more familiar central role today, he was
on the right-hand side then. Axel Witsel into Lukaku. And away off the
boot of Coleman. There is Shane Long. A first touch him, he had a
very good season with Southampton, that hearts are little short there
from Brady, not much chance for award to get to it. A threat from
Belgium, didn't quite see the opening he was hoping for.
Carrasco's delivery. Darren Randolph right behind the ball. That is a
threat, you vacate your position to early and the threat is evident.
Stephen Ward and Robbie Brady a misunderstanding between the two of
them. Do -- de Bruyne. He made a couple of mistakes in that early
game, the slice of Ciaran Clark. Sweden did create one or two
chances, particularly when the Republic of Ireland went back on the
back foot a little bit, it just caused as a few problems in the
second half. Something that Martin would have thought about. A little
too much on that ball over towards the far side. There is a man under a
little bit of pressure, Marc Wilmots, Belgium's all-time top
scorer, now dealing with some dissenting voices questioning his
tactical acumen. Some of his players as well, it must be said. Thibaut
Courtois outspoken following the defeat to Italy the other day, and
nine gallon -- Nainggolan as well having been substituted. There have
not had to travel far for this map -- match.
First touch for Dembele. He has had a very good season with Tottenham,
an excellent one in fact until the incident with Diego Costa right at
the end. Dembele is being harassed and
hassled by Hoolahan. Shane Long is always prepared to chase, and he
nipped it there in front of Alderweireld. And now Ward. It is a
good early ball forward from Stephen Ward, under a little bit of
pressure, running into a blind alley, but he knows if he puts it in
behind, Shane Long has the pace every time, he can cause problems
for Alderweireld and Thomas Vermaelen today. Qualifiers in
Scotland and Poland, and a recent match against Belarus have been
their latest matches in which he has played. Dembele to bring it clear,
looking for a Lukaku. Kevin de Bruyne are getting well forward
alongside him, and that is Vertonghen galloping up to the edge
of the penalty area. A slight stumble from Coleman, allowing
Vermaelen to get the march on him. Ireland pushing bodies forward
quickly, getting caught on the counterattack.
He asserted himself there ahead of Lukaku, played a handful of matches
for Tottenham, he was their FA Cup goalkeeper. He has been excellent
since coming into the side when Shay Given got injured. He is now
Ireland's number one. John O'Shea swiftly, and it falls
kindly for Carrasco. Kevin de Bruyne has Thomas Meunier behind him. And
winning the ball was Ward. The Republic of Ireland struggling to
hang onto possession of the ball when they do get it at the moment.
Bursting forward now towards the penalty area. The flag is up on the
nearside for offside. Most of the threat from Belgium is coming down
the right, Meunier getting forward was Carrasco, so that is something
maybe Brady and Stephen Ward have got to work out for themselves, how
to stop that threat going forward, nullified and then try to impose
their own game on Belgium. Interesting, when you look at
Belgium's attacking players on the field, a wonderful array of talent,
but looking at them in the qualifiers, they scored 24 goals,
but 16 of them were against Cyprus and Andorra, they only scored eight
in the rest of the match as they played. -- six in the other eight
matches. They move the ball quickly but a lot of the time it is in front
of the opposition, they rarely threatened behind. They stay compact
and narrow defensively. Shane Long sniffing around for anything that
falls from the table. Swiped away by TiVo Cortois. Vertonghen is going to
leave that one of Hazzard. -- Hazard. The ball in from Carrasco,
just a little heavy footed there from Hazard, he wanted something
with a deft touch. Almost found Hendrick, but there is a lot of
Belgian possession here in the early stages. He didn't just send it
forward in hope, hoping to pick Shane Long, he is trying to get a
Hendrik, but it is constant attack is at the moment.
Ciaran Clark, the player in close attendance birth. -- there.
Kevin de Bruyne are leaving that one, it doesn't quite role forward
to Lukaku, and are grateful Ciaran Clark puts it out of play. Not an
unknown quality, the Belgian players, because many of them
playing in the Premier League every week, but just because you know what
to expect doesn't make it any easier to deal with when they are of the
quality that some of them are. Here is Hazard now, and Brady with the
chance to read it here. Hoolahan wanted the ball played a shorter.
They have gone long towards Shane Long. Thomas Vermaelen finding
Vertonghen, in towards Hazard. Seamus Coleman just trying to have a
dig, but Hazard once more. Vertonghen has time to pick his spot
with the cross, but still only found Whelan. But it will be a corner from
Belgium, the first of the match. He was under pressure, Belgium putting
Ireland and the defensive shape to the test. They have got to be
disciplined during these moments. Jan Vertonghen with the Keck, a
little flicked header from Toby Jones. -- kick. Excellent ball from
Kevin to brine. McCarthy cannot stick with them, difficult header to
try and get any power and get it on target from that angle. -- Toby
Alderweireld. From what we have seen in the opening 30 minutes it is safe
to say that Belgium are rather more switched on that when they played
Italy. They certainly are. At times you felt, even when they had
possession, they were lethargic, moving it slowly, but we have seen a
different Belgian side. It is a big test for Ireland, trying to work
their way in, chances will hopefully come further in the game. The
Belgians have conceded in the last eight International they have
played. The header from Jan Vertonghen. An interesting ploy,
Ireland have picked up in the left-hand side of the field, Shane
Long, not necessarily a ball played straight, always looking for the
ball for a Shane Long to play-off back row hoping he can get it
diagonally hipped to him. Belgium are looking to keep the pace high
with the car clue. 18 goals in the Premier League last season. So many
in the latter stages of the campaign -- Romelu Lukaku.
Eden Hazard. Plenty of options in and around the penalty area. Seamus
Coleman gets it away up towards Shane Long. It is given as a, Thomas
Vermaelen sticking close to it. He has had so many injury problems and
now he has been fed for Barcelona this season, not surprisingly he is
struggling to get a game -- sets. One or two have a chance in that
squad. It is good to see him set. He is obvious quality. -- fit. Shane
Long not looking terribly impressed as Ireland take the throw in. Here
is Jeff Hendrick. It will be a goal kick for Thibaut Courtois. Such an
difficult cross, trying to get it back into play. The pundits on
French television were impressed with Jeff Hendrick the other day. I
played with him when he was a youngster coming through, really
good ability, he has had a number of injuries but he is certainly a big
talent and you are hopeful that he can go on and have a successful
career now he is injury free. Ciaran Clark getting his foot to the ball
at head of 12 Micro. Thomas Vermaelen, Jan Vertonghen is
available with plenty of room -- Carrasco.
Goal kick for the challenge on Eden Hazard. Quick to take the kick, and
little too quick. Seamus Coleman is unlucky, he is trying to put Eden
Hazard under pressure. A little hand on the shirt but Eden Hazard lost
his putting a little bit. -- 13. What can Kevin De Bruyne do with
this? # row footing. Whipped in an causing real problems for the
Republic of Ireland -- footing. Ireland did not look comfortable. No
real organisation but fortunately the ball from Kevin De Bruyne was a
bit of target because I think Randolph would have had problems if
it was going at that far post. We are heading into an area of
uncertainty. Ward in the air, first appearance in
the Championship today for him. The Republic of Ireland were beaten
in all three of their matches, they have fared better in France this
time. Trying to work the ball out wide to Seamus Coleman. Wes
Hoolahan. Looking for a Shane Long and behind, off the head of Thomas
Vermaelen. He needed to make sure and the Irish have a corner, the
first of the match. The element of surprise caused problems for
Belgium. He had options with Ward and Brady. Decent enough chance,
well defended. Robbie Brady the player taking his time in wandering
across preparing to take the kick. He was at left-back in the first
game. Nothing he is not used to. Ciaran Clark and John O'Shea are up
for this, flicked header on, Thibaut Courtois put it safely over the top
of the crossbar. That is what you're looking for from Robbie Brady, put
it into a good area, he has rail ability. -- real ability.
Brady again. Straight into the arts stretched glans of the Thibaut
Courtois. What a throw. -- outstretched arms. Kevin De Bruyne,
Mousa Dembele is nearby. Meunier, loves to get forward, he used to be
a striker early in his career. Excellent defending from Stephen
Ward. He has adapted to the role of left-back at Wolves. He has had an
excellent last six months, getting promoted with Birmingham.
Not sure what he had in mind, plenty of time to put it away. Thomas
Vermaelen. Carrasco getting that out for Mousa
Dembele. Whipped in by Kevin De Bruyne, fantastic ball, great chance
for Eden Hazard! First really big chance of the game. Right across the
face of the goal and into the crowd off the boot of Eden Hazard. What a
chance. You would expect him to do better. What a ball from Kevin De
Bruyne. Excellent defending from John O'Shea against Romelu Lukaku.
You expect Eden Hazard to show more composure and get himself, his
position adjusted better. Lots of power. That was poor from Eden
Hazard. Free kick. Let us take a look at this one once
again. It is difficult, I think the foul is on Shane Long initially, but
that is what the referee has to be careful of. Thomas Vermaelen has his
hand all over him when a ball is blighted towards him. Quite a tussle
between those two. Already in the opening 21 and a half minutes,
halfway through the first half and Mousa Dembele, Jeff Hendrick, a
little touch in now. Toby Alderweireld on the edge of the
penalty area gets the ball from Wes Hoolahan. Almost the hint of an
opportunity. He has got to play Robbie Brady, a great run inside
him. Here Belgium with Eden Hazard, Kevin De Bruyne. Suddenly those
white shirts were on him. He was excellent in the game against
Sweden. A lot of his work went unnoticed but this was a chance.
Play early to Jeff Hendrick. Brady made a good run. A slight loss of
control of the ball. There are in the blinking of the night, an
opportunity frittered away. Eden Hazard once again. This is Jan
Vertonghen. Jan Vertonghen stain on the ground
after that tangle with Seamus Coleman. He will always look for it,
as soon as he realises that Seamus Coleman is on him, a little bit of a
drag back, it is a foul. Just shows again... He was fouled but he ended
up pulling Seamus Coleman over. It was the correct call but perhaps the
referee did not make the decision early. Meunier. Moran that closed
down by Jeff Hendrick. Randa comes away with the ball -- Mousa Dembele.
Strength and purpose from Mousa Dembele -- Mousa Dembele. Eden
Hazard does not like the options he has got. Here is Jan Vertonghen.
Whip Tim, the flag has gone up, it would not count. Carrasco. The flag
went up a long time ago. Ciaran Clark is applauding the three
around him. A risky game, it really is a risky game, stepping up in that
position. Stephen Ward, he sees it, he has got to be careful, especially
when there is not a lot of pressure on the ball. It is a warning. Great
save from Randolph. Right call from the officials. That is a warning.
Wes Hoolahan. A touch from Brady. Unable to pick out Jeff Hendrick.
That is were the Republic of Ireland are letting themselves down. The
final third, even the middle third, not holding onto the ball enough,
nose sustained possession. Eden Hazard played out to Carrasco.
Meunier in support if required. Cheers of relief from those in green
and white in the stadium. They are being overrun, we have to be
careful. Just getting readjustments to the shape of the side after a
good performance, we are playing in a diamond shape in mid field. Marc
Wilmots will be encouraged with what he saw. A better performance from
Belgium. The showing against Italy was not great. Free kick for the
Republic of Ireland for the challenge on Wes Hoolahan.
This by the way the eighth match the Republic of Ireland have played at
the finals of the European Championships over the years. Just
the one win from the previous seven. Famously beating England by 1-0 in
1988, 28 years ago. John O'Shea. Looking for a Shane
Long. The ball has dropped to Wes Hoolahan. Mousa Dembele came back
and got it off him. Flag up on the near side. Clever from Shane Long,
he knows if he flicked it on, he has got no support, the little
knock-down brings Wes Hoolahan into "A Shane Long has come into his own.
His own manager did not choose him at Southampton. He feels he is the
main man for his country. 13 goals he has scored for
Southampton this last. Shane Long has scored a few problems early on.
A good line there from Belgium, Vermaelen just stepping up. There is
that threat in behind from Shane Long, Ireland know at any given
time, he will be the one who will be the first to get the ball. A lovely
deft flick from Hazard in to Kevin de Bruyne, who shoots, but not
really enough pace to trouble Darren Randolph. A good long ball played up
to Lukaku. He does become isolated, that is his threat, he doesn't get
himself in the game enough, but when you directly go to him, it gives the
team a different dimension, a different option. They have
semi-options up front. If you think about some of the forwards on the
bench, Christian Benteke, Batshuayi. We thought coming into the game it
might have been Lukaku sacrificed, but they are sticking with it,
giving him another chance. You would imagine one of those other attacking
options would come into the game at some stage. In that blistering club
form for Romilly Lukaku -- Romelu Lukaku has failed to transfer itself
onto the international stage so far. Up towards Shane Long, Vermaelen in
their first, a little bit of space far Hazard. Kevin de Bruyne and
Meunier coming forward a bit, knocking on the door a bit. That is
the option for Meunier getting forward, a real attacking outlet.
Good vision from De Bruyne. He knew it would take something special to
beat Darren Randolph from that angle, so he just stands off him.
Good defending from Ward. Belgium hoping this is their golden
generation, this tournament has been earmarked for quite a long time I
think by the Belgian FA is one to realistically target.
Off the head of Axel Witsel. They do leave themselves to an two or three
on three at the back, Belgium, when they do go forward. Dispossessed,
but not for long. Cortois hasn't had a save to make so far with half an
hour played. They are just not holding onto the ball, the Republic
of Ireland, at the moment. No sustained possession. Of course it
could be a concern, but defensively organised, that is the first thing
you see in the first 30 minutes of the game, that is dealt with now and
then you move onto the phase of the match.
Here is Hendrik, he hasn't been able to influence the game so far. Axel
Witsel following his every move. I think there was a foul long before
the referee actually gave it. He put him under pressure. This is an
opportunity for Ireland to get your defendant -- defenders forward. A
good chance here. The man who scored the goal against Sweden will try to
be the provider here. Wes Hoolahan. The usual suspects up, Ciaran Clark,
John O'Shea in the middle of the thicket of players in the Area as
well. Neither header in the direction of Shane Long. There was
only Shane Long making a run, but a free header, though, but as a
warning for Belgium. It is something that the Republic of Ireland can
play on a little bit as well. It is difficult if you have runners into
good areas, it is difficult to defend. They conceded four goals in
qualifying. In eight matches, to bow Cortois will need to be on his toes.
Again, that final pass in towards Shane Long is lacking in a good
position, and we can Belgium, suddenly it is the Republic of
Ireland to have their backs against the ropes. Lukaku can't reach. He
would have needed springs in his heels to get to that. A real break
for the Republic of Ireland, but they get caught again, Seamus
Coleman getting forward a little too readily, freeing up Hazard is down
the left-hand side. Fortunately for Ireland, it fizzled out at the end,
but Lukaku immediately pulling up Stephen Ward, recognising the ball
could hang up to the far post. That is where we would want the attacking
crosses. Beljan get a free kick for that. And
not for the first time in the match, Shane Long is left scratching his
head. Rubbing it, rather. Shane Long is going to be isolated, but the
referee has got to recognise that when the ball is being played to
him,. Meunier again loves to get involved in the attacking play.
Kevin de Bruyne dispossessed by James McCarthy. Here is Ward.
Hoolahan. Forward by Brady, in the long. No team-mate alongside, and
the order of the general pattern of the game has been restored but you
could buy Belgium as they are back in possession. Hazard more centrally
placed at the moment, and now in possession. Kevin de Bruyne. Hazard
has come out here now. That will give Brady and Ward something to
think about. Belgium's throw-in. That is better from Brady, getting
back into position early, helping Stephen Ward out.
Hazard in to Meunier, and it will be a corner kick. , very good, tracking
the run from Meunier getting forward. He felt that as well,
Brady. Not surprised he is taking a few
moments to regain his composure, having seen that. It is always a
worry when a player goes down, but fortunately for every Republic of
Ireland fan, it is not as serious as I first thought.
Kevin de Bruyne's kick, and the header harmlessly wide of the goal.
They have promised more than they have been able to deliver, Belgium.
How much of that is due to solid defending from the Republic of
Ireland? You touched on it before, there are a lot of white bodies in
their nullifying the threat, forcing some distance. They haven't really
tested are Randolph up until now, Belgium. So that is the positive
that Martin O'Neill will take from this half. Just got to provide more
of a threat. You can't sustain defending like this throughout.
Lukaku did well to retain possession there. They have had a lot of heavy
rain in Bordeaux in the last 24 hours or so.
Kevin de Bruyne, it was just out of reach, but kept in play by Carrasco.
Well, Carrasco has posed a threat from both flanks during the first
half, one of the three changes made by Marc Wilmots today. First Belgian
to score in the Champions League final. That all Madrid affair, but
disappointingly for his team-mates and himself, lost on penalties. He
does pose a threat, particularly on the left-hand side. He started on
the right, but he has switched wings with Hazard. Another really good
young player, just 22, Carrasco. Here is Dembele, Vertonghen.
Vertonghen winning his 80th cap today. Witsel, Dembele, patient play
here from Belgium. Meunier made an interesting little
run on the right into the penalty area. All hands on deck here for the
Republic of Ireland. Drilled in, deflected away to MLA, Axel Witsel
with the shot, and it went off the back of Stephen Ward's head. Whelan
volleys it clear up towards Shane Long, who is very much an isolated
figure in white and the other halfway line. Forward by Ward. The
spin of the ball hard to control. That is the difficulty at the
moment. Ireland under so much pressure, playing so deep, Stephen
Ward get his head up. It is such a difficult ball to get it over all
through bodies. Shane Long with a perfect pass, very isolated at the
moment. Witsel with plenty of time and space in the centre of the
pitch. Kevin de Bruyne. It goes from Ward up to long. And Hoolahan caught
out by Dembele, that will be a free kick. That is a heavy challenge from
Dembele. Again, an easy option for Ward to find him, as well.
And the referee from Turkey keeping his cards in his pocket so far. The
tackle from behind. A rare chance to head up to the Belgian penalty area
here with five minutes until half-time. That is oh Shea
stretching for it. It is cleared away by Jan Vertonghen. Carrasco
will chase. A good race, that, Carrasco and Coleman both very
quick. Made it easy for Vermaelen. A quiet
afternoon so far for Thibaut Cortois. Very quiet, if Ireland can
keep it like this until half-time, Martin O'Neill will try to stress on
his players about putting on the backline of pressure, and taking
those shots perhaps against Cortois, he has done very little in this
half. Witsel away from Jeff Hendrick, collected now by Yannick
Carrasco. Beljan moving the ball around well, can find a potency in
the final third that has been missing far? Hazard. Ripping that
one in, and Ciaran Clark getting his foot to it, and no doubt relieved to
have kept him well clear of his own goal after what happened the other
day on more than one occasion. Yes, he did well in the end. A fizzing
ball from Eden Hazard. Fourth corner from Belgium in this
first half. Kevin de Bruyne with it, I had to the far post, headed away
by Hoolahan. But Beljan will have a throw.
So often we see teams line up without having a man on the post.
The far post is the position you are most vulnerable.
WHISTLE Two balls on the pitch at the same
time here, the Belgian fans will be up in arms about that. And it is a
yellow card for Jeff Hendrick. I think he is trying to say to Cuneyt
Cakir that the ball was actually on the pitch. He could have kicked it
off to his near touchline, couldn't he? Said it is a correct decision.
You can't moan about it when that happens. Belgium have a free kick in
a bad spot. On the Republic of Ireland are hanging on a little bit
here as we head towards half-time. Wes Hoolahan is in the right spot to
get the ball clear a few moments ago. -- was in the right spot.
Whipped in by Kevin De Bruyne and over the top of Darren Randolph and
over the net by Yan but ongoing. Not the worst effort from Jan
Vertonghen. A little under head -- yam for Tongan. A little of balance
trying to get it on target -- Jan Vertonghen. Difficult to get it on
target, good effort, fortunately for Darren Randolph, wide of his goal.
Shane Long. He encouraged the raft of the referee for that challenge.
He is getting fouled early and first and the referee is not picking it up
and he is getting frustrated up front at the moment. Jan Vertonghen.
Carrasco. Seamus Coleman. We see so often him rampaging down the front
for Everton but none of that in this game. I think it has helped his game
defensively. He has improved. He has had injuries playing for Everton,
not the greatest season for any Everton player this year, but
defensively he has improved over the last two or three years. Alex
Wetzel. -- Axel Witsel. Another corner kick
for Belgium. He feels he should be a cross Ciaran Clark. He had his hand
on Lukaku. Everyone is back for Republic of Ireland. Last few
seconds of the opening 45 minutes. Wisely, Darren Randolph holds onto
the ball. He allows the team to get back into position. Really good
goalkeeping. And the referee blows the whistle. It is against Shane
Long. He has had a very frustrating first half. The half-time whistle
has been blown by the referee. I thought he had blown for the
challenge on Carrasco. He has stayed on the floor. That is why Carrasco
has stayed down, that will be very painful but it brings to the end the
first half. He has blown his whistle rather a lot but has kept his cards
mostly in his pocket and the Republic of Ireland have found it
tough going but in the circumstances will be happy enough with the
goalless score at half-time. No changes made by either coach at
half-time. It is the Republic of Ireland who will get us under way.
They were second best in the opening 45 minutes. Belgium for all their
big names and possession could not find a way through and did not
really create too much in front of Darren Randolph, the Republic of
Ireland goalkeeper. Dries Mertens was warming up even when the others
had gone in and it made us wonder if he was going to come on to replace
Yannick Carrasco who got injured before the break. Michy Batshuayi
was also involved in the warm up. Here is Glenn Whelan. Collected by
Jeff Hendrick. Trying to get forward a little bit more. They offered no
threat in the game, Thibaut Courtois has not got his gloves dirty at all.
First touch of the second half for Yannick Carrasco. No file says the
referee. Six of one, half a dozen of the other -- foul. A little tap from
Stephen Ward. The Republic of Ireland get a free kick. They need
to make a positive start after a long opening 45 minutes. It
certainly was. No real goal threat or attacking threat from the
Republic of Ireland. Robbie Brady and wears Houlihan are the players
who can carry the ball and pick passes out and you would be relying
on them for Ireland going forward -- Wes Hoolahan. Robbie Brady will take
this. Here we go, in from Brady towards Shane Long who almost had
his head taken of, very high but by Toby Alderweireld. Shane Long is
still down. Ball in from Wes Hoolahan does not quite fall for
Stephen Ward and away comes Lukaku. Kevin De Bruyne brings the ball in
to the Irish have. Lukaku gets it could they are champs and it is the
goal for Lukaku. Two minutes into the second half -- champs. The side
ranked number two in the world have scored their first goal in the
tournament and it has come from the big number nine -- chance. Belgium
had brilliant feat from Kevin De Bruyne who gets himself into a great
position and has the awareness and Romelu Lukaku knows what he wants to
do. He gets it onto his left foot and he knows he can use John O'Shea
to get it beyond Darren Randolph. Brilliantly worked goal by Belgium.
Back to front. That was the problem Ireland had, at that susceptible to
the counterattack when it comes to their own set play, disappointment
for Ireland. Great news for Romelu Lukaku. While we were watching the
scenes of celebration, supervisors have had to come and take a red
flare from the plane servers which was thrown onto the pitch. A couple
of flares have been set off by the Belgian supporters. Perfectly
placed, that goal, created by Kevin De Bruyne. It could open up, Axel
Witsel. Collected by Eden Hazard. Suddenly, the Republic of Ireland
rocked back on their heels. Relieved that Kevin De Bruyne lost his
footing. Jeff Hendrick. What sort of response will we get? Shane Long is
down. He should get booked and he has. Thomas Vermaelen. The yellow
carded by the referee. Shane Long looking to the referee, he is
looking for a bit of support, he has been fouled constantly throughout
the first half. Looking to the likes of Shane Long, Wes Hoolahan, Robbie
Brady, they have to provide more of an attacking threat. Forward comes
Stephen Ward, met by Meunier. Ironic that came after two very promising
minutes from the Irish. There was a shout at that end for the high boot
from Toby Alderweireld. I think he has got his boot very high. It
frustrates you, anywhere else on the pitch, it would be a free kick. Here
is Wes Hoolahan. He wants the ball played in but it is towards Shane
Long and easily within range for a Thibaut Courtois who will throw the
ball. It is with Eden Hazard, turning away inside Seamus Coleman.
Kevin De Bruyne. Jan Vertonghen. A chance for a Lukaku, the first real
shot on goal that would trouble AT Batshuayi. Perhaps he will start to
play with the ability that we all know he has. -- Randolph. It escaped
the clutches of Wes Hoolahan. Sloppy possession. Eden Hazard back to
Carrasco. Kevin De Bruyne, three inside the penalty area. Carrasco,
Axel Witsel. Lukaku being marked by Ciaran Clark at the moment.
Jan Vertonghen, Carrasco, hobbled off at half-time but looks fine now.
Such a good ball giving Robbie Brady the chance to get on his bike and
away down the right-hand side with Wes Hoolahan and Shane Long waiting
the centre. That is better from the Republic of Ireland and a Glenn
Whelan fancies it, add little deflection, skid behind the goal for
a corner kick for the Republic of Ireland. Much better for Ireland.
Meunier is out of position. Utilising the space, he has the
awareness and vision to pick out Glenn Whelan. Better moments for
Ireland. I wondered what would happen, it is about five years since
he last gored a goal for anyone. Perhaps not surprising that it did
not end up in the back of the net -- scored a goal. Jeff Hendrick will
take this one. Ciaran Clark is up for it. Now with James McCarthy.
Glenn Whelan, drilling it straight to Axel Witsel and suddenly on the
break, Belgium surging forward with Carrasco. Not surprisingly, it will
be the Republic of Ireland's ball. Great workrate from Shane Long. He
makes the challenge on Carrasco. Just provide a little bit of
stability for Ireland. -- provides. Shane Long has covered plenty of
ground but has not got the reward. Little joy throughout this game. An
isolated figure at times. Jeff Hendrick, a bit of space in the
middle of the field. McCarthy. Jeff Hendrick with Seamus Coleman outside
running up to the edge of the penalty area. Seamus Coleman cannot
quite deliver the ball into the danger area in a billing Thomas
Vermaelen to get it clear. That was a bit better. Looks better, good
awareness from Jeff Hendrick. Wes Hoolahan. Jeff Hendrick almost
carrying it inside, a shout for handball. The referee was in a good
position to see, Carrasco gets it a way. Calm and assured from Belgium
in possession. -- gets it to a wave. Eden Hazard. -- away.
Kevin De Bruyne are, in toward Lukaku, cut out by Ciaran Clark,
Stephen Ward should clear it despite the fact that Lukaku is bearing down
on him. Toby Alderweireld, getting the better of Shane Long, did not
quite fall for the Irish Tiger and Axel Witsel finds Jan Vertonghen.
Marc Wilmots is very agitated -- for the Irish striker. Axel Witsel with
the sharp straight at Darren Randolph. Belgium want the game
stopped, Marc Wilmots is waving at Darren Randolph. Jeff Hendrick is
still in possession -- once the game. Spot on as well. Here comes
Jeff Hendrick. Meunier gets his foot on the ball, Mousa Dembele is still
down. Finally the ball is out of play. The referee had a good look.
Marc Wilmots is on the sideline screaming at Mousa Dembele. Belgium
continue to play. They are going to bring on Radja Nainggolan. I was
very surprised he was left out of the team at the start by the coach.
There wasn't much he done about that. I don't think that is
handball. Dembele, who is one of those brought
into the team today, will be very frustrated at having to leave the
field. Nainggolan more than capable of filling his shoes as he comes on,
the 28-year-old from Roma. He is a real box to box player, gets
the supporting, but he will have the added responsibility of defensive
duties as he comes on. Nainggolan is a much admired player
by Antonio Conte, the new Chelsea manager.
He played his football in Italy since 17 years of age. I wonder how
much longer he will be in Syria -- Serie A. Oh Shea just getting ahead
of him, but Hazard picks up the pieces. A little loose with a pass,
forward by Ward. This is better from Brady, gaining some ground, and
again, you can't quite find Jeff Hendrick, and it has been a story of
nearly but not quite in terms of possession as they go into the final
third throughout the match. Yes, it is just over hit with that telling
pass. Have been playing for nearly an hour. Just the one goal in the
game, scored by Romelu Lukaku just after half-time. Hendrick, again,
with a little more room, and Coleman getting forward in that wind -- in
behind Hazard here. Here is Hoolahan. Up towards Shane Long,
Brady with the shot, it effects of Meunier. He could have headed first
time, Brady, once he takes the touch, he allows Tevenet to get the
block. Stephen Ward will take the throw, freshly promoted to the
Premier League with Burnley. Good movement from Whelan.
Again, Belgium can't quite get rid of the ball. Hoolahan unable to find
a way through, has some support. It is too long for Shane Long. Off the
head of Jan Vertonghen. That is not the natural instinct for Jeff
Hendrick to get in on the back of that.
Belgium able to pass their way out of trouble, and suddenly into a much
more promising position here with which all. -- Axel Witsel.
He has had a very strange season for Chelsea, Hazard, so good last year,
and then it was almost a year to the day between league goals.
The fans who have travelled doing their best for the boys in green,
trying to lift their spirits and urge them on to even greater
efforts. Has just holds back, with Carrasco away on that far side.
Lukaku the only one in the penalty area at the moment. And it is 2-0!
They are all looking at Lukaku, and Axel Witsel burst in to head home,
and suddenly it looks a very long way back for the Republic of Ireland
in this match. Beljan 2-0 Republic of Ireland, Axel Witsel with half an
hour to go. That is far too easy. Drifting from
the edge of the penalty area, Witsel, free header. Nobody picks
the run or tracks it. Once he plays it wide, he just runs off. It is the
back of my Carthey, and McCarthy doesn't see his run, it is a good
all in from Meunier put it to a good area. McCarthy have got to track the
run, and if he doesn't, he has to take a shout from behind him to
leave it, and he doesn't do either. Randolph got a hand to it, he is
unlucky at the end, but that was a poor golf Ireland to concede.
And Axel Witsel, part of the Belgian team here at this championship,
scores on his 70th appearance for Belgium.
So, James McCarthy has gone off for the Republic of Ireland and is
replaced by James McClean. Here is Martin O'Neill, a quick reaction,
quick change, reaction to that second goal going in. He had to,
really force up James McCarthy not really able to get involved from an
attacking point of view, creativity wise, keeping hold of the ball.
James McClean gives Ireland a different option going forward with
his pace and energy. He needs to set the tone for the last 20 minutes of
this game, create a spark. Another change heifer Beljan, Dries Mertens
is going to come on, and Carrasco will go off. He has done well, he
struggled to get off the pitch at half-time after a heavy tackle
caught him on his foot. That is the one there, a heavy challenge from
long. Very. So, Carrasco leaves the field, and Dries Mertens coming on
to replace him. He came on for the last half an hour against Italy,
more or less doing the same year today. He has had a somewhat reduced
role with his club side this season, only half a dozen of his 33 Italian
league appearances were starts, but nonetheless, he got himself to a
hat-trick against Bologna a few weeks before the end of the season,
and years have the chance to have a go at the best part of half an hour
here. He made an impact in the Italy match as well, coming off the bench.
Meunier has something different to think back now that James McClean is
all the pitch. Meunier will have a more direct runner coming straight
at him now, Brady has moved his sights slightly. McClane trim off
the bench against Sweden in the last 25 minutes. He has been used as a
striker in the last four or five friendlies for the Republic of
Ireland, and he has done a good job when he has played there, so there
is an option that if there is a real urgency to go forward, he could do
that role. They are pushing forward again, this time it is oh Shea, the
man who only just came off the bench! First touch here from a
claim. Looking for Shane Long. Long gets his head on that one, but it
doesn't fall kindly for Ireland. Taken away by Vertonghen, now
Hazard. He gets a free kick from the Turkish referee. He has pressure
from Coleman obviously. Hoping to switch the play, and only
finding the head of Ward. He is giving Meunier are more difficult
time, I think. As we said before, Ireland are looking for a spark, and
could it be McClane the gives it to them? There has been very little to
talk about going forward for Ireland from an attacking point of view.
Pretty easily snuffed out most times so far. Here is Wes Hoolahan now.
Ward's delivery into long, trying to lay it off the Hendrik. It is
slightly short. Collected by Coleman. Now it is with Brady.
Trying to get his chest on the ball, back out to Seamus Coleman, trying
to get the better of Vertonghen. He has done well, but couldn't quite
chip the tall figure of Thibaut Cortois. Looking to just stand up to
the far post. A little shout of handball from the Irish supporters.
I could see you were itching for a second look at that one!
Won back by Nainggolan. Our Belgium now going to start to play the sort
of football that we know that they are capable of from here on in as
they settle into this tournament last? Very underwhelming against
Italy, this is much more like it from them. Nainggolan. And the
scorer of the second goal, Axel Witsel. Here is Dries Mertens, an
interception there from McClane. Hendrik is a little uncertain of
where to go. McClean knows where he is going, he is heading straight for
the goal. If the ball is good, he has half a chance here. But it
wasn't quite good enough. It is a brilliant run from him, but there is
only one body in the penalty area for him to hit once he gets his head
on. Decisive player from James McClean,
but here come Belgium once more. That was tumbling away from the
goal. You don't want it to be any more, it could affect goal
difference come the end of the group as well. Italy still to come. Yes,
and they are on six points, there is a chance. Conte suggested he will
make changes. He momentarily got a foot in, but it
is all Belgium here. There will be another change shortly from the
Republic. Very much on the front foot, Belgium, looking for the third
goal. Lukaku to Hazard. Sent in by Meunier, but a little too- Dries
Mertens. It wasn't the worst of balls froms two. He just started his
run little early. Either way, Aiden McGeady is preparing to come on
shortly. Stephen Ward stretches his legs and goes into the Belgian half
of the field. Hendrik wants the ball, and gets it. McClean is on the
far side if they need him. Here is McClane up against many. -- Meunier.
And Meunier gets the better of that dual, and here Ciaran Clark is
committed, Belgium are threatening a third goal, Lukaku, it must be
three, and it is! Lukaku's second in the game, and there won't be coming
back from this. Belgium 3-0 Republic of Ireland.
Well, Ciaran Clark in that position, he has got to recognise that if he
doesn't get to the ball first, Ireland are in a world of pain.
Jumping in for a challenge like that out wide, allowing Hazard to get
away from him. As soon as James McClean gives the ball away here,
the Republic of Ireland are in trouble. And as soon as Ciaran Clark
goes in for this challenge, that is it. You retreat there, you are
cautious, you don't need to go in and make the challenge. You keep the
numbers in your favour, keep it at two on two, but Hazard is too quick,
too aware, and once he picks I Lukaku, the form he is in, a simple
tackle at the end of it. Again, another poor Ireland Gold concede.
And just as before, the immediate reaction to a goal going in, there
has been another change made in that aftermath by O'Neill. Aiden McGeady
has now come on to replace Wes Hoolahan, although McGeady was
already waiting to join the fray before that third goal went in. It
is turning into a very long afternoon in Bordeaux for the
Republic of Ireland here. Stephen Ward with the delivery into
Shane Long. It is a way, a gap is opening up, plane into the hands of
the Belgians now -- away. -- playing. They have to keep their
composure now. You do not want to concede again, it could have a
bearing come the end of the group. They could get a drubbing here. The
outlook of the tournament changing greatly for Belgium and new sense,
it does not mean they do not have problems in terms of their cohesion
that they have bags of talent and the confidence will be flowing after
scoring three goals and they may even have time to score another one
tween now and the end of the match. That is the one that led to this
goal by Lukaku following this challenge by Toby Alderweireld. That
is a poor goal to concede, no communication, McCarthy allowing him
to run off him. At the other end of the field, they
have not looked remotely like scoring. Not at all. That is
disappointing, Martin O'Neill teaches them to be organised and
disciplined that they have always carried a threat, but today, 70
minutes in, no real threat at all from Ireland. Jeff Hendrick.
Stephen Ward with Maclean prepared to make a run ahead of him. --
McClean. Jeff Hendrick. First touch for Aiden McGeady. Can Ireland at
least get on the board? Thibaut Courtois has stop them doing it so
far. Jeff Hendrick, Marshall, Brady, a touch in two Aiden McGeady. In the
end, the final ball is lacking for Jeff Hendrick. Ireland's problems
have not all been of Belgian's making, in terms of the way they
pass the ball. Giving it away, sloppy passes going forwards, when
they have been in wide positions, poor crossing. This has all come
from when they have had comfortable possession could. You have to look
at yourself as an individual on the pitch. Take off your Ireland hat,
what have you made of Belgian in terms of the way they look and the
tournament as a whole? We know they have got individually one of the
best sides out there, it collectively they have not always
show that, but today we have seen a very good Belgian side, a very good
Kevin De Bruyne, Romelu Lukaku, it Eden Hazard playing with freedom,
enjoying his football. It is what we expected from them. That was the
disappointing thing, seeing them against Italy. He has started to
make things happen since coming off the bench. Dries Mertens has been
very lively since coming off the bench. As you can see, Robbie Keane
preparing to come on. Off the bench for the last 12 minutes against
Sweden, getting a little longer this time. All-time record goal scorer.
All-time record number of appearances as well for the Republic
of Ireland. Nainggolan. Back for the Republic of Ireland, collected by
Shane Long into Jeff Hendrick, a fraction of a second too long, Kevin
De Bruyne, on his game today. Eden Hazard letting it run to Ciaran
Clark who gave it away to Dries Mertens. All our unveils will be
ringing at the back for Ireland. -- alarm bells. Eden Hazard. Jan
Vertonghen in space for Belgium. Kevin De Bruyne covering plenty of
grounds. Held up by Aiden McGeady. 13 minutes to go. Belgium with a
decidedly comfortable three goal lead. Glenn Whelan into Brady. Away
from Alex Witsel. This is Jeff Hendrick. Away to Aiden McGeady. Out
for a corner kick. Better from Jeff Hendrick and Robbie Brady. Here
comes at Robbie Keane now for what remains of the match, he will
replace Shane Long who looks very disappointed as he wanders off. He
has worked very hard but without any great reward, very much an isolated
figure upfront for long periods in the game. Very much so. Perhaps keep
his legs for a big game against Italy. They will have to stretch the
Italians. Robbie Keane is 35 now but he certainly knows where the goal
is. Amazing record, 67 for the Republic of Ireland. He will give
the fans are little something to cheer if he can get on the end of
the ball inside the box between now and the final whistle. Good job for
Ireland that Seamus Coleman was on the ballplayer. Could have been
stretched on the break. Ball flicked in and James McClean. Thibaut
Courtois gathered. A difficult chance, no real pace on the cross.
Dries Mertens. It looks like Christian Benteke will
be sitting on the bench for the next game, Romelu Lukaku doing so well.
They might get another chance, Dries Mertens gets away from Glenn Whelan.
What a handful he has been! Yes, he has. Excellent introduction to the
game, far too easy, though. Gets himself into a good position, good
pressure. Forced the strike off target.
For all the disappointment etched on the face of Martin O'Neill, they are
playing a very good team here. Yes and I think Martin O'Neill said from
the outset, of course, a difficult group, Belgium were always going to
be the most difficult team to play against. Very surprising how well
they played in the first match against Belgium but with the
individual talent they have, it was always going to be difficult for
Ireland. Hence that tinge of frustration. You have got to win
when you are on top of games, hit on your dominance. Stephen Ward. Glenn
Whelan. Staying right back in with a Ciaran Clark and John O'Shea.
Looking for a Seamus Coleman, trying to get forward, put out by Jan
Vertonghen, now it is with Aiden McGeady. Belgium are preparing to
make a late change. Jeff Hendrick, Brady, Robbie Brady! Struck his own
player there, Jeff Hendrick ends up on the floor with a stinging
earholes. Robbie Brady looking to bend it beyond Thibaut Courtois.
Romelu Lukaku will not get the terms to score a hat-trick. Two goals is
certainly enough to be getting on with. Belgium scoring their first
goals at the finals since 2000. The first one of them scored by Lukaku
who also added the third, two goals for him and onto the field to
replace him, Christian Benteke. He had a difficult first year. He
knows, he was the number one striker for Belgium one year ago. He is
still considered hot property here in Belgium. Liverpool paid enough
money for him, ?32 million. Very good goal scoring record with Aston
Villa, 42 goals in Robbie Brady 's. He has proved it,. He has won the
ball back, puts it towards Eden Hazard. Excellent touch, Alex
Witsel, Kevin De Bruyne, Dries Mertens to the right. Lovely twist
and turn from Kevin De Bruyne. Slack in possession there, Glenn Whelan.
No awareness around him. Christian Benteke did so well to get back,
when the ball from him. That is where they have been a real threat
today, Belgium. When Ireland had possession, it has not been great,
but when Ireland have thrown bodies forward, Belgium have recognised
that and counter attacked so well. It is more like the Belgium we
thought we were going to see at the Euros in this match. Robbie Keane.
Free kick. Given away by Nainggolan. Again, the referee has done his best
to stay out of things in this game. He has allowed it to float, one or
two decisions either way could have been fouls but he has tried to let
it flow. Reluctantly, the wall moved five
yards back to ten there. Inside the last six minutes of the
game. James McClean for Ireland. It will be a goal kick. Thibaut
Courtois still has not had a save to make. 35 yards out. Difficult one to
really trouble Thibaut Courtois at that distance. It was the same with
the free kick for Gareth Bale against England. You need to line up
a wall. In the air by John O'Shea. Stephen Ward. Five minutes to go,
plus added time. Five minutes that will not change the outcome of this
game, Dries Mertens. Jeff Hendrick. He can come out of
this game with a little bit of credit, worked hard, kept the ball
well. He wants the ball back from Seamus Coleman.
Glenn Whelan clearly not happy with the options before him there.
Could have had a run from deep there to try to get in behind them. But
all is not lost with the Italian game, as we were saying a few
minutes ago. With one point already in the back, it could prove vital.
Italy will probably make changes, but regardless of that, I think
Martin O'Neill will have digestive the performance against Sweden and
think, there is a real chance that we could actually go and get
something in that match. They have to win now, I think we all know
that. They have done OK against Italy in the past once or twice for
is. Yes, in 1994. It looks as though the Republic of Ireland will have to
wait a little longer to beat Belgium. They have waited 50 years
so far since their last success against them. Benteke. The last few
minutes of the game. A clear-cut win for the Belgians. Chalk and cheese,
the emotions for them compare to their first offering in the
tournament, when they were totally tactically outclassed by the
Italians. They looked very underwhelming, disjointed, an
harmonious bunch by the end of it, but this is much more like it. Kevin
de Bruyne are trying to find Benteke, the interception made by
John O'Shea. McGeady. Hendrik just looking for the run
made by Robbie Keane. He will play away behind Thomas Vermaelen.
Vermaelen had quite a physical duel with Shane Long particularly in the
first half. You felt that was the only way in for the Republic of
Ireland here to try to get Shane Long in behind, but credit to
Vermaelen, he stood up to that task really well.
Not surprisingly, it is the Belgian supporters making all the noise
behind the goal. Sliding back into wards Benteke. Excellent for
Randolph, saw the danger and dealt with it. You mentioned a couple of
times, since he has come on, he has had an impact on the match, pushing
for a starting place. Coleman finding McGeady. There is nowhere to
go. Just about managing to keep the ball in play. Excellent from Seamus
Coleman, done really well. And over the top from Stephen Ward. He did
well there, Ward. Seize the cross from common early, but it has pretty
much been Ireland's day. Belgium fans will be in good spirits in the
centre of Bordeaux later on this evening. But they won't be the only
ones out on the town. Win, lose or draw, they will still be out. Still
enjoying their visit to this beautiful city. Three minutes of
added time. McClean. Is there time for a
consolation goal here? Robbie Keane. He has some support, Jeff Hendrick
one of the players providing it. Inadvertently striking Robbie Brady
with that one. McGeady up against Vertonghen. The
ball didn't quite spin out for a corner, it will be a throw. What a
colourful site those Belgian supporters are.
And there was a foul, Hazard. Coleman looked as though he was
trying to get his shirt a couple of minutes early there. Hazard will be
quite happy to see Seamus Coleman going like that, he didn't really
need to make the challenge, Hazard. Romelu Lukaku, a good day at the
office. How do you feel about things at the end of this game from
Republic of Ireland's point of view? It didn't make too much difference,
this game. You obviously don't want to take a heavy defeat, but it was
all going to come down to that Italy match anyway, so you have to make an
impression in that game, and that is maybe the out shot from it all, the
one real chance that the Republic of Ireland have got going into that
match. Overall, today has been very poor, in possession, slack.
Creativity was slack as well, no real spark in the side, so I am
looking for a lot more, real response from Ireland going into the
Italy match. Here is Robbie Brady trying to find an opening, still
going. Last few seconds of the game in added time. Could be a chance for
a big Edie and pharmacy behind for a goal kick. And that will probably be
it from Ireland's interview in this game. A disappointing afternoon.
Very disappointing. Extremely disappointing for Martin O'Neill and
his staff, the supporters and players of course.
WHISTLE The referee blows the final whistle,
a disappointing afternoon for the boys in green. Well beaten today.
Belgium certainly turned up for this match, it was just the sort of
performance we were expected to see from the going into this tournament,
and in the end they ran out comfortable winners with three
second-half goals, Roma Lukaku scoring two of them, Axel Witsel the
other one, and the Republic of Ireland failing to trouble Chievo
Cortois in the Belgian goal. So it is one point from two matches, still
all to play for. Italy next, but well beaten by the Belgians. Belgium
3-0 Republic of Ireland. Catch all the action from
Euro 2016 across the BBC. Radio 5 Live or the BBC Sport