Match Replay: Belgium v Republic of Ireland Match of the Day

Match Replay: Belgium v Republic of Ireland

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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


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