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Ireland v Russia Match History

5 September 2011 10,647 views No Comment Written by Ronan

Since the break-up of the Soviet Union, the Republic of Ireland have faced Russia six times. One of our finest ever victories was in 1974 when 35,000 people in Dalymount witnessed Don Givens bagging a hat-trick against a Soviet Union side who were massive favourites. This article, however, looks at matches between Russia and Ireland since the end of the USSR.


Ireland 0-0 Russia – 23rd March 1994
Just weeks after being watched by Jack Charlton, Bolton Wanderers midfielder Jason McAteer made his Republic of Ireland debut against Russia. His debut as well as those of Phil Babb and Gary Kelly were perhaps the only major things of note in a dismal scoreless draw where both sides sought to finalise their squads ahead of the 1994 World Cup. Fellow Bolton player Owen Coyle was expected to also win his first cap, but missed out through injury. A makeshift Ireland eleven dominated the match for long periods in a rainy and windy Lansdowne Road. Ireland never looked scoring, and the Russians had the ball in the net just before half-time after Packie Bonner’s scuffed clearance hit Oleg Salenko in the hand. The referee, perhaps controversially, gave a free out, and Bonner’s blushes were spared. Ireland’s best chance came very early when Liam O’Brien’s free-kick hit the post, and in the second half Dmitri Kharine had a couple of saves to make, but the match always seemed destined to end 0-0. Gary Kelly looked impressive on his debut, with Irish Times journalist Gerry Thornley even comparing his first cap to Liam Brady’s debut.
Rep of Ireland: Packie Bonner (Alan Kelly H/T), Gary Kelly, Eddie McGoldrick, Phil Babb, Brian Carey, Ronnie Whelan (capt.), Jason McAteer, Liam O’Brien, Tony Cascarino, David Kelly (Tommy Coyne 65), Alan McLoughlin
Russia: Kharine, Rakhimov, Gorlovkovitch, Kovtoun, Tetradze, Popov, Korneev (Tchertschev 69), Radchenko (Kossolapov 87), Borodiouk, Kuznetzov, Salenko


Ireland 0-2 Russia – 27th March 1996
Almost exactly two years since the last friendly between the two sides, Russia were preparing for Euro 1996 while Ireland would watch from afar. Significantly, the 2-0 loss was Mick McCarthy’s first game in charge, and he handed 19-year-old Shay Given his first cap, starting the Donegal teenager in goal. Stand-in Irish captain Roy Keane was sent off with two minutes to go for kicking Tetradze, becoming the first Irishman to be dismissed in four years. McCarthy experimented with a 3-5-2 formation, but his new team didn’t seem to gel until they were two down an hour in. Russia’s first goal came from excellent play from Kanchelskis who set up Mostovoi, and a second came shortly after the break when Kolyvanov curled a wonderful shot past Given. Ireland should have had a consolation goal when Onopko handed Staunton’s route-one ball to Cascarino. However, Staunton’s penalty kick was poor and went straight down the middle at Cherchesov. Niall Quinn could have scored with a quarter of an hour, but his shot went just over. By the time Keane was dismissed it was all over.
Ireland: Shay Given (Blackburn), Terry Phelan (Chelsea), Steve Staunton (Aston Villa), Alan Kernaghan (Manchester City), Paul McGrath (Aston Villa), Roy Keane (Manchester Utd), Andy Townsend (Aston Villa) capt, Jason McAteer (Liverpool), Niall Quinn (Manchester City), John Aldridge (Tranmere), Mark Kennedy (Liverpool)
Subs: Jeff Kenna (Blackburn) for Townsend 45 mins, Tony Cascarino (Olympique Marseille) for Aldridge 63 mins, Tommy Coyne (Motherwell) for Quinn 85 mins
Russia: Cherchesov, Nikiforov, Onopko, Kovtun, Karpin, Kanchelskis, Mostovoi, Radimov, Tsimbalar, Kiriakov, Kolyvanov
Subs: Radchenko for Radimov 46 mins, Tetradze for Tsimbalar 46 mins, Simutenkov for Kiriakov 66 mins, Shalimov for Mostovoi 70 mins
Attendance: 40,000


Ireland 2-0 Russia – 13th February 2002
Twenty-three different players took to the field for Ireland in the first of Mick McCarthy’s 2002 World Cup warm-up games. With both sides heading to the World Cup, the home fans will definitely have been the happier, particularly with both of Ireland’s goals coming in the first twenty minutes. The first came through an Ian Harte free kick, which was cleared to Steven Reid on the edge of the box. Reid hit it on the half-volley and the ball rocketed into the net from 25 yards. The second goal was a team-effort, with almost all the midfield getting a touch before Steve Finnan’s cross found Robbie Keane unmarked in the box. The second half was a disjointed affair, with Mick McCarthy giving absolutely everyone a run-out. Colin Healy and Richard Sadlier made their debuts, with the former being named man of the match, despite only playing 45 minutes. Healy was lively all over the pitch, and commanded in midfield. After the match, Mark Lawrenson said that the result was no less than he expected with “the current squad capable of beating most teams at home”.
Republic of Ireland: Given (Newcastle; Kiely , Charton, h-t); Finnan (Fulham; McAteer , Sunderland, 71; Quinn , Sunderland, 90), O’Brien (Newcastle; Dunne , Manchester City, h-t), Cunningham (Wimbledon; Breen , Coventry, h-t), Harte (Leeds; Staunton , Aston Villa, 71); Reid (Millwall; G Kelly , Leeds, h-t), Healy (Coventry; Carsley , Everton, h-t), Roy Keane (Manchester Utd; Holland , Ipswich, 85), Kilbane (Sunderland; Kennedy , Wolves, h-t); Duff (Blackburn; Morrison , Crystal Palace, h-t), Robbie Keane (Leeds; Sadlier , Millwall, 71).
Russia: Nigmatullin; Khlestov, Kovtun, Yuri Nikiforov (Chugainov, 65), Onopko, Khokhlov, Alenichev (Semak, 71), Titov, Mostovoi, Karpin (Izmailov, 52), Bestchastnykh.
Attendance: 42,500


Russia 4-2 Ireland – 7th September 2002
Drawn together in Group 10 for Euro 2004 qualifying, Russia and Ireland met each other in the opening fixture just seven months after their last game. Ireland had the better World Cup, reaching the knockouts, while Russia had failed at the Group Stage. 4,500 Irish fans travelled to Moscow where the visitors had the better start. Damien Duff hit the bar on the quarter hour mark, but when a goal came, it was for the home side, who broke quickly and scored through Kariaka. This only spurred on both teams, and it was a very lively affair. Ireland had just lost Damien Duff to injury, and further disappointment came when Beschastnykh had the ball in the net four minutes later. McCarthy sent Gary Doherty on in the second half to salvage something, and his change proved inspired as he scored from a corner after just four minutes on the pitch. However, the comeback was shortlived when Kerzhakov scored after Kenny Cunningham and Ian Harte failed to spot the striker’s run. Clinton Morrison hit back with fifteen minutes to go, but when Phil Babb put the ball into his own net, the match was decided.
Russia: Ovchinnikov; Ignashevitch, Onopko, Nizhegorodov; Gusev (Solomatin 29) , Loskov, Aldonin, Yanovsky, Kariaka; Beschastnykn (Kerzhakov 46), Semak (Khokhlov 65).
Republic of Ireland: Shay Given; Steve Finnan, Gary Breen, Kenny Cunningham, Ian Harte; Jason McAteer (Gary Doherty 65), Matt Holland, Mark Kinsella, Kevin Kilbane (Phil Babb 85); Robbie Keane, Damien Duff (Clinton Morrison 17)


Ireland 1-1 Russia – 6th September 2003
A draw against Russia in Ireland’s penultimate Group 10 game left Brian Kerr’s men needing a win over Switzerland in the last match. Although we were without Robbie Keane, Ireland started much better, with Damien Duff scoring after just past the half hour. However, another earlier injury impacted on Ireland’s gameplan, this time to John O’Shea. Russia fought hard for an equaliser, and got what they deserved just before half-time when Ignashevich scored after Shay Given’s punch fell to him after pressure from Bulykin. Russia’s strength showed in the second half, and they were probably unlucky not to find a winner. Kevin Kilbane worked hard on the wing, and was named man of the match, but his final ball disappointed, and the lack of Keane up front meant Ireland missed their usual creative outlet.
Republic of Ireland: Shay Given; Stephen Carr, Gary Breen, Kenny Cunningham, John O’Shea (Ian Harte 26); Lee Carsley (Steven Reid 46), Colin Healy, Matt Holland, Kevin Kilbane; Clinton Morrison (Gary Doherty 73), Damien Duff.
Russia: Ovchinnikov; Evseev, Ignashevich, Onopko, Sennikov; Gusev, Esipov (Kerzhakov 33), Smertin, Mostovoi, Alenichev (Aldonine 39); Bulykin.
Attendance: 36,000


Ireland 2-3 Russia – 8th October 2010
Giovanni Trapattoni’s worst result as Ireland manager came as his four man midfield were nullified by Russia’s five-man-middle, with both Paul Green and Glenn Whelan disappointing. A heartbreaking opening half-hour had Russia two up, but in truth it was all Ireland until Kerzhakov broke the deadlock in the tenth minute. Robbie Keane had even hit the bar before the goal. After that, Irish heads dropped, and less than twenty minutes later we were two behind. Dzagoev scored after Kerzhakov and Anyukov cut the Irish defence open, and it was no less than we deserved. The second half started just as badly, and Russia were three up after 50 minutes. Shirokov seemed to stroll through the middle, and his shot from distance was deflected past a stranded Given. Trap sent on Shane Long for Liam Lawrence, and Ireland dominated the last half-hour, particularly through route one tactics. Robbie Keane won a penalty after going down under the smallest of touches, which he put to the right away from the keeper. A second goal came through the industrious Long, his first competitive goal after Akinfeev parried McGeady’s shot. Ireland sought an equaliser, but it would have been undeserved given the fact that Russia controlled the match for most of the evening.
Republic of Ireland: Shay Given (Manchester City), John O’Shea (Manchester United), Sean St Ledger (Preston NE), Richard Dunne (Aston Villa), Kevin Kilbane (Hull City); Liam Lawrence (Portsmouth), Glenn Whelan (Stoke City), Paul Green (Derby County), Aiden McGeady (Spartak Moscow); Robbie Keane (Spurs), Kevin Doyle (Wolves).
Subs: Long (Reading) for Lawrence (61 mins), Gibson (Manchester United) for Whelan (66 mins), Fahey (Birmingham City) for Doyle (71 mins)
Russia: Akinfeev, Aniukov, Ignashevich, Vasili Berezutsky, Zhirkov, Denisov, Shirokov, Zyryanov, Dzagoev, Arshavin, Kerzhakov.
Subs: Semshov for Zyryanon 68, Pogrebniak for Kerzhakov 79, A. Berezutsky for Dzagoev 84.
Attendance: 50,411

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