Tuscany Select XI 0-5 Republic of Ireland
Giovanni Trapattoni’s Republic of Ireland easily defeated the Tuscany Select XI side in a Euro 2012 warm-up game this evening.
Trapattoni had announced his starting lineup last night, but made a few changes to the team ahead of the game in Pitroia. Paul McShane started on the right, while Trap tried Stephen Kelly at left-back. James McClean was also tested at right midfield with Simon Cox partnering Robbie Keane up front.
PesciaUzzanese striker Tommaso Pieroni had the first decent chance of the match, but his shot grazed the crossbar on the way over. Within minutes, Ireland were ahead through a fine bit of skill from Keane, who swiveled and curled the ball past goalkeeper Francesco Gaffino.
Simon Cox added a second for the Boys in Green, despite taking two attempts to beat Gaffino, after picking up Hunt’s cross. McClean looked impressive on the right, and tested the keeper a couple of times after cutting in. Robbie Keane netted again before half-time to give Ireland a 3-0 win at the break.
Trapattoni made wholesale changes at half-time, bringing on Kevin Foley for Richard Dunne and moving McShane into the middle. Foley showed his fitness, despite being left out of the final Euro 2012 23 man squad in place of McShane. Keane swapped his shirt with former Inter Milan teammate Corrado Colombo during the interval, and the Italian went close to scoring himself, hitting the post in the first half. Another of those half-time changes, Shane Long got Ireland’s third after beating the offside trap. Jon Walters added a fifth near the end to complete the rout.
In fact, Walter’s goal came after Kevin Foley’s free was parried by the goalkeeper, and the Irish players all went to congratulate Foley for the assist after the goal. Trap decided to pick McShane over Foley in the 23 man squad as McShane offers extra cover at centre-back, which is particularly important with John O’Shea still not back to full fitness.
Ireland team: Keiren Westwood; Paul McShane, Richard Dunne, Sean St. Ledger, Stephen Kelly; Stephen Hunt, Paul Green, Keith Andrews, James McClean; Simon Cox, Robbie Keane (capt.)
Subs: David Forde for Westwood, Kevin Foley for Dunne, Shane Long for McClean, Jon Walters for Keane (all half-time), Darron Gibson for Andrews, Stephen Ward for Sean St. Ledger (both 67)
Tuscan selection: Gaffino, Di Stefano, Lotti, Tarli, Calanchi, Settepassi, Cerri, Cortese, Taddeucci, Ceciarini, Bugelli