Irish Dopers: Opinions on Yesterday's Match

If any of you saw Ireland beat USA 2:1 in Dublin yesterday, I’d love to here your opinion on the game, both how the US side and the Irish side played. With any luck I’ll be able to catch a rebroadcast here later.

thanks.

I’m not Irish, but I think I was the only Doper who was actually at the game.

It’s impossible to give a fair assessment under the conditions which were absolutely atrocious - if this had been a competitive game it might well have been called off due to the state of the pitch. Still, I don’t think there were really any surprises. A good paced game in the first half with the US playing fairly well and giving the Irish some real scares (far more than any team has at Lansdowne since Holland, I have to say) but typically our final ball let us down. The second half was just a kickaround in the mud, basically. The US deserved a penalty for a clear handball in the box just before fulltime (it was right in front of me) but somehow the ref missed it :mad:

Pope was my US MOTM. Sanneh was at fault for the winning goal and not very impressive overall anyway - and I don’t think he’ll be on Damien Duff’s Christmas card list either :slight_smile: Mathis nearly scored from about 35 yards out early on (Given tipped it over the bar) but apart from that our attack was quite disappointing.

Still, most of the Irish press has been pretty complimentary, as were most of the Irish people we spoke to in the pub after the game. I think a lot of people over here still see the US in terms of that awful France 98 performance and weren’t prepared to see us actually give them a fight. We were the first team to score at Lansdowne in six matches, I believe, and the fact we were six minutes from holding them to a draw hasn’t gone completely unnoticed.

The away support numbered about 200 and were simply fantastic - we got a mention on RTÉ radio apparently for singing throughout the game, which the Irish certainly weren’t doing! (no surprise there as Lansdowne’s always a morgue).

Oh, and my shoes are still wet :slight_smile:

That’s cool you were at the game. When I say Irish Dopers, I mean Dopers living in Ireland, Irish Nationals or not. :wink:

The write up here was similar, they said Wolff had an opportunity toward the end but again couldn’t convert, although I’d have to say that he, Mathis and Landon Donovan are quickly becoming the most dangerous Americans. The U.S. article also had glowing praise for Reyna while he was still in the game.

I am not at all a fan of Tony Sanneh nor Jeff Agoos, they are a bit imobile and too many mental lapses, but I don’t know that there’s anyone waiting in the wings to take their places. I dread the opening World Cup match against Portugal for this reason.

Thanks for your take.

Nearly right Ruadh - I was there too. Unlike Russia and Denmark, the US really came to play. The tackling was very hard for a friendly match - it was obvious that players on both teams were playing for world cup places. Whatever about Sanneh, the big number 3 (can’t remember his name) was inside Duff’s shirt for the whole of the first half - he was pretty effective at keeping him quiet though. As Ruadh said, the conditions were unreal so it was hard to form an overall impression of either side’s performance. But certainly the US were hard-working, organised and fit and were unlucky to concede the late goal.

Organisation and fitness should be strengths in the World Cup too - an American fan was telling me that most of the US team will be together from now until the tournament starts and that they have a demanding schedule of friendlies. Hats off to the US fans too - they were one of the few things that brightened up an appalling night.

Mick McCarthy has a few hard choices to make now, particularly in midfield. I think he is pretty clear on his first eleven but there is plenty of competition for places on the fringes. Healy had a good second half but I think McCarthy likes Lee Carsley and he might plump for him. I’m not sure if Delap did himself any great favours.

Anyway, roll on 31 May - I can’t wait.

Why thank you, mwap. Did you see the Elvis impersonator in the crowd?

Of all the songs the US fans were singing the one I enjoyed the best came right after Pope’s goal (to the tune of “Here We Go”): We don’t suck, we don’t suck, we don’t suck… Think it will catch on? :wink:

Yeah - the crowd were a panic. The Irish US ex-pats (?) should try to co-ordinate chanting efforts for the World Cup itself. ‘We don’t suck’ beats the hell out of ‘YOU ESSAY’. You could give us a few lessons too - apart from the wonderfully creative ‘Keano, Keano, Keano…’, I don’t think we’ve managed a new chant since Italia '90. It’s about time we put ‘You’ll never beat the Irish’ and ‘Come on you boys in green’ out to pasture. As for the official world cup songs, I’ll be cheering for an early exit if it means an end to such gems as ‘Sayonara Connemara’.

Makes a change from the Denmark game were there was another bout of ‘boo the hun’ (I know you’re a Celtic fanatic but I can’t stand that bullshit). The fact that they got the wrong guy was funny though, even more so now he has signed for Rangers. They also redeemed themselves by ironically booing Irish players and cheering the Danes after the announcer asked them to stop and ‘extend the usual warm Lansdowne Road welcome’.

I watched the US match on TV. If the match had been played in better conditions and on a good pitch, it would have be brilliant.

Both teams were very restricted by the conditions.

USA very impressive. Hopefully they’ll put on a good showing this summer.
We definitely need new songs. I was hoping for someone to release “Turning Japanese” by The Vapours, but the fact its about “coralling the tadpoles” and might be a little bit racist, I doubt it will.

What would you suggest?

Big in Japan, by Alphaville!

That’s exactly our problem. We have a decent selection of forwards and a pretty good midfield but our defensive choices are bleak. I’ve never liked Agoos, but I’m warming to him mainly because he has experience and has reduced the number of awful screwups he makes when he is tracking back to get the ball.

Both Irish goals were results of terrible marking, yet we had one of the “strongest” defenses on the field. That’s why, in my opinion, Keller should start in goal. He is better at organizing the defense and they seem to be a little more confident with him in goal.

manwithaplan, obviously I wouldn’t boo Reyna and I didn’t agree with the booing of the person-believed-to-be-Lovenkrands either - I don’t expect players from outwith Britain and Ireland to understand exactly what makes Rangers such a vile club. Different story when Scotland came to Lansdowne two years ago though. Ferguson and especially McCann knew damn well what kind of organisation they were joining and they deserve all the vitriol that’s thrown their way IMHO.

That said, I still would rather there wasn’t booing because it just looks bad for us. The media loves to present it as though each side of the Old Firm is equally as bad as the other, and we don’t need to give them another excuse to do so.

On re-reading my post, I can see that it appears that I was accusing you of sympathising with the booing of Rangers players at international matches. That certainly wasn’t my intention but I am surprised that if it had been, I would have been partially right.

I couldn’t agree less with your statement above. Club affiliations should be left behind when supporting your national side. Even the Eng-Er-Land on Tour brigade realise this. If you think that booing from the Lansdowne Road terraces is an effort to expose the bigotry inherent in the Rangers system, you’re sadly mistaken IMO. It’s far less sophisticated than that - it’s no more than a ridiculous attempt by Celtic supporters to import the Old Firm bullshit to Dublin.

There’s plenty of opportunity for recreational bigotry at international matches. If you have a pathological dislike of Danes, you’re in luck. If those Andorran bastards really get your goat, get yourself down to Lansdowne Road. I’ll let you in on a secret, you even get the odd chance to voice your ancestral hubris at the English every now and again before they start throwing chairs at you. There’s even a bonus prize: if Scots aren’t your cup of tea, you can vent your splein in Dublin 4. However, if your target is more localised, you’re out of luck. If you want to boo Rangers players, go to a Rangers match. If Ireland play Scotland, there are 11 opponents on the pitch, not x Parkhead heroes, y scum and z assorted others.

You see, and that’s exactly why I said the following:

It’s a wild exaggeration to describe the booing as an attempt to import OF bullshit. Nobody starts booing the players thinking “I’m going to try to import OF bullshit”. They’re just following the longstanding tradition of booing opposing players who they don’t like. Now you’re perfectly justified in disapproving of their reasoning for not liking the players - at least in the context of the game taking place - but don’t read more into it than they’re putting into it themselves. Few of 'em are even using enough brain cells to think that deeply about it.

And as for the Ingerlund supporters, ha! I personally know a number of English Man U supporters who don’t support their national team precisely because of the number of fans who chant “Stand up if you hate Man U” during an England game while half of the players in England shirts are Man U players.

By no means is it an OF-specific thing.