skip to content
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Nikolce Noveski by Damien Duff.
Effort on goal by Ivan Trickovski from just inside the penalty area goes over the target.
Goran Pandev concedes a free kick for a foul on Kevin Foley. Direct free kick taken by Keiren Westwood.
Ivan Trickovski sends in a cross, Glenn Whelan manages to make a clearance.
Damien Duff produces a cross, clearance by Nikolce Noveski.
(Rep of Ireland) makes a substitution, with James McCarthy coming on for Robbie Keane. Aiden McGeady decides to take a short corner.
Robbie Keane takes a shot. Blocked by Nikolce Noveski.
Boban Grncarov concedes a free kick for a foul on Aiden McGeady. Direct effort from the free kick comes in from Keith Fahey.
Muhamed Demiri goes off and Slavco Georgievski comes on. Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Shane Long by Goran Popov. Keith Fahey delivers the ball from the free kick right-footed from right wing, Edin Nuredinovski makes a save.
Muhamed Demiri is shown a yellow card. Unfair challenge on Richard Dunne by Muhamed Demiri results in a free kick. Keith Fahey delivers the ball from the free kick right-footed from right channel, clearance made by Boban Grncarov.
Unfair challenge on Damien Duff by Goran Popov results in a free kick. Free kick crossed left-footed by Keith Fahey from right wing, Boban Grncarov manages to make a clearance.
Free kick awarded for a foul by Muhamed Demiri on Shane Long. Kevin Foley takes the direct free kick.
Keith Fahey replaces Darron Gibson.
Free kick awarded for a foul by Shane Long on Muhamed Demiri. Free kick taken by Ivan Trickovski.
Centre by Goran Popov.
Ivan Trickovski takes a shot. Save made by Keiren Westwood.
Corner taken right-footed by Ivan Trickovski, clearance by Darren O'Dea.
A cross is delivered by Goran Popov, Mario Gjurovski takes a shot. Blocked by Kevin Kilbane.
Shot by Ivan Trickovski. Save made by Keiren Westwood.
The ball is delivered by Vance Sikov, Kevin Foley makes a clearance.
Centre by Stevica Ristic, blocked by Kevin Kilbane.
Darron Gibson shown a yellow card. Darron Gibson challenges Ivan Trickovski unfairly and gives away a free kick. Vance Sikov has a direct shot on goal from the free kick, blocked by Glenn Whelan.
The ball is swung over by Aiden McGeady, Nikolce Noveski makes a clearance.
(FYR Macedonia) makes a substitution, with Stevica Ristic coming on for Ilco Naumoski.
Booking for Richard Dunne. Goran Pandev crosses the ball, Richard Dunne concedes a free kick for a foul on Goran Pandev. Goran Pandev produces a cross, Header from deep inside the area by Ilco Naumoski goes harmlessly over the crossbar.
The assistant referee signals for offside against Ilco Naumoski. Keiren Westwood restarts play with the free kick.
Ivan Trickovski fouled by Richard Dunne, the ref awards a free kick. The free kick is delivered left-footed by Mario Gjurovski from left channel, Kevin Kilbane makes a clearance.
Shane Long gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Boban Grncarov. Nikolce Noveski takes the free kick.
Inswinging corner taken by Muhamed Demiri from the right by-line, save by Keiren Westwood.
Ilco Naumoski crosses the ball, blocked by Kevin Kilbane.
A cross is delivered by Damien Duff, save by Edin Nuredinovski.
Mario Gjurovski joins the action as a substitute, replacing Darko Tasevski. Glenn Whelan challenges Boban Grncarov unfairly and gives away a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Edin Nuredinovski.
Kevin Kilbane crosses the ball, Goran Popov manages to make a clearance.
Aiden McGeady crosses the ball, Damien Duff produces a right-footed shot from deep inside the penalty area which goes wide of the left-hand post.
Damien Duff takes a shot. Nikolce Noveski gets a block in.
Goran Popov is given a yellow card. Damien Duff fouled by Goran Popov, the ref awards a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Richard Dunne.
Aiden McGeady takes a shot. Blocked by Boban Grncarov.
Ivan Trickovski is ruled offside. Keiren Westwood takes the indirect free kick.
Goran Pandev takes a shot. Darren O'Dea gets a block in.
Shot by Muhamed Demiri from outside the box goes over the net.
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Ilco Naumoski by Richard Dunne. Velice Sumulikoski restarts play with the free kick.
Boban Grncarov shown a yellow card. Unfair challenge on Shane Long by Boban Grncarov results in a free kick. Kevin Kilbane takes the direct free kick.
Shane Long gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Velice Sumulikoski. Nikolce Noveski restarts play with the free kick.
Keiren Westwood is booked.
Centre by Goran Popov, Effort on goal by Goran Pandev from deep inside the penalty area misses to the right of the target.
The ball is delivered by Kevin Foley, Boban Grncarov makes a clearance.
A cross is delivered by Aiden McGeady, Edin Nuredinovski makes a save.
Aiden McGeady delivers the ball, blocked by Vance Sikov.
Effort from outside the penalty area by Velice Sumulikoski goes wide left of the target.
Ivan Trickovski fires in a goal from deep inside the penalty box to the bottom left corner of the goal. Rep of Ireland 2-1 FYR Macedonia.Goran Pandev provided the assist for the goal.
Robbie Keane takes a shot from just inside the penalty box which clears the crossbar.
The referee blows for offside against Goran Pandev. Free kick taken by Keiren Westwood.
Velice Sumulikoski has an effort at goal. Glenn Whelan gets a block in.
Corner taken by Darko Tasevski played to the near post, Glenn Whelan makes a clearance.
Nikolce Noveski fouled by Shane Long, the ref awards a free kick. Free kick taken by Nikolce Noveski.
Free kick awarded for a foul by Darren O'Dea on Goran Pandev. Direct free kick taken by Velice Sumulikoski.
Shane Long sends in a cross, save by Edin Nuredinovski.
Shot from just outside the area by Ivan Trickovski misses to the right of the target.
The ball is sent over by Kevin Foley, clearance made by Boban Grncarov.
Outswinging corner taken by Damien Duff, Nikolce Noveski makes a clearance.
A cross is delivered by Aiden McGeady, blocked by Vance Sikov.
The offside flag is raised against Ilco Naumoski. Keiren Westwood takes the free kick.
Shane Long produces a left-footed shot from the edge of the area and misses to the left of the goal.
Shane Long produces a cross.
Aiden McGeady fouled by Darko Tasevski, the ref awards a free kick. Kevin Kilbane takes the free kick.
The ball is crossed by Aiden McGeady, clearance by Boban Grncarov.
Robbie Keane scores a goal from close range to the bottom right corner of the goal. Rep of Ireland 2-0 FYR Macedonia.Assist on the goal came from Darron Gibson.
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Shane Long by Nikolce Noveski. Darron Gibson produces a strike on goal direct from the free kick, Edin Nuredinovski makes a save.
Ivan Trickovski takes a shot. Keiren Westwood makes a save.
(Rep of Ireland) makes a substitution, with Shane Long coming on for Kevin Doyle.
Inswinging corner taken right-footed by Aiden McGeady.
Foul by Velice Sumulikoski on Aiden McGeady, free kick awarded. The free kick is delivered right-footed by Aiden McGeady from left wing, clearance made by Boban Grncarov.
Aiden McGeady takes the inswinging corner, Foul by Richard Dunne on Edin Nuredinovski, free kick awarded. Free kick taken by Edin Nuredinovski.
The ball is delivered by Kevin Kilbane, Kevin Doyle takes a shot. Edin Nuredinovski makes a save.
Effort from 20 yards by Damien Duff. Edin Nuredinovski makes a save.
Goran Popov gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Damien Duff. Damien Duff crosses the ball in from the free kick, Ilco Naumoski manages to make a clearance.
Free kick awarded for a foul by Goran Popov on Damien Duff. Keiren Westwood restarts play with the free kick.
The offside flag is raised against Ilco Naumoski. Keiren Westwood restarts play with the free kick.
Aiden McGeady gets on the score sheet with a goal from just outside the penalty box to the bottom left corner of the goal. Rep of Ireland 1-0 FYR Macedonia.Assist by Kevin Doyle.
The ball is sent over by Ivan Trickovski, save made by Keiren Westwood.
Trio set for first competitive starts
Keiren Westwood, Darren O'Dea and Kevin Foley will all make competitive debuts for the Republic of Ireland in the Euro 2012 qualifier against Macedonia.
Coventry keeper Westwood was always going to come in for the injured Shay Given to win his sixth senior cap, while Wolves defender Foley was favourite to take over from John O'Shea at right-back.
However, O'Dea, currently on loan at Ipswich from Celtic, has been drafted in as a late replacement for central defender Sean St Ledger, who has finally had to admit defeat in his efforts to shake off a knee injury picked up in a training ground collision with Ciaran Clark on Tuesday.
Kevin Kilbane will make his 65th successive competitive start in a back four which will also include the fit again Richard Dunne, while Manchester United's Darron Gibson will partner Glenn Whelan in central midfield with Damien Duff and Aiden McGeady providing the width.
Robbie Keane, captaining his country for a record-equalling 40th time, will start alongside Kevin Doyle in attack after finally shaking off the calf injury which has sidelined him for much of the last six weeks.
Manager Giovanni Trapattoni has confirmed that Wigan midfielder James McCarthy will be involved at some point, although Jon Walters is not now due to join up with the squad until after the game following the birth of his third child.
Trapattoni has steadfastly employed a 4-4-2 formation since his arrival in Ireland, a topic which has sparked a concerted debate since the 3-2 defeat by Group B leaders Russia in October.
However, he remains unmoved, and goalkeeping coach Alan Kelly was perfectly on-message when questioned on the subject.
Kelly said: "When you have seen the results we have got, especially against the big teams and how we have played, we have just got to do what we did against those teams.
"Whatever formation that may be, whatever brings the results is the road we will go down."
Westwood spares Irish blushes
Keiren Westwood marked his first competitive start for the Republic of Ireland with a vital save to deny Macedonia a battling point as they went down 2-1 in Dublin.
The Coventry goalkeeper, winning just his sixth senior cap, rushed from his line to deny Ivan Trickovski with 15 minutes remaining as the visitors fought back from a calamitous start to push Ireland all the way.
Giovanni Trapattoni's men had raced into a 2-0 lead within 21 minutes, thanks mainly to two glaring errors from Macedonia goalkeeper Edin Nuredinovski.
He allowed Aiden McGeady's shot to beat him at his near post with just 85 seconds on the clock to hand the winger his first senior international goal in his 38th appearance, and then spilled Darron Gibson's free-kick at the feet of skipper Robbie Keane with predictable consequences.
However, Trickovski pulled one back on the stroke of half-time to keep the game in the melting pot, and the second half was far too even for the liking of anyone in green.
Westwood's intervention ultimately denied Macedonia the chance to write another chapter in their history of inflicting wounds on the Irish, who joined leaders Russia and Slovakia on 10 points at the top of Group B as a result of a victory which was far harder fought than it promised to be in the early stages.
Trapattoni had predicted with some certainty that Mirsad Jonuz's side would get men behind the ball in an attempt to frustrate Ireland, and that they would be a threat only from set-pieces.
In the event, they played with commendable endeavour to ensure that a defence including three men - Westwood, Kevin Foley and Darren O'Dea - making their competitive debuts had to remain on its toes.
The Ireland boss insisted he had no worries about throwing Coventry's Westwood in at the deep end in the absence of the injured Shay Given, and his confidence proved well-founded.
Jonuz, however, could not say the same of his last line of defence.
Nuredinovski endured a night to forget at the Aviva Stadium as he gifted the Republic two goals inside the opening 21 minutes.
The game was a little more than a minute old when McGeady, who had been sent out under explicit instructions to shoot on sight, cut inside from the left and did just that.
His low drive was well struck, but it should not have perhaps eluded Nuredinovski's grasp to nestle in the bottom corner.
Things could hardly have started more perfectly for Trapattoni and his players, and they went close again with 11 minutes gone when Kevin Doyle climbed well to head down Kevin Kilbane's cross, and it took a brave intervention by the Macedonian goalkeeper to prevent Keane from extending his side's lead.
Doyle was clearly in some discomfort in the aftermath of the attack and his evening ended with just 17 minutes gone when he hobbled off, much to the concern of his international manager and no doubt Wolves boss Mick McCarthy.
Shane Long replaced him and within seconds of the Reading man's arrival, Ireland extended their lead.
Gibson, another man who had been told to try his luck from distance, blasted a 21st-minute free-kick towards goal and saw Nuredinovski fumble it into the path of the ever-alert Keane, who bundled it over the line to double the dose.
But if the home fans among a sparse crowd thought the points were safe, they were mistaken as Macedonia launched a spirited fightback.
With midfielder Darko Tasevski prompting behind strikers Goran Pandev and Ilco Naumoski, they began to make an impression and they got their reward on the stroke of half-time when Trickovski accepted Pandev's pass and cut inside Richard Dunne, his deft finish giving the visitors hope.
They returned in confident mood and went close to an equaliser within three minutes of the restart when Pandev guided a volley just wide from Goran Popov's teasing cross.
But they were perhaps fortunate to still have 11 men on the pitch seconds later when central defender Boban Grncarov planted his studs into the side of Long's head with a ridiculously high challenge.
The Irish had resumed in sluggish fashion, but they found their tempo once again as the half wore on with McGeady seeing another rasping effort blocked and Damien Duff thumping a low drive inches wide.
But Macedonia were refusing to lie down and the tension mounted as they forced a series of free-kicks to fulfil at least part of Trapattoni's prophecy.
Ireland had Westwood to thank for preserving their lead with 15 minutes remaining when midfielder Muhamed Demiri lifted the ball over Dunne to find Trickovski, the goalkeeper coming swiftly from his line to make an invaluable block.
Keith Fahey replaced Gibson and James McCarthy was brought on for Keane as Trapattoni attempted to close the game down, but there was a tangible sense of relief on the final whistle.
© 2004 - 2014 football.co.uk