Five Cork players feature for Ireland but England cruise to Wembley victory

Five Cork players feature for Ireland but England cruise to Wembley victory

Ireland's Adam Idah with Michael Keane of England. He was one of four Cork players in the starting 11. Picture: INPHO/Tommy Dickson

England 3 Republic of Ireland 0

THE Republic of Ireland’s 35-year unbeaten run against England has unfortunately come to an abrupt end as they were defeated 3-0 at Wembley Stadium.

Goals from Harry Maguire, Jadon Sancho, and a Dominic Calvert-Lewin penalty was enough to earn England the result that stretches Stephen Kenny’s winless run at the beginning of his reign to six games, with only one goal scored in that time.

Kenny named four Cork natives in the spine of his team, with John Egan starting in centre-back, Conor Hourihane and Alan Browne featuring in midfield, and Adam Idah spearheading the attack. Defender Kevin Long also made an appearance in the second half, though keeper Caoimhín Kelleher didn't get a run.

Picture: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile
Picture: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

The hosts went close to taking the lead in the opening minutes but after Jadon Sancho turned Mason Mount’s poor corner towards the back post, Tyrone Mings headed over the bar from close range.

Ireland were dealt a blow just shy of the quarter of an hour mark as Egan, who had suffered a blow to the head from fellow Leesider Hourihane in conceding that aforementioned corner, was forced to withdraw.

Despite some positives signs in possession — Browne and former Cork City attacker Daryl Horgan in particular impressing — the visitors conceded the opening goal of the game with 17 minutes on the clock.

Alan Browne shoots. Picture: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile
Alan Browne shoots. Picture: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

Shane Duffy is usually so strong from set-pieces but he was beaten to a corner by Harry Maguire, who directed his header into the bottom left corner.

Maguire almost doubled their lead just before the half an hour mark but his powerful header from Mount’s delivery was turned over the crossbar by Darren Randolph.

But Gareth Southgate’s side would make it 2-0 moments later as Sancho collected former Ireland youth international Jack Grealish’s pass before cutting onto his right foot and drilling it into the far bottom right corner.

The English continued to look dangerous and they would deservedly grab a third at the beginning of the second half as Christie brought down Saka inside the area, allowing Calvert-Lewin to slot his penalty into the top left corner.

Ireland battled until the end and they went close to snatching a consolation but Browne and Ronan Curtis’ strikes were saved by Dean Henderson before Duffy headed over late on as their attention now turns to the Nations League clash against Wales on Sunday evening.

ENGLAND: Nick Pope, Reece James, Bukayo Saka, Michael Keane, Harry Maguire, Tyrone Mings, Mason Mount, Harry Winks, Dominic Calvert-Lewin, Jadon Sancho, Jack Grealish.

Subs: Dean Henderson for Pope (h-t), Phil Foden for Grealish (60), Ainsley Maitland-Niles for Mount (60), Tammy Abraham for Calvert-Lewin (62), Jude Bellingham for Mount (74).

REPUBLIC OF IRELAND: Darren Randolph, Matt Doherty, Shane Duffy, John Egan, Conor Hourihane, Alan Browne, Adam Idah, Cyrus Christie, Jeff Hendrick, Callum O’Dowda, Daryl Horgan.

Subs: Dara O’Shea for Egan (14), James McClean for O’Dowda (60), Kevin Long for Christie (60), Robbie Brady for Horgan (60), Ronan Curtis for Idah (71), Jayson Molumby for Hourihane (71).

Referee: Carlos Del Cerro Grande (Spain).

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