Qatar 1-1 Republic of Ireland: 2022 World Cup hosts fight back to rescue a point against Stephen Kenny’s men as Mohammed Muntari cancels out James McClean’s opener in bizarre European qualifying campaign for their OWN tournament
- Republic of Ireland have been held by Qatar in their World Cup qualifier
- James McClean got visitors off to a quick start by finishing off a brilliant corner
- However, less than two minutes into the second half, Muntari equalised for Qatar
- Qatar were invited to take part in European qualifying for the 2022 World Cup
- As hosts they are already in but it provides a stream of games for them to play
For 45 minutes it looked like a shock was on the cards, and Republic of Ireland were going to win a match under Stephen Kenny.
But while this eventual draw against Qatar is an improvement on Saturday’s humiliating loss to Luxembourg, it still represents an 11th match without victory for the manager.
James McClean’s fourth-minute opener in Hungary was at least proof of work being done on the training pitch.
Qatar’s Mohammed Muntari (second left) celebrates his equaliser against Republic of Ireland
James McClean (left) got Republic of Ireland off to a flying start with a fourth-minute opener
McClean (right) finished off a brilliantly-worked corner to break the deadlock early on
The short-corner routine was arguably the most impressive passage of Kenny’s tenure and involved taker Daryl Horgan swapping passes with Robbie Brady before teeing up McClean for a 12-yard finish.
It was the winger’s first international goal since a winner in Wales three-and-a-half years ago, a reminder of a time when Ireland did bloody the noses of higher-ranked teams.
Not now, however. Ireland don’t hurt anyone but themselves these days.
It means Stephen Kenny’s search for his first win as Republic of Ireland boss goes on
QATAR: (4-4-2) Al-Sheeb; Correia, Salman, Khoukhi, Hassan; Al-Rawi, Boudiaf, Al Haydos (Al Hajri 90+4), Hatim (Alahrak 81); Muntari (Abdurisag 90+1), Almoez
SUBS NOT USED: Abunada (GK), Hassan (GK); Ahmed Alaaeldin, Ahmed H, Al Bayati, Fathi, Khidir, Madibo, Suhail
GOALS: Muntari (47)
COACH: Felix Sanchez
REPUBLIC OF IRELAND: (4-4-2) Bazunu; Coleman, O’Shea, Duffy, Christie; Molumby (Cullen 84), Brady (Parrott 22), McClean (Manning 84), Hendrick (Browne 84); Long (Robinson 57), Horgan (Knight 57)
SUBS NOT USED: O’Hara (GK), Travers (GK); Clark, Collins, Curtis, Lenihan
GOALS: McClean (4)
BOOKINGS: Bazunu (8), Knight (89)
COACH: Stephen Kenny
REFEREE: Balazs Berke (Hungary)
VENUE: Nagyerdei Stadion (Debrecen)
And it was no surprise when Mohammed Muntari fired an 18-yard equaliser two minutes after half-time for the 2022 World Cup hosts.
There is no chance of Ireland joining them at next year’s tournament, and that is perhaps for the best.
The sight of them winning a free-kick beyond the three minutes of added time, and then taking it short straight to a Qatari with a crowded penalty area waiting, just about captures the desperation of where Ireland are at right now.
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