Martin O'Neill's under-strength Ireland earn draw in Poland

Martin O'Neill's under-strength Ireland earn draw in Poland

Poland 1 - 1 Republic of Ireland

The Republic of Ireland have drawn 1-1 against Poland in their friendly in Wroclaw tonight.

Debutant, Aiden O'Brien, headed Martin O'Neill's side into the lead early in the second half in a game of few clearcut chances.

Martin O'Neill's under-strength Ireland earn draw in Poland

However, the hosts drew level late on after substitute Mateusz Klich side-footed the ball past Darren Randolph.

O'Neill rang the changes in Wroclaw as he included O'Brien in a side in which Enda Stevens and Shaun Williams also made first starts, along with Kevin Long, John Egan and Richard Keogh, replacing Seamus Coleman, Stephen Ward, Ciaran Clark, Shane Duffy, Conor Hourihane and Jonathan Walters following the 4-1 Nations League defeat in Wales.

Poland skipper Robert Lewandowski had to wait for his 100th cap after head coach Jerzy Brzeczek named him on the bench in one of six changes to the side which drew 1-1 in Italy on Friday.

Keeper Wojciech Szczesny got the nod ahead of Lukasz Fabianski with Kamil Glik taking over the captain's armband.

Martin O'Neill's under-strength Ireland earn draw in Poland

The game was 35 minutes old before either keeper had a save of note to make despite a bright start as a well-organised Ireland closed down space and made life difficult for the Poles.

It was Darren Randolph who was first to be called upon, but he had little difficulty in fielding Arkadiusz Milik's long-range effort as the frontman attempted to atone for heading wide with the goal at his mercy earlier in the half.

As the half-time whistle sounded, the game remained goalless with Poland having enjoyed the better openings, but there was plenty with which O'Neill could be satisfied.

Callum O'Dowda mustered Ireland's first attempt of note within four minutes of the restart.

The 23-year-old embarked upon a determined surge into enemy territory and exchanged passes with wing-back Cyrus Christie before drilling a shot into Szczesny's waiting arms.

Martin O'Neill's under-strength Ireland earn draw in Poland

But the visitors took the lead four minutes later when O'Brien marked his debut with a goal, the Millwall frontman meeting O'Dowda's cross unopposed to head past the helpless Szczesny.

Poland forced their way back into the game with just three minutes remaining.

Substitute Mateusz Klich played a neat one-two on the edge of the box and clipped the ball past Randolph to make it 1-1.

Klich's intervention proved to be the last notable action as the game finished 1-1, leaving O'Neill's men with decidedly mixed feelings.


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