Ireland Vs. Bosnia-Herzegovina: Trappatoni's Boys Look Ready For Euro Challenge

Ireland's finishing wasn't terrific, while Bosnia-Herzegovina goalkeeper Asmir Begovic was in top form on Saturday, but the Irish were still able to sneak one goal into the net for a 1-0 win. They dominated play throughout the match, and should have been able to win by more than one goal.

Both Robbie Keane and first-time Ireland starter James McClean had decent penalty shouts in the first 15 minutes of the match, but both had their legitimate claims for a spot kick turned down by the referee. Keane also had one miss in the first half, while the defense took a while to find their footing. With Shay Given and John O'Shea resting, the Ireland back line looked shaky in the opening minutes of the match, but improved as the match went on.

Giovanni Trappatoni made two halftime subs that changed the game for his team and gave them a massive boost. Keith Andrews came on for Glenn Whelan, while Aiden McGeady replaced Damien Duff. Both were much better than the man they replaced, though all four could conceivably be in Trappatoni's plans for the opening game of the Euros.

McGeady created the game's only goal in the 78th minute with a great cross from the right flank to the back post. Substitute striker Shane Long made a great run to lose his man and nodded it past Begovic to give Ireland the goal that they should have claimed much earlier in the game. They almost doubled their lead five minutes later through another substitute striker, Jonathan Walters, but Begovic made a miraculous near-post save, barely getting his hand to the ball while it was right on the goal line.

Ireland are widely expected to finish last in their Euro 2012 group with Spain, Italy and Croatia, but on the evidence of this performance, they won't be a walkover for any of those teams.

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