The Republic of Ireland recorded one of the biggest results in their history with a 1-1 draw against the world champions last night. Here Rob Lyons looks at the connection last night’s Irish XI has to the League of Ireland.
The former Galway United and Derry City man can trace a lot of his success to two brilliant seasons for the candystripes in 2005 and 2006. Both campaigns saw near misses in claiming the Premier Division title but Forde did find success in the FAI Cup in 2006 as well as some impressive European performances.
Last night Forde showed why he is now Ireland and Millwall’s number one. He pulled off some impressive saves against eventual scorer Toni Kroos and Lukas Podolski as well as a close range block from a Mario Gotze effort. Although there was one moment of madness in which Germany almost scored into an empty net, Forde pulled off some saves which were pivotal in Ireland securing a point.
Forde was eventually undone but he cannot be blamed for the amount of room Kroos was given to get his shot away.
Rating – 8/10
Although the ex-Cork City man’s time in the League of Ireland was very brief before he made the move to Sunderland in 2008 he still made his name behind the scenes, rising through the City ranks, in Ireland.
His performance last night was solid. He saved Ireland from some very threatening passes played in between him and his centre backs, making some fantastic interceptions.
In what was a relatively unfamiliar role at right back, Meyler did himself justice as he defended resolutely against the German’s attackers.
Rating – 7/10
Ward was part of the Bohemians squad between 2003 and 2007 before he earned a move to Wolverhampton Wanderers.
Last night Ward played on the left side of the back four and was instrumental in keeping out German attacks as well as playing some good balls to James Mclean on the wing, to in-turn relieve pressure on Ireland’s back four.
The boys in green defended superbly and this was helped no-end by the tireless work-rate of the back four. Half of Ireland’s defensive four last night were made up of ex-League of Ireland players.
Rating – 7/10
Hoolahan made a short appearance last night for the Republic of Ireland, coming off the bench in the 76th minute for Stephen Quinn.
The Dubliner began his career at Shelbourne. He played for the Shels between 2001 and 2006 in what was a golden era for the club. Not only did they win three league titles while he was in the side but they also managed to get to the Champions League third qualifying round, before being knocked out by Deportivo La Coruna of Spain.
The decision to not start the Norwich City man was met with much consternation but he did effect the game once he came on. Some poor decisions were made as he felt his way into the game but he had the second best chance of the night at the edge of the six-yard box before his shot was blocked away.
Rating – 6/10
Out of the whole Irish side he was probably the best player on the pitch, never mind the best player who can trace his roots to the League of Ireland.
Mclean made his name at Derry City before a move to Sunderland in 2011 arose. He is now no longer playing in the Premier League but he tormented Antonio Rudiger on a number of occasions to give Ireland some breathing space from the incessant German waves of attack.
Rating – 8/10
Lets not forget that Ireland also had Shane Long and Kevin Doyle on the bench; two long-term servants to the Irish national side and players who can trace their roots to the League of Ireland.
Rob Lyons, Pundit Arena.