ireland 0-3 south africa

25 August 2017

After the highs of Wednesday's last gasp victory against hosts Chinese Taipei, Team Ireland's men's football team were brought crashing back down to earth with a humbling 3-0 defeat to South Africa in Fu Jen Catholic University Stadium.

Ireland made five changes to the side that went out against Taipei two days previously with the matchwinner from that game Joe Doyle earning a starting berth. The Irish started off well with Conor Barry pulling the strings in midfield and Doyle threatening down the wing. However, they were left stunned when a first time snapshot from Gift Baloyi beat Conor Kearns and put the African side 1-0 up after fifteen minutes.

The goal shook the Irish and they struggled to regain their composure. It turned from bad to worse on thirty three minutes when a long ball over the top found Lindani Dudula who flicked the ball up and striking Ross Taheny. The referee adjudged the ball to have come off the Sligo man's arm and pointed to the spot which Dudula converted from.

Ireland struggled to create clear cut chances to test the opposition goalkeeper with their best effort coming on the stroke of half time when Jason Lyons' shot from eighteen yards was tipped over by Paul Leaner in the South African goal.

The second half told a similar story to the first with Ireland unable to maintain strong pressure in the final third as fatigue began to show from their exertions on Wednesday. Any glimmer of a comeback was extinguished with five minutes to go when Kearns misplaced a pass straight to substitute Ludumo Nkebe who lifted the ball over the stranded UCD man and into the net.

Ireland now face the play-offs for 13th place when they take on USA on Sunday morning in Chang Gung University Stadium with kick-off again in the late afternoon in Taipei.

Ireland - Kearns, Dempsey (Nugent 55'), Taheny, McLoughlin, Brookes, Dunne, McKeown (O'Connor 66'), Barry, Doyle, Lyons (O'Sullivan 66'), McClelland (Daly-Butz 81').
Subs Unused: Molloy (GK), Kinneen, Sloggett, Hollywood, McAuliffe.

South Africa - Leaner, Chokoe, Maphanga, Motsogi, Mtabane, Baloyi (Hlalele 90'), Nkwana (Ntswane 84'), Dudula (Nkebe 63'), Masehela, Siluma (Singonzo 90'), Stownman.
Subs Unused - Paterson, Mabitsela, Sixishe, Manopole, Swartz.

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