Gerson Rodrigues condemned the Republic of Eire to an embarrassing 1-0 defeat in Dublin as Luxembourg gained a World Cup qualifier for simply the sixth time of their historical past.
The striker blasted residence an Eighty fifth-minute winner on the Aviva Stadium to all however finish Eire’s hopes of constructing it out of Group A after simply two video games and pile the strain on supervisor Stephen Kenny, who has gained none of his first 10 matches on the helm.
In fact, it was little greater than the guests deserved with Eire keeper Gavin Bazunu, making his senior debut as a 19-year-old 25 years to the day since Shay Given did the identical, having already made vital saves from Rodrigues and Vincent Thill both facet of the break.
That, on an evening when victory was the one possibility after Wednesday evening’s opening 3-2 defeat in Serbia, was merely not adequate and leaves Kenny with critical inquiries to reply after a toothless show which can have merely added gasoline to the fires of his critics.
He handed a senior debut to Manchester Metropolis teenager Bazunu – at present enjoying his soccer on mortgage at League One Rochdale – as he, Jason Knight and James Collins changed Mark Travers, Jayson Molumby and the injured Aaron Connolly.
In an untidy begin by Eire, Bazunu was referred to as upon to make a regulation second-minute save from Vincent Thill after he had minimize in from the best, however the residence facet ultimately settled into the sport and began the method of attempting to interrupt down the guests.
They have been denied the lead solely by a point-blank save from Anthony Moris when, on the finish of a transfer launched by Bazunu, Callum Robinson drove the ball throughout the six-yard field, the place Collins slid in and appeared sure to attain till the keeper made an instinctive 18th-minute block.
Kenny’s males have been dominating possession, however enjoying largely in entrance of the guests, who have been getting loads of males behind the ball in a largely profitable effort to maintain the hosts at bay.
The Republic stepped up a gear because the break approached to pin Luxembourg again deep into their very own half, however have been virtually caught three minutes earlier than half-time when Rodrigues tried to catch Bazunu off his line, a lot as Aleksandar Mitrovic had carried out to Travers in midweek, however this time the keeper was equal to the duty.
Robbie Brady changed Matt Doherty, who had acquired therapy earlier than the interval, because the second half received underneath approach and his arrival gave his crew recent impetus from the off.
Olivier Thill curled a Forty ninth-minute free-kick huge as he tried to wrong-foot Bazunu, however the path of journey was largely in the direction of Moris’ objective.
Alan Browne ought to actually have added to the objective he scored in Belgrade when he met Brady’s Fifty fifth-minute free-kick unopposed, solely to plant his header huge of the far put up.
Kenny despatched on midfielder James McClean for defender Clark in a seek for inspiration, however Bazunu needed to come to Eire’s rescue as soon as once more inside seconds after Vincent Thill had bundled his approach in the direction of objective with 62 minutes gone.
The house facet have been at the very least enjoying with larger urgency and Robinson skied a 67th-minute shot over after operating on to a unfastened ball, nevertheless it was Collins who went shut with an acrobatic effort from Brady’s Seventieth-minute cross.
However the evening turned considerably darker for Eire with 5 minutes remaining after they did not cope with Moris’ clearance and Rodrigues took the chance to rifle a dipping shot previous Bazunu from 25 yards and provides his facet an unlikely lead.
The Republic’s efforts to spare their blushes in the course of the little time which remained amounted to nothing and the ultimate whistle signalled a brand new low for Irish soccer.