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Last Updated: Wednesday, 8 September, 2004, 20:23 GMT 21:23 UK
Switzerland 1-1 Rep of Ire
Clinton Morrison headed the Republic into the lead
The Republic of Ireland claimed a hard-earned World Cup point by holding Switzerland to a draw in the Group Four qualifier in Basel.

Clinton Morrison headed the Irish ahead in the eighth minute but intense Swiss pressure was eventually rewarded by Hakan Yakin's 17th-minute equaliser.

Shay Given kept the Republic in the game with several magnificent saves.

Robbie Keane and Kevin Kilbane had chances beaten away but the Irish struggled for the most part.

Morrison's superb glancing header put Brian Kerr's side ahead after a floated cross from Damien Duff.

However, Given then had to produce three superb saves in five minutes to keep the Irish ahead.

Firstly, he tipped a Murat Yakin piledriver onto the crossbar after Roy Keane's mistake had forced Stephen Carr to concede a free-kick just outside the box.

Then, the Newcastle goalkeeper did brilliantly to stop a point-blank chance for Alexander Rey after another Roy Keane error.

Given came to the rescue again seconds later when he blocked a Hakan Yakin effort.

Roy Keane has been out of action recently with a rib injury
Roy Keane showed signs of rustiness in the first half

However, the Swiss pressure did force an equaliser in the 17th minute when Hakan Yakin easily beat three Irish defenders after a Kilbane mistake and placed his shot beyond Given's reach.

After being on the receiving end for 15 minutes, the Republic then regained their composure to create three chances of their own.

Robbie Keane seemed to be clear on goal but his first touch let him down at the crucial moment.

Swiss goalkeeper Pascal Zuberbuhler then denied Morrison with a brilliant instinctive save and Roy Keane's vigorous attempted follow-up ended up in the Manchester United star receiving a booking.

Zuberbuhler came to his team's rescue again on the half-hour by pushing away Robbie Keane's effort and Kevin Kilbane's follow-up was blocked by a Swiss defender.

The Irish were denied another chance seven minutes after the break when Robbie Keane was harshly deemed offside after a clever through-ball from Andy Reid.

However, midway through the half the Swiss created two chances with Given reacting late to save Hakan Yakin's long-range effort and Murat Yakin then nodding wide from eight yards out.

With the Irish struggling, Kerr brought Graham Kavanagh on for Andy Reid in an effort to stiffen up the midfield and the visitors managed to hold on for a point.

The Republic's next qualifier is the tough away fixture against France on 9 October.


Switzerland: Zuberbuhler, Haas, Muller, Murat Yakin, Magnin, Vogel, Barnetta, Cabanas, Hakan Yakin, Vonlanthen (Lonfat 73), Rey.
Subs Not Used: Roth, Berner, Henchoz, Grichting, Huggel, Haberli.

Booked: Haas, Hakan Yakin.

Goals: Hakan Yakin 17.

Rep of Ireland: Given, Carr, O'Brien, Cunningham, Finnan, Andy Reid (Kavanagh 73), Roy Keane, Kilbane, Duff, Robbie Keane, Morrison (Doherty 84).
Subs Not Used: Breen, Maybury, Quinn, Kenny, Barrett.

Booked: Carr, Morrison, Roy Keane.

Goals: Morrison 8.

Att: 28,000

Ref: Kyros Vassaras (Greece).




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Report: BBC Five Live's Simon Brotherton



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