Today, Ireland squared off against Wales in the FIFA 2018 World Cup Qualifier. And while the game itself was a 0-0 draw, the headlines were really written by the harsh challenges laid throughout the game. Both sides had more than a few dirty challenges that ended up in some disciplinary action, and unfortunately, injury as well.
First, we start with the rough challenge on Joe Allen by his fellow teammate from Stoke, Glenn Whelan. There was nothing friendly about this exchange. The ball was up in the air and both players went for it. However, Whelan came in with his elbow up high and and near Allen’s face. Allen took the blow straight to the head, and fortunately he was okay.
Now we have Ramsey v Whelan. Ramsey had the ball with him as he was running up the field. He took a loose touch and then Whelan came in. The ball took a quick hop off the ground and Whelan went in with his head. Ramsey came in with a high challenge and caught Whelan in the head with his boot. This should have been a clear yellow card as it was a dangerous play but he got away with nothing.
After this we have Bale v O’Shea. Wales were up the wing and launched in a low cross into the box where John O’Shea cleared it. Bale came flying in with a studs up challenge on O’Shea when the ball was clearly gone and cleated him. This left O’Shea with a nasty shin injury and, somehow only a yellow for Bale. Given the nature of the challenge, for me Bale was very lucky to finish the game on the pitch.
Lastly we have the story of the night. Seamus Coleman. Coleman went into to a 50/50 challenge with Neil Taylor and it ended in disaster. Coleman took the ball, but Taylor took Coleman. Taylor’s harsh challenge ended up in a broken leg… for Seamus Coleman. Straight away you could tell that Coleman was seriously injured and it was bad. He had to be removed from the field on a stretcher. This resulted in a red card for Taylor.
In the end this game was very rough and had many fouls. The outcome… a 0-0 draw and a broken leg. This result left Ireland in second place in group D, with Wales in third. It will also be a huge blow to Everton’s European ambitions in the Premier League. Our thoughts are with Seamus Coleman, and we wish him a speedy recovery.
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