West Brom defender Dara O’Shea shines as Ireland lose
West Brom defender Dara O’Shea tasted defeat on his senior debut for the Republic of Ireland.
The 21-year-old impressed in the Nations League clash away to Finland but ended up on the losing side as Ireland’s struggles in front of goal continued.
Fredrik Jensen returned to haunt Ireland as the hosts claimed a 1-0 win in Helsinki.
The Augsburg striker, who scored the only goal in a 1-0 win in Dublin last month, repeated the dose with a 66th-minute strike following an error by keeper Darren Randolph in front of a crowd of around 8,000 at the Olympic Stadium to complete a miserable October for Stephen Kenny’s men.
His decisive intervention in the League B, Group 4 clash came just three minutes after full-back Enda Stevens had hit the crossbar at the other end, but although Ireland gave as good as they got for long periods, their wait for a goal extended to 390 minutes of football since Shane Duffy’s late equaliser in Bulgaria.
The visitors fought all the way to the whistle for an equaliser with keeper Lukas Hradecky producing a superb injury-time save to deny Ronan Curtis.
Ireland have collected just two points from their first four Group B2 games to leave the Finns and Wales fighting it out for top spot.
Wales are in pole position, a point clear of Finland, after a hard-fought 1-0 success in Bulgaria.
Jonny Williams bagged the only goal of the game five minutes from full time to secure a third win in four group games.
Scotland boast the same record in Group B2 following their 1-0 win against the Czech Republic at Hampden.
Ryan Fraser’s sixth-minute strike settled the contest with the hosts surviving some intense second-half pressure.
Fraser twice threatened a second before the break, and substitute Oli McBurnie smacked the crossbar late on.
Villa’s John McGinn played 79 minutes before being withdrawn as Scotland made it eight games unbeaten – their best run in 32 years.
A much-changed Northern Ireland suffered their third consecutive Nations League defeat as a Stuart Dallas own goal gave Norway a 1-0 win in Oslo.
The Irish are bottom of Group B1 with just one point from four games.
Elsewhere, Wolves forward Daniel Podence made his debut for Portugal, as a 75th-minute substitute during their 3-0 win over Sweden. Ex-Molineux man Diogo Jota scored twice.