Ireland toil in pre-Euro 2012 friendly draw with Hungary

The Republic of Ireland ended their Euro 2012 preparations with a 0-0 draw with Hungary in rain-soaked Budapest, Reuters has reported. Giovanni Trapattoni’s side are said to have been at times outplayed by their hosts, who did not qualify for the tournament.

The draw nevertheless means Ireland’s unbeaten run now stretches for 14 games, of which 11 results have seen Ireland keep a clean sheet. Perhaps more importantly, with the country’s first Euro 2012 fixture against Croatia just days away, Ireland returned from the match without any injury problems.

Goalkeeper Shay Given and defender John O’Shea, who had been struggling with injuries, came through the match unscathed, although Given was withdrawn at half-time in favour of Sunderland’s Keiren Westwood. The XI that started against Hungary is likely to be the XI that takes to the field against Croatia on Saturday.

Jonathan Walters had Ireland’s best chance to break the deadlock with a late header but put the opportunity wide of the goal.

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