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Ex-Reds feature as Norn Iron and R.o.I seek World Cup spot
By Chris O'Brien
November 11 2017


Corry Evans enraged

Six former Manchester United players were either on the pitch, or on the bench, as Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland experienced mixed fortunes in the first-leg of their World Cup play-offs.

Denmark 0-0 Republic of Ireland

Former Manchester United defenders John O’Shea and Paul McShane were unused substitutes as the Republic of Ireland drew 0-0 in Denmark in the first-leg of their crucial 2018 World Cup play-off on Saturday evening. 

Martin O'Neill's men executed a gameplan which has served them well throughout the campaign, soaking up large amounts of pressure and frustrating their opponents with well-organised and determined defending.


Darren Randolph, the Middlesbrough goalkeeper, was in impressive form to keep the Danes at bay, with the home side failing to score despite amassing 72% possession, 14 shots and five corners.

The goalless draw means the tie is finely poised for the return leg on Tuesday evening in Dublin.

Northern Ireland 0-1 Switzerland

Meanwhile, ex-Manchester United pair Jonny and Corry Evans were in action as Northern Ireland suffered a single goal home defeat in their play-off first-leg against Switzerland, on Thursday evening. Fellow former Red Devils Roy Carroll and Paddy McNair were unused substitutes in Belfast.

Ricardo Rodriguez's penalty settled the contest, after Corry Evans was harshly judged to have handled inside his own penalty box. The Swiss, however, did control the Windsor Park tie for long periods.

Michael O'Neill's men must show far more attacking intent in the second leg in Basel on Sunday, if their brave qualifying attempt is to end in glory and a first spot at a World Cup for the nation in more than three decades.