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2049: Ireland fail to clear a corner properly and the ball is played to the right and a deflected cross finds Madzukic who nods the ball in from ten yards, despite the best efforts of goalkeeper Shay Given. Croatia seem intent to give Bilic the best send off they can.

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2048: GOAL! CROATIA 1 IRELAND 0.

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Croatia, all in blue tonight, kick off. Italian Giovanni Trapattoni is manager for Ireland. Croatian coach Bilic has revealed that he will leave his post after the European Championship.

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2045: They’re off, playing in steady rain. The Irish will love it!

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2043: The national anthem for Ireland is belted out vociferously by every Irishman in the stadium. Bjorn Kuipers of the Netherlands will referee the match tonight.

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2035: Five minutes to go. There’s a party atmosphere in the City Stadium as Ireland play Croatia. Plenty of supporters in the red and white of Slaven Bilic’s side but the Irish are out in force too. The rain is pouring down in Poznan, but the fans look like they do not want to be anywhere else. A little over ten minutes until kick off.

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2025: Croatia: Pletikosa, Srna, Corluka, Schildenfeld, Strinic, Vukojevic, Rakitic, Modric, Perisic, Mandzukic, Jelavic. Croatia substitutes: Kelava, Simunic, Buljat, Pranjic, Badelj, Vrsaljko, Dujmovic, Kalinic, Kranjcar, Vida, Eduardo, Subasic. Ireland: Given, O’Shea, St. Ledger, Dunne, Ward, McGeady, Whelan, Andrews, Duff, Doyle, Keane. Ireland substitutes: Westwood, Kelly, McShane, Walters, Gibson, Hunt, O’Dea, Long, Cox, Green, McClean, Forde.

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Story Continues →