Republic of Ireland have been crowned winners of the inaugural Carling Nations Cup after beating Scotland 1-0 at the Aviva Stadium on Sunday.
The Republic’s captain, Robbie Keane was on hand to score the only goal of the game before lifting the Carling Nations Cup trophy in front of the Dublin crowd.
The Irishman’s 23rd minute winner was enough to see the Republic finish top of the Carling Nations Cup table with Scotland finishing as runners up. Meanwhile, Northern Ireland came bottom after being on the wrong end of a 2-0 defeat to third place Wales on Friday evening.
Welsh captain, Aaron Ramsey opened the scoring before Robert Earnshaw grabbed his second in as many games to secure three points for Gary Speed’s men which ensured they didn’t finish bottom of the pile.
The Republic of Ireland Fans Association has won the inaugural Carling Nations Fans Cup following a 3-1 victory over the Scotland Fans Association. The conclusion to the tournament mirrored the Carling Nations Cup itself, with the Republic of Ireland also emerging victorious over Scotland at the Aviva Stadium on Sunday evening.
In blustery conditions and after an even start, the Republic of Ireland Fans Association quickly began to dictate play, although they were fortunate to take advantage of a defensive error to take the lead after 20 minutes before adding a second just before half time.
Scotland came out fighting in the second half, and both keepers made outstanding saves to keep the score at 2-0, before the Irish finally killed off the game with a third strike. Scotland did pull one back in the last 10 minutes and had their chances to suggest a comeback, but ultimately fell short.
The game was played in a fantastic spirit and provided a fitting end to the tournament, with the Republic of Ireland Fans Association proudly lifting the trophy to cheers from their defeated opponents.
With the Carling Nations Cup approaching its final game between the Republic of Ireland and Scotland on Sunday at the Aviva Stadium, the Carling Nations Fans Cup has also reached its concluding match. The Scotland Fans Association will battle it out with the Republic of Ireland Fans Association to decide who will be crowned the Carling Nations Fans Cup winners.
Ahead of the tournament climax on Sunday, Carling worked with the SFA to create a unique experience for the Scotland Fans ahead of their own Carling Nations Fans Cup game against the ROI. Four of the lucky Scotland Association Fans were taken to their National side's training camp to meet Craig Levein and the players, watch a training session and take away autographs and photos. It was a magical experience for the fans who relished the chance to meet their idols, and having seen them train are confident that Scotland have what it takes to overcome their rivals and be crowned champions of the Carling Nations Cup on Sunday.
Wales ensured they wouldn’t finish bottom of the Carling Nations Cup and instead inflicted the punishment on their opponents after clinching a 2-0 victory against Northern Ireland at the Aviva Stadium on Friday.
Goals from Aaron Ramsey (36) and Robert Earnshaw (69) secured three points for Gary Speed’s men, which meant they finished third in the Carling Nations Cup table.
Ramsey broke the deadlock with a clinical finish after the Northern Irish defence failed to deal with a routine corner.
Earnshaw put the game to bed 21 minutes from the end after stealing a march on a stagnant Irish backline before firing past a helpless Jonathan Tuffey in goal.
Republic of Ireland and Scotland play each other in a match on Sunday which decides who will be the winner of the inaugural Carling Nations Cup.
Northern Ireland manager, Nigel Worthington will rotate his team for their final match in the Carling Nations Cup against Wales at the Aviva Stadium on Friday evening.
Worthington’s men were convincingly beaten by Republic of Ireland in their last match but will be looking to end the campaign on a high versus Gary Speed’s plucky Wales.
Jonny Tuffey, Colin Coates, Oliver Norwood, Robert Garrett and Niall McGinn have all been brought into the team for the match in Dublin in a match that would ultimately determine who finishes bottom of the Carling Nations Cup table.
Carl Winchester is expected to make his debut from the bench, whilst Steven Davis (hamstring)and Sammy Clingan (hip) miss out through injury.
Ahead of the match Worthington said: "You never like to lose players at any stage. In the current situation, when we have very few senior pros with us anyway, to lose the quality and experience of Steven Davis and Sammy Clingan is another jolt for us."
"But we will stick another couple of youngsters in and give them some experience" Worthington added.
Hopefully the kids will come through with experience that will hold them in good stead in the future."
Scotland have set up a final match decider with Republic of Ireland after coming from behind to claim a 3-1 victory over Wales in Dublin on Wednesday night.
Second half goals from James Morrison, Kenny Miller and Christophe Berra cancelled out Robert Earnshaw’s opener for Wales at the Aviva Stadium.
The result means that the winner between Republic of Ireland and Scotland, who face each other on the evening of Sunday 29th May, will be crowned Carling Nations Cup champions.
Earnshaw, captaining Wales for the first time, secured his country’s goal after 36 minutes. The pacey striker raced onto a defensive error by Scotland full-back, Stephen Crainey to slot past Allan McGregor in the Scottish goal.
Whilst it meant Gary Speed could celebrate the first goal under his reign as Wales’ manager, his joy was short lived has Morrison levelled the scores ten minutes into the second half. The Scottish midfielder latched onto a superb through ball by the creative Charlie Adam leaving Morrison to fire past Wales ‘keeper, Boaz Myhill.
Scotland continued to press for the lead and exposed a weak Welsh defence on 64 minutes. Captain, Miller finished well after receiving a smart pull back from Morrison in the box.
The game was put to bed four minutes later through Berra, when the centre-back headed home a Steven Whittaker cross at the far post.
Despite Earnshaw’s best efforts towards the end of the match, Scotland held on to secure three points which take them level with Republic of Ireland at the top of the Carling Nations Cup table.
Wales and Northern Ireland will be looking to secure their first points of the tournament when they face each other at Dublin’s Aviva Stadium on Friday 27th May.
Republic of Ireland came out on top in their clash with Northern Ireland on Tuesday night after a 5-0 victory in Dublin.
Goals from Robbie Keane (2), Stephen Ward, Simon Cox and a Craig Cathcart own goal gave the Republic the three points at the Aviva Stadium which takes them to the top of the Carling Nations Cup table.
The Republic took the lead midway through the first half after Northern Ireland goalkeeper, Alan Blayney spilled a Keith Treacy cross allowing Ward the task of poking home from close range.
Keane then doubled the advantage on 37 minutes after capitalising on a poor back pass from Lee Hodson. The striker pounced to smartly chip Blayney after being left one on one with the young ‘keeper.
More Republic pressure resulted in a third goal before half time. Cathcart diverted Seamus Coleman’s right wing cross into his own net after Blayney fumbled.
It went from bad to worse for Northern Ireland after the break. Adam Thompson was on the receiving end of a red card after bringing down Keane in the box. Keane coolly slotted the penalty home after sportingly pleading for Thompson to remain on the field.
Cox rounded off proceedings 10 minutes from time after dancing through the Northern Ireland defence to curl a fine fifth goal.
The Carling Nations Cup continues on Wednesday evening when Wales face Scotland at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin.
Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales have named their squads for the next two rounds of Carling Nations Cup matches taking place in Dublin this week.
Meanwhile, an injury ravaged Republic of Ireland are still assessing the fitness levels of many of their players, but have named a provisional starting team for their fixture with Northern Ireland on Tuesday.
With four games in less than a week and a winner of the inaugural Carling Nations Cup to be announced, there's sure to be some fantastic action on display at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin.
If you’re heading off to the city to cheer on your team, don’t forget to check out the Carling Nations Cup Guide to Dublin which can be downloaded straight to your mobile.
Republic of Ireland team to face Northern Ireland, Tuesday 24th May, 7:45pm
Given; McShane, Delaney, Kelly, Wilson; Lawrence/Coleman, Andrews, Fahey/Foley, Treacy; Keane, Cox.
Northern Ireland squad to face Republic of Ireland, Tuesday 24th May, 7:45pm
Jonathan Tuffey, Alan Blayney, Lee Hodson, Adam Thompson, Gareth McAuley, Carl Winchester, Colin Coates, Craig Cathcart, Niall McGinn, Sammy Clingan, Oliver Norwood, John Gorman, Josh Carson, Steven Davis, Robert Garrett, Stuart Dallas, Warren Feeney, Josh McQuoid, Liam Boyce, Jordan Owens.
Wales squad to face Scotland, Wednesday 25th May, 7:45pm
Wayne Hennessey, Boaz Myhill, Lewis Price, Darcy Blake, Danny Collins ,James Collins, Neal Eardley, Danny Gabbidon, Chris Gunter, Craig Morgan, Neil Taylor, Jack Collison, David Cotterill, Andy King, Joe Ledley, Aaron Ramsey, David Vaughan, Craig Bellamy, Robert Earnshaw, Freddy Eastwood, Steve Morison, Sam Vokes, Jermaine Easter, Andy Dorman, Owain Tudur Jones.
Scotland squad to face Wales, Wednesday 25th May, 7:45pm
Charlie Adam, Barry Bannan, Phil Bardsley, Christophe Berra, Scott Brown, Gary Caldwell, Stephen Crainey, James Forrest, Matt Gilks, Grant Hanley, Craig Mackail-Smith, Chris Maguire, Russell Martin, James McArthur, Ross McCormack, Allan McGregor, Kenny Miller, James Morrison, Steven Naismith, Barry Robson, Iain Turner, Steven Whittaker, Danny Wilson.
The Carling Nations Cup Guide to Dublin is packed full of information including where to stay, places to eat, where to enjoy a night out and things to do as well a host of favourite places in Dublin from celebrities including Ronan Keating, Bono and Ronnie Wood. Alongside this line up of useful information, the guide also includes a list of pubs where Carling will be laying on some of their own hospitality, with sampling teams out across the week to meet fans and be on hand to welcome them to Dublin with a complimentary pint.
Carling’s Brand Manager Ireland, Jordana Grimes hopes the new guide will help football fans enjoy an action packed time in Dublin over the tournament.
"People will be able to use the Carling Nations Cup Dublin City Guide to explore the top attractions as it includes must see places for people visiting for the first time, places some people may have missed on previous visits as well as hidden gems."
Republic of Ireland manager Giovanni Trapatoni added, "Dublin has become like a second home to me over the past three years. It is an amazing city full of friendly people and passionate football fans who will no doubt make travelling supporters from the other nations feel welcome. I recommend you stay for a while and enjoy the city."
Click to see the Carling Nations Cup Guide to Dublin.If you want to download the PDF, just save the link!
The Carling Nations Cup resumes in May and we’re giving you the chance to cheer on your team at Dublin’s Aviva Stadium.
The matches continue on 25th May when Wales take on Scotland, before the cup reaches it's conclusion with Northern Ireland versus Wales on 27th May and Republic of Ireland versus Scotland on 29th May.
To win tickets to either of these three matches, simply visit our competition pages and tell us who you will be supporting!
Please note: This competition has now closed.
The Football Association of Ireland (FAI) has announced that Carling Nations Cup tickets are now on sale for the remaining matches taking place in May.
Tickets for the Republic of Ireland fixtures against Northern Ireland (25th May) and Scotland (29th May) are available from €30, while all other fixtures in the Carling Nations Cup are priced from just €20, with all matches taking place at Dublin's Aviva Stadium.
Carling Nations Cup tickets can be purchased from www.ticketmaster.ie and the FAI Umbro stores in Carrolls Westmoreland St and Suffolk St, Dublin.
Carling Nations Cup at Aviva Stadium – Ticket Details
May 24 - Republic of Ireland v Northern Ireland, kick-off 19.45 - Tickets from €30
May 25 - Wales v Scotland, kick-off: 19.45, Tickets from €20
May 27 - Northern Ireland v Wales, kick-off: 1945, Tickets from €20
May 29 - Republic of Ireland v Scotland, kick-off: 18.30, Tickets from €30
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