Sweden 0-0 Ireland as it happened
0-0 mightn't sound great but Ireland put on a very good show in Stockholm this evening and came away with a vital result that could well have been even better. Here's how it went down.
Well that was a hugely satisfying evening. 99 per cent of Irish fans would have taken a draw beforehand but few of them would have thought we would have got it with a performance like that.
The performance level dropped off after the break but overall it was Ireland's best display in a long time and in the likes of James McCarthy, Seamus Coleman and James McClean, there were some outstanding individual performances.
We're fourth in the group as it stands but victory over Austria would put us second and within four points of Germany with a game in hand, a very good position to be in going forward.
0-0 isn't a spectacular result or anything but tonight should have helped restore a lot of faith and confidence in the Boys in Green and inspired hope for the future.
That's all from us for the night, thanks for tuning in and we'll see you again on Tuesday.
ROBBIE GOT ZLATAN'S JERSEY!
Just as we thought we were safe, David Forde has pulled off a magnificent save to keep Ireland in it, which he follows up with a brilliant take from the subsequent corner. And that, as they say, is that.
Into stoppage time and there will be only be two minutes.
Ronnie Whelan goes for James McCarthy as the man of the match and we wholeheartedly agree with his choice. Brilliant outing from the Wigan man, surely there will be no doubts about his involvment after this.
Conor Sammon on for the last few minutes in place of Shane Long, who will sleep well tonight after a very decent shift alone up front.
McCarthy very unlucky with a reverse pass off his left foot that is hit just too firmly for Keogh to latch on to. McCarthy has been outstanding tonight.
Harem-scarem stuff in the Irish box as the ball pings about dangerously in front of a few Swedish players but Jonathan Walters carries it away to safety. Phew.
And it's James McClean on the way off. The Sunderland man can be very happy with his contribution tonight.
Andy Keogh's introduction is imminent...
All over in Vienna. Austria 6-0 Faroe Islands.
Marc Wilson cuts inside and has an ambitious effort with his right foot from 20 yards that flies wide of the post. For a minute it looked as if he might just replicate his (slightly deflected) wonder strike against the Faroes last year.
Wes Hoolahan on for Robbie Keane with 15 minutes left on the clock. Good first half by Robbie but he had ran out of steam in the last few minutes. Not much time for Wes but all we need is one decisive intervention.
Yellow card for James McCarthy for a very slight bit of argy-bargy with Granqvist. Needless really but McCarthy has done little wrong tonight so we're not going to come down too hard on him.
Hysen off, Toivinen on for Sweden
Conor Sammon and Wes Hoolahan primed to come on. Shane Long's departure could be imminent, he's ran his socks off and looks to be blowing smoke at this stage.
Austria 5-0 Faroe Islands. Not a huge surprise but can't but help the Austrians' confidence ahead of Tuesday's clash.
An Irish rugby fan being patronising towards Irish soccer fans? Surely not...
As Ronnie Whelan has just pointed out on RTE, it might be about time for Trap to look to the bench. Ireland not pressing with the same urgency they did before half-time and the influence of the likes of McCarthy and Robbie Keane is beginning to wane.
Another opening for Sweden but Wilson is quick to intercept as Hysen looksto pounce in the box.
Let-off for Ireland. Period of sustained possession for Sweden ends up with Safari making the most of the wide open spaces (eh, eh?) in the Irish defence and teeing up Larsson who strikes a poor shot wide from the edge of the box. For a man with a shot like he has he should have done a lot better.
Coleman robbed by Ibrahimovic at right back after trying to beat the big man, looked like he subsequently fouled him on the edge of the box but ref happy to award a throw in after the ball was booted to safety.
Game gone a bit flat but Ireland still on top, a lot of activity down our right hand side particularly, while Shane Long has had a good start to the half
Zlatan tries to dink one over the top for Larsson but it's easy for Forde; Ibrahimovic has been quiet so far but hopefully it will stay that way when Ireland start to tire. At the other end, Shane Long having a ding-dong battle with club-mate Jonas Olsson.
Amongst the comments in the RTE studio at half-time was Eamon Dunphy's suggestion that Wes Hoolahan be brought on for Robbie Keane. Bit harsh in light of Robbie's contribution so far I thought.
Substitution for Sweden at the break. Antonsson on for Lustig who clashed heads with McClean late on in the first half and is probably delighted to see the back of the Sunderland winger.
And we're back underway...
It seems that the lack of confidence in the Irish team was very much misplaced as that was a very, very good 45 minutes for Trapattoni's men. We've been the better team, the more threatening and if Shane Long and Robbie Keane had shown a little bit more composure, we could be at least one if not two up at the break.
James McClean looks particularly lively, but Robbie Keane, Seamus Coleman and James McCarthy all worthy of mention as well. Keep this up and there's a result here for the taking...
Really dangerous cross from Larsson but with only one minute of stoppage time added and Jonas Olsson delaying matters when having to fetch his hairband from behind the goal, that should be about it for the first half.
Nasty enough clash of heads between Lustig and McClean, but both of them are alright. Shane Long's attempts to play on when they were on the ground didn't go down too well.
First card of the evening goes to Paul Green for an 'unceremonious' challenge on Kacaniklic on the left wing. In fairness Kacaniklic was away if Green didn't make the tackle so it wasn't the worst yellow card in the world to pick up.
Zlatan Watch: First real sign of Ibra threatening the goal; his left foot effort was tame enough but deflection off John O'Shea wrong-footed Forde and nearly went in at his near post. Zlatan subsequently beats Forde to the corner but his effort goes harmlessly wide.
Ireland's energy in midfield so far is impressive and the Swedes are being given very little time to settle. We had doubts about Robbie dropping back into midfield but he's been effective in the role so far.
How did we never think of this before?
Austria are 3-0 up on the Faroes in Vienna in the other game. Game over already and perhaps something to worry about for us come Tuesday evening.
Nothing comfortable about that save though, magnificent stop from the Forde after a free-kick from Kallstrom missed everybody and looked to be heading into the bottom corner. Resulting corner claimed very confidently as well. Great couple of minutes for the Irish 'keeper.
Zlatan-like acrobatic attempt from Hysen after an Ibra flick on but the save was more comfortable than it looked for David Forde.
Wasteful from McCarthy after more good work from McClean, the former tried to play in the latter on the right-hand-side but his pass was badly over hit and ran harmlessly out over the endline. Still, 17 minutes gone and there's no doubting who's been on top so far.
Would be disappointed in George Hamilton if he doesn't let out some puns about the Swedish player Safari before the evening's out. Something about his wild nature, his animal instinct or his ability to read between the lions perhaps?
Great chance for Shane Long, who was released by McCarthy and ran directly at the Sweden defence but his effort was high and anything but handsome. Hopefully we won't live to regret not making the most of this early dominance.
All over in the early kick-off. Kazakhstan 0-3 Germany
Swedes don't look comfortable so far, Isaksson flaps at a cross for an Irish corner, from which Robbie Keane has a fresh-air shot at a good delivery from James McClean. Both McClean and Keane lively so far though.
Conor Clifford obviously just copied and pasted David Meyler's tweet from earlier
Lovely run including nutmeg from McClean on the left but his pull-back is cut out, cross from Keane to Walters at the back post, difficult chance for the Stoke man and he heads it just wide. Promising start...
Bit of a punctuation fail from David Meyler but we appreciate the sentiment...
And we're off...
Quick shout out before kick-off to our editor Mike Sheridan, who's at the game tonight and by the looks of things got some pretty sweet seats...
Bit of a bizarre rendition of the Irish national anthem no?
Teams are on their way out at the Friends Arena, atmosphere seems great in fairness. Closed roof mightn't be ideal for Ireland, but it'll certainly be loud...
It's Kazakhstan 0-3 Germany in one of the other games in our group tonight by the way, a result which effectively eliminates Kazakhstan from contention and increases the possibility of Germany running away with the group. Schweinsteiger, Gotze and Muller with the goals.
It got far more heated than this in the RTE studio earlier, but we liked this observation from the lads at @dangerhere
We knew that confidence wasn't exactly high amongst Irish supporters ahead of the game but a quick straw poll on our Facebook page reveals that it's actually worse than we thought.
The simple question 'Are we feeling confident?' has attracted over 20 comments so far, with only one suggesting that we'll be lucky to get a draw and others absolutely dismissing our prospects altogether.
Have we forgotten that we've never lost a qualifier away from home under Trap?
Friends Arena (with roof closed) looking primed and ready for kick-off. Pic via @migueldelaney
Having been distracted by the holy trinity in the RTE studio, I forgot to give you the Sweden team, which I managed to type out by memory and without having to resort to copy and paste once. Honest.
Sweden team: Isaksson, Lustig, Granqvist, Olsson, Safari, Kallstrom, Elm, Larsson, ZZZZLLLLAAATTTAAANNNN, Kacaniklic, Hysen
Jaysus, it's kicking off in the RTE studio already and a ball hasn't even been kicked in anger yet. Not surprisingly, the rise in temperature is to do with Paul Green's original selection over James McCarthy. Liam Brady is once again offering a defence of Trap and Dunphy is having none of it.
If it's boiling over already, imagine if things go Pete Tong as the evening progresses...
As you probably know by now, James McCarthy and Jonathan Walters have been named in the Irish starting XI after an injury to Glenn Whelan and the frankly bizarre situation regarding Robbie Brady, who Trap named in the team yesterday only to subsequently question his mental readiness for such a big game immediately after.
What sort of effect this will have on Brady in the long term remains to be seen but hopefully for his sake he’ll come off the bench and make an impact at some stage; he’s a huge talent and will hopefully have a big role to play for Ireland in the coming years.
Ireland team: Forde; Coleman, O’Shea, Clark, Wilson; Walters, Green, McCarthy, McClean; Keane, Long.
Good evening folks and welcome to our live coverage of Ireland v Sweden. Not an awful lot of enthusiasm in the lead-up to tonight’s encounter but whatever your thoughts about Trap, Paul Green or the pain Zlatan might inflict us if in the mood this evening, that doesn’t mean you can’t cheer on the Boys in the Green.
Kick-off in the Friends Arena is around 45 minutes away. We’ll be back with the latest team news shortly.