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Ireland thrash Scotland to end Nations League drought


Dublin (AFP) – The Republic of Ireland ended their long wait for a Nations League win in style by thrashing Scotland 3-0 in Dublin on Saturday.

Ireland had scored just two goals in their previous 12 Nations League games without victory, but surpassed that tally in 90 minutes as Alan Browne, Troy Parrott and Michael Obafemi put Steve Clarke’s men to the sword.

Scotland had began their Nations League campaign with a comfortable 2-0 win over Armenia on Wednesday.

But Clarke’s future may now be questioned after a second humiliation in 10 days.

Scotland were outclassed by a Ukraine side featuring many players in their first competitive action for months in a 3-1 World Cup playoff defeat on home soil on June 1.

Ireland had not won a competitive home match for three years, but boss Stephen Kenny finally had something to celebrate as his side dominated from the start.

The hosts took the lead in the 20th minute when Browne bundling the ball over the line after Shane Duffy had headed down a James McClean corner.

Ireland’s second goal came just seven minutes later when Obafemi’s perfectly-weighted pass into the Scotland box found Parrott who headed past onrushing goalkeeper Craig Gordon.

Things went from bad to worse for Scotland and Gordon in the second half as Swansea striker Obafemi capped his first international start with a thunderous drive that bewildered the Hearts stopper from outside the box.

Ireland could even have had a fourth but a VAR check denied Scott Hogan as his effort was hooked off the line by Grant Hanley.

Victory takes Ireland above Scotland on goal difference in Group B1, but both trail Ukraine, who were 3-0 winners over Armenia early on Saturday, by three points.

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