Ireland fail to overturn Belarus at Turner's Cross

It's the final match before Martin O'Neill names the Euro 2016 squad tonight

Stephen Ward, Ireland, Belarus

Stephen Ward celebrates scoring Ireland's first goal ©INPHO/Donall Farmer

Ireland have lost 2-1 to Belarus in their final match ahead of the naming of the Euro 2016 squad.

The Boys in Green trailed 2-0 at Turner's Cross, Cork, before left Ward pulled a goal back with 18 minutes to go.

 

 

Despite a bright start from the home side, the visitors stunned the sell-out crowd at Turners Cross in the 21st minute when Mikhail Hardzeichuk scored the opening goal.

The midfielder finished off a clinical counter-attack with a brilliant first-time shot from 25-yards out that gave Shay Given no chance of saving.

Ireland's two best chances had gone to Ciaran Clark.

The centre-half had a glancing header in the first half that flashed across the face of goal before his header at the start of the second half went straight at the Belarus goalkeeper.

But as Ireland pressed for a second goal, space opened up in the right-back channel and Valadzko put his shot across inside the post to make it 2-0.

Ireland did pull one back with just under 20 minutes to go when Shane Long teed up Ward to smash in a finish to leave the scores at 2-1.