WATCH: Ciaran Clark rises to the occasion as his goal delivers victory against the Swiss

Ireland win 1-0 at the Aviva Stadium in the first of our set of pre-Euro 2016 friendlies

BY Raf Diallo 21:46 Friday 25 March 2016, 21:46 25 Mar 2016

Ireland's Ciaran Clark celebrates scoring with Shane Duffy ©INPHO/Donall Farmer

Ciaran Clark's early header was enough for Ireland to gain victory in their first Euro 2016 warm-up friendly as they defeated Switzerland 1-0 at the Aviva Stadium.

Martin O'Neill's men got off to the perfect start against our fellow European Championship qualifiers. Winning a set piece in the third minute, Robbie Brady's deep delivery was headed in the direction of goal by impressive centre-back Shane Duffy.


Aston Villa's Ciaran Clark was in the right place in the six-yard box to turn the ball into the back of the head with a darting move and header to put Ireland 1-0 up.

Ireland's Ciaran Clark celebrates scoring the opening goal ©INPHO/Morgan Treacy

Clear cut chances were at a premium in the minutes to follow but there was a blow for O'Neill on 25 minutes when Kevin Doyle was struck down with injury after coming off worse in a collision with Timm Klose.

The Colorado Rapids striker immediately signaled that he needed to come off with his disappointment palpable as he was stretchered off to be replaced by Daryl Murphy.

Ireland's Kevin Doyle injured ©INPHO/Donall Farmer

Shane Long had a great chance to make it 2-0 on 37 minutes. Seamus Coleman clipped in a ball and Long rose highest to head towards goal, only to see his effort cannon back off the frame of the goal. 

Ireland came close again on 41 minutes from a set-piece but Alan Judge was not able to get clear contact on Brady's corner as the ball drifted just wide. 

Ireland's Robbie Brady with Breel Embolo of Switzerland ©INPHO/Morgan Treacy 

Ireland sat visibly deeper early in the second half as they held the Swiss at bay and the intensity did drop as both sides made a raft of substitutions. 

The Swiss, who dominated possession as the game wore on, did have a good chance on 82 minutes with a deflected strike from the edge of the area. But the effort trickled wide. 

Just before the game entered stoppage time, Bournemouth midfielder Eunan O'Kane won the ball high up and ran clean through but fired wide.

But O'Neill's side hung on for a solid 1-0 home win against the side ranked 12th in the world.

Next up for the Boys in Green is the visit of Slovakia on Tuesday.


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