Sport

Ireland beat Armenia as match ends with dramatic penalty and two red cards

Ireland have won their final Nations League match over a nine-man Armenia after a late penalty.

Ireland dominated the early exchanges and took an 18th-minute lead when skipper John Egan, who scored the opening goal against the Scots, repeated the feat with a firm header from Brady’s corner.

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Jason Knight and Brady both had shots blocked as Ireland attempted to push home their advantage, but despite their wealth of possession, they went in at the break just a single goal to the good.

The Republic extended their lead seven minutes after the restart when striker Michael Obafemi turned smartly before sending a skidding long-range effort past the helpless Yurchenko.

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However, Armenia dragged themselves back into the game as Ireland were caught napping twice inside as many minutes.

Goalkeeper Gavin Bazunu managed to turn Styopa Mkrtchyan’s 71st-minute shot against a post, but when the ball fell to fellow substitute Artak Dashyan, he fired home to reduce the deficit.

Ireland were still regrouping when Spertsyan doubled the dose to level, with Bazunu unable to keep out his effort.

The home side were handed a chance to get themselves out of jail when, after a VAR review, they were awarded a penalty for handball against Dashyan, who was dismissed along with Hovhannes Hambartsumyan amid furious protests.

Brady kept his calm to send Yurchenko the wrong way from the spot to make it 3-2.

The nine men scrapped all the way to the whistle for a way back into it, but ultimately ended on the wrong end of a 3-2 scoreline.

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