Football: Sheedy and Coyne scupper Wales

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The Independent Online
Republic of Ireland. .2

Wales. . . . . . . . .1

THE Republic of Ireland gave the absent Jack Charlton the revenge victory he desired over Wales with late goals from the substitutes Kevin Sheedy and Tommy Coyne. Last night's success at Dulbin's Tolka Park was marred, though, by a serious injury to David O'Leary, their current longest- serving player, who was detained overnight in hospital with concussion and a gashed head.

Captaining his country for only the second time in 68 appearances, the veteran Arsenal defender was left prostrate after an accidental collision with Gary Speed in the second minute and, amid fears that he had swallowed his tongue, required urgent medical attention before he was taken off on a stretcher.

Brian Carey, his partner at the back, said afterwards: 'For a minute or two it was very frightening for everybody out there. David was laid out and the doctor had to put an implement down his throat in case he had swallowed his tongue, although happily that wasn't the case.'

The Irish had made nine changes for this friendly and another revision so soon after the start, with Ronnie Whelan sent on for his first senior game in five months and Roy Keane withdrawn to fill the defensive vacancy, made this a tall order, even for a team well-versed in overcoming steep odds.

When Mark Hughes gave the visitors the lead after 18 minutes, the omens were not encouraging for Maurice Setters, who was in charge while Charlton went to Albania to spy on Northern Ireland.

David Kelly's missed penalty at the start of the second half after the Welsh substitute Chris Coleman was guilty of a reckless challenge on Alan McLoughlin, seemed to confirm that the tide was once again in favour of Terry Yorath's side, who had been responsible for the only two home defeats inflicted on Charlton since he began the glorious Irish adventure seven years ago.

Substitutes came on with regularity and those for the hosts proved the more potent, allowing Ireland the morale boost they were seeking with the next round of World Cup qualifiers to come. In the 78th minute, John Byrne's volley was pawed away superbly by Neville Southall only for Kevin Sheedy to finish off. Then, five minutes later, another Coleman foul - this looked a hard decision - led to a free-kick. Liam O'Brien bent the ball around the wall and when Southall again pushed it away, Tommy Coyne was the man in place for a scoring header.

REPUBLIC OF IRELAND: Bonner (Celtic); Morris (Middlesbrough), McGoldrick (Crystal Palace), Carey (Manchester United), O'Leary (Arsenal), Keane (Nottingham Forest), O'Brien (Newcastle), Byrne (Millwall), Cascarino (Chelsea), D Kelly (Newcastle), McLoughlin (Portsmouth). Substitutes: Whelan (Liverpool) for O'Leary, 7; Sheedy (Newcastle) for Whelan, h/t; A Kelly (Sheffield United) for Bonner, h/t; Coyne (Celtic) for D Kelly, 69; Slaven (Middlesbrough) for Cascarino, 83.

WALES: Southall (Everton); Phillips (Norwich), Bodin (Swindon), Aizlewood (Bristol City), Young (Crtystal Palace), Symons (Portsmouth), Williams (Ipswich), Horne (Everton), Speed (Leeds), Hughes (Manchester United), Pembridge (Derby). Substitutes: Coleman (Crystal Palace) for Young, h/t; Allen (Millwall) for Williams, 74; Roberts (QPR) for Southall, 85.

Referee: B Karlsson (Sweden).