Ireland and England draw a blank in Dublin

07 June 2015 11:10:46 EST

England failed to break down a stubborn Republic of Ireland team as they played out a goalless draw in the first international meeting between the two in Dublin for 20 years.

Both nations have important Euro 2016 qualifiers to come next weekend and that appeared to show as they went through the motions in the Irish capital.

Despite the clash with Slovenia on the horizon, England boss Roy Hodgson named a team, recalling Jack Wilshere to the starting line-up for the first time this year.

In a tight first half, Ireland had the better of the chances, Ipswich striker Daryl Murphy missing the best two opportunities of the opening 45 minutes as his wait for a first international goal continues.

The Three Lions were able to get on top of their hosts in the second half, skipper Wayne Rooney missing a golden opportunity to go one-on-one with goalkeeper Kieran Westwood when he miss-controlled a Jordan Henderson through ball.

Stoke striker Jonathan Walters then had the clearest sight of goal for Ireland in the second half when he drilled an effort straight at Joe Hart.

England had plenty of possession but failed to create too many goalscoring opportunities, Andros Townsend testing sub goalkeeper Shay Given with a long range effort as the match petered out.

Hodgson was able to hand Leicester striker Jamie Vardy his international debut in the second half but decided against bringing on fellow new boys Charlie Austin and Tom Heaton.

After the game, Hodgson maintained the international friendly was a worthwhile exercise and felt his players needed the run out ahead of the Euro 2016 qualifier in Slovenia.

"I thought we got better in the second half. It's way below what we were hoping to achieve. All credit to Ireland, they caused us problems, particularly with balls to the front players," said Hodgson.

"I think we needed this game and this level of competition. Going into the game against Slovenia, there's a lot of things we want to improve on."

England are 1/1 to win next week's qualifier and make it six straight wins in competitive matches, while Slovenia are 1/1 and the draw 1/1.

Meanwhile, Ireland face Scotland in Dublin in a potentially decisive Euro 2015 qualifier, with the hosts 1/1 for the win.

The Scots are 1/1 and the draw is 1/1.

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