Collins an unused substitute as Ireland earn Switzerland draw

Hatters striker James Collins
Hatters striker James Collins

Luton Town striker James Collins was an unused substitute as the Republic of Ireland drew 1-1 against Switzerland in their Euro 2020 qualifier in Dublin last night.

It had looked like the visitors would leave with all three points when Fabian Schar capped off an excellent passing move with a fine finish on 74 minutes.

Glenn Whelan hit the bar from long range, but despite Collins having the best scoring record since January amongst the squad, boss Mick McCarthy brought on Aston Villa forward Scott Hogan for the final eight minutes.

Ireland grabbed a point in the 85th minute though as James McClean's deflected cross was powerfully headed by home by David McGoldrick.

It keeps Ireland top of Group D, although both Denmark and the Swiss have games in hand.

McCarthy said: "I am delighted. Switzerland are a very good side with good players. They showed that at times. They kept us penned in - I'm happy we kept going.

"We showed durability and the stoic nature Irish teams have shown during my time as a player and manager. We deserved it in the end.

"We started the second half really well. We had to keep tinkering with the system to stem the tide.

"When we got the goal, we went 4-4-2 and gung ho. James McClean was amazing and I'm thrilled for David McGoldrick.

"The way we can eke out a result when it looks like it's gone (is impressive). The noise when the goal went in pleased me more than anything, it was brilliant.

"We are better off now. It's another game down and we've taken points off the best two teams in this group. We've remained unbeaten."

Collins will be hoping for his international debut on Tuesday when the Irish host Bulgaria in Dublin.