Smallbone impresses in Ireland friendly


Southampton's Will Smallbone started as the Republic of Ireland drew 0-0 with Belgium in a friendly at the AVIVA Stadium.

The centre-midfielder was named from the start in John O'Shea's side, as fellow Saints teammates Gavin Bazunu and Ryan Manning featured on the bench.

Smallbone impressed in a tight contest that was goalless at half-time in Dublin, despite Ireland missing a chance to open the scoring when Evan Ferguson's penalty was saved by Matz Sels.

Neither side could break the deadlock, and Smallbone’s evening lasted 86 minutes as he was substituted just before full-time.

Bazunu and Manning watched on from the bench for the duration, with Ireland next in action against Switzerland on Tuesday.

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