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Republic of Ireland 0-1 Switzerland: Zherdan Shaqiri scores as Switzerland beat Republic of Ireland

Xherdan Shaqiri curled home a free-kick to open the scoring in Dublin
Xherdan Shaqiri curled home a free-kick to open the scoring in Dublin

The Republic of Ireland fell to a narrow 1-0 defeat by Euro 2024-bound Switzerland in a low-key friendly in Dublin.

Xherdan Shaqiri struck the winner in the 23rd minute when he curled a free-kick into the bottom corner.

Granit Xhaka hit the post from 40 yards as he almost capitalised on a poor clearance by Gavin Bazunu.

John O'Shea's side pushed for an equaliser but fell short at the Aviva Stadium.

The match brings O'Shea's time as interim manager to an end, with the Football Association of Ireland set to announce a permanent successor to Stephen Kenny in April.

After an encouraging draw with Belgium on Friday, the Republic of Ireland had a lively start at the Aviva Stadium, but the 35,742-strong crowd were stunned into silence when Shaqiri opened the scoring.

The free-kick was awarded when Zeki Amdouni bought a free-kick off Dara O'Shea on the edge of the area, and Chicago Fire forward Shaqiri curled a low free-kick around the Irish wall and into the bottom corner.

The Republic had a good chance to level when O'Shea headed back across goal and defensive partner Andrew Omobamidele headed straight into the gloves of Yvon Mvogo.

Evan Ferguson, without a goal for club or country in four months, had a chance to head home from a corner but Omobamidele, also challenging for the ball, collided with his team-mate at the moment of contact and the chance faded away.

Despite the increased Irish pressure, Switzerland almost doubled their lead when a clearance from Bazunu - starting in place of Liverpool's Caoimhin Kelleher - fell short to Xhaka, and the Bayern Leverkusen midfielder let fly from 40 yards only to see his effort bounce back off the post.

Mikey Johnston headed wide shortly before the break when he got on the end of Jason Knight's back-post cross and Josh Cullen then fired wide from Ferguson's lay-off in a strong end to the first half.

While the first half was relatively entertaining, the second was anything but as substitutions broke up any flow and momentum, and chances were at a premium.

Michel Aebischer fired straight at Bazunu from range after the restart and substitute Adam Idah tried a speculative overhead kick, which sailed harmlessly wide.

Celtic striker Idah blazed over from 25 yards with eight minutes to play and although the hosts pressed for an equaliser, it failed to come and Switzerland left Dublin with victory.

Switzerland will face hosts Germany, Scotland, who lost 1-0 to Northern Ireland on Tuesday, and Hungary in Group A at the Euro 2024 finals.