International Friendly: Poland 0 Republic of Ireland 0
By Football News
Republic of Ireland continued their solid start under new manager Martin O'Neill, holding Poland to a 0-0 draw in Poznan.
Chances were at a premium throughout Tuesday's encounter, with both sides struggling to create any clear-cut openings.
Stephen Kelly could have netted for Ireland with a first-half header, while Lukasz Szukala and Jakub Blaszczykowski both had chances for the hosts after half-time.
The result means that Poland are yet to score under new boss Adam Nawalka, who will now be turning his attentions to qualification for the UEFA Euro 2016 finals.
Nawalka made eight changes from the side that lost 2-0 at home to Slovakia on Friday, with trio Robert Lewandowksi, Blaszczykowski and Waldemar Sobota the only players to keep their places.
Top scorer Robbie Keane was the most notable absentee for O'Neill's side, which saw seven changes from the team that brushed aside Latvia 3-0.
The LA Galaxy striker took his place on the bench amid news of an ongoing Achilles problem, leaving Jonathan Walters to take the captain's armband.
It was Ireland's first visit to the Municipal Stadium since their ill-fated Euro 2012 finals campaign, where they lost 3-1 to Croatia and 2-0 to Italy either side of a 4-0 thumping by Spain in Gdansk.
But they did not seem too traumatised by those painful memories on their return, delivering a solid defensive performance to neutralise a much-discussed Polish frontline.
Chances were few and far between throughout the first half, although it was the visitors who created the first opportunity just after 20 minutes, when Aiden McGeady's corner was flicked into the path of Kelly, who bounced his header into the ground and over the crossbar.
O'Neill would have been pleased with the way his side frustrated the hosts during the opening period, with a speculative 20-yard drive from Blaszczykowski on 25 minutes the only real chance of note for Poland before half-time.
Sean St Ledger hobbled off just before the break with an injury, to be replaced by John O'Shea, in what was the only negative of an otherwise impressive opening period for the visitors.
The former Manchester United defender was tested just after the restart, as Blaszczykowski burst through the Irish defence with a weaving run into the six-yard box, before turning into a wall of green shirts and poking a tame shot at David Forde.
Despite some resilient defending from O'Neill's side, Poland began to gain a foothold in the game as the second half wore on, Forde having to be alert to keep out Szukala's header just after the hour mark, before substitute Tomasz Jodlowiec fired a rasping shot just over from outside the area.
The amount of space available to the hosts continued to increase as the game entered its final throes, with Blaszczykowski continuing to pull the strings, but the home side could not find a clinical final ball, as Ireland held on for well-deserved draw.