Football | McGoldrick header rescues draw against Switzerland

The Republic of Ireland have drawn 1-1 with Switzerland in their European Qualifier at the Aviva Stadium.

Newcastle defender Fabian Schar scored the opening goal in the 73rd minute, applying a low finish after excellent build up play from the visitors.

However, David McGoldrick headed home a brilliant equalizer to score his first international goal for the hosts with six minutes remaining.

Ireland remain top of Group D on 11 points, but have played more games (five) than any other team in the group.

It was scoreless at the break, with both teams producing chances in the opening 45 minutes.

Mick McCarthy opted for a familiar back five; with Seamus Coleman, Shane Duffy, Richard Keogh and Enda Stevens completing the back four in front of Darren Randolph.

Jeff Hendrick – earning his 50th cap – joined Glenn Whelan and Conor Hourihane in midfield.

In attack, James McClean and Callum Robinson flanked central striker David McGoldrick.

The Boys in Green won a corner in the opening 45 seconds, but had to wait until the 12th minute for their first meaningful chance.

Hendrick showed great feet to dance away from a Switzerland defender, before sliding through a pass for McClean.

However, the opportunity was snuffed out by some great Switzerland defending; with McClean initially stopped by a great challenge, before his subsequent weak shot trickled through to Sommer.

Stevens picked up a booking for a high challenge; a caution which will rule him out of next month’s trip to Georgia.

Ricardo Rodriguez should have done better when the ball fell to him 25 yards from goal in the 25th minute, but the experienced left back got his volley all wrong and it flew harmlessly wide.

Denis Zakaria then forced Randolph into a save, before Hourihane’s wicke free kick eluded everyone in the box in the 41st minute.

Ireland came close to taking the lead two minutes before the interval.

McGoldrick took a great touch to get in behind the Switzerland defence, but put far too much weight on his low cross to Robinson, who was waiting for a tap in at the back post.

When the half-time whistle sounded, the Swizz had dominated the ball, without carving out too many clear cut chances.

Duffy made a vital interception to stop a Swizz breakaway seven minutes into the second half following an Ireland free kick.

Three minutes later, Keogh did well to head a dangerous in-swinging Xhaka free kick behind for a corner.

The ineffective Robinson was replaced by Alan Judge in the 58th minute, with McCarthy turning to the Brentford winger to add some creative flair.

There was a huge let off for the Boys in Green shortly after the hour mark, with Embolo slipping when played through following some crisp Switzerland passing.

Judge and Coleman made good defensive clearances as the visitors pressed for the opener.

Switzerland eventually broke through Ireland’s well-organize defence in the 74th minute.

Schar finished off a flowing move with a crisp finish into the bottom corner from 15 yards.

Whelan came close to drawing the hosts level in spectacular fashion in the 84th minute with a thunderous strike that cannoned back of the crossbar, but Ireland equalized seconds later.

McClean won the ball back brilliantly and whipped in an inviting cross from the left flank, and McGoldrick rose highest in the box to head home.

There were late cameos for substitutes Scott Hogan and Alan Browne, but both nations were forced to settle for a point in Dublin.

Denmark thrashed Gibraltar 6-0 away in Group D’s other encounter.