YEREVAN — Armenia defeated Ireland with the minimal 1:0 margin necessary to clinch victory, even though the Armenian national squad scored two goals; the first one by Tigran Barsegian at the 51st minute was dismissed as the goal check established Barsegian was offside. Slovan Bratislava’s striker Barsegian dropped to his knees when the referees hoisted the offside flag.
The guests prevailed during the first half: statistically, the Irish squad possessed the soccer ball 66% of the time. It made six strikes to the goals: Davit Yurchenko, the Armenian goalkeeper, saved his squad several times. The Armenian team made only one strike.
Right after the first half was over, an Armenian fan ran into the field and, despite the stewards’ attempts to catch him, made his way to Varazdat Haroyan and got the central defenders T-Shirt as a reward. After the break, perhaps it was Barsegian’s dismissed goal that substantially shifted the game, inspiring the hosts to play more actively. The Irish squad had a big part of the second half to play defense.
The winning goal arrived at the 75th minute when Eduard Spertsian scored with an impressive effort from a distance. In the remaining time, the Armenian squad played both deep defense and offense as well. Near the end of the game and especially during the extra four minutes added to the main time, the Irish soccer players made several attempts to salvage the game. Their goalkeeper was even spotted practically near the center of the field; however, they never converted this dominance into a goal. The final whistle sealed a victorious three scores for the Armenian squad and the first Irish defeat after eight consecutive victories in their international games.
The Armenian players were very motivated today, noted Joaquin Caparros, the Armenian squad’s coach,after the game. Armenia played its first UEFA Nations League game as a member of the B league.