Stephen Kenny’s tenure as Republic of Ireland boss started with a 1-1 Nations League draw in Bulgaria as Shane Duffy struck an injury-time equaliser.
After an encouraging first-half display, Kenny’s side were caught out by Bozhidar Kraev (56) after he found space in between Ireland defenders Duffy and John Egan.
Ireland looked out of ideas with time running out but a late corner was headed home by Duffy (90+3).
The original plan was for Kenny to succeed Mick McCarthy after Euro 2020 but due to the coronavirus pandemic that tournament has been rescheduled, so Kenny now has the chance to take Ireland to the Euros via the play-offs.
However, they have now won just one of their last 11 away matches in all competitions, failing to score in six of those – something which will be a big cause of concern for Kenny ahead of their crucial one-legged play-off in Slovakia next month.
More to follow…
Kenny’s side are back in action on Sunday at 5pm with a home fixture with Finland, and Bulgaria play Wales on the same day with a 2pm kick off. All Nations League matches are broadcast live on Sky Sports.