Rep of Ireland 0-0 Croatia

By Alvin McCaigBBC Sport
Luka Modric is tackled by Darron Gibson in the Dublin friendly
Luka Modric is tackled by Darron Gibson in the Aviva Stadium friendly

The Republic warmed up for their upcoming Euro 2012 qualifiers with a deserved friendly draw in Dublin.

Croatia had two good penalty appeals turned down before Shane Long's header was saved by Stipe Pletikosa.

Dejan Lovren squandered the best opening when he volleyed wide from a free-kick while Mario Mandzukic went close with a powerful snapshot.

The Republic created few chances in the second half with Richard Dunne heading wide from Sean St Ledger's cross.

The hosts were first to threaten after five minutes with Darron Gibson's low shot easily saved by Pletikosa.

Croatia's first penalty shout came in the 13th minute when Eduardo was pulled back by Glenn Whelan as he was about to shoot from a corner.

Ivan Strinic latched on to a superb Luka Modric pass two minutes before being bundled over by Stephen Kelly - Croatia again appealed for a spot-kick and but were turned down for a second time by referee Tom Harald Hagen.

A bright start soon gave way to typical friendly fare and while Croatia bossed possession, they failed to created any clear openings.

The Republic were more threatening in the final third and Pletikosa made a good save from Long's downward header.

Nijo Kranjcar blazed over from 12 yards before Robbie Keane hit a weak shot straight at Pletikosa a minute before the break.

An untidy start to the second half saw Ognjen Vukojevic and Gibson booked while Modric sent his overhead-kick well wide.

Croatia were becoming more potent in attack and Lovren wasted the best chance of the game on 56 minutes when he volleyed wide at the back post from an inswinging Darijo Srna free-kick.

Mandzukic was next to miss out as the Wolfsburg striker rifled narrowly wide.

St Ledger sent over an inviting cross for his defensive partner Dunne, but the Aston Villa player mis-timed his jump and failed to find the target with his header.

Snra dragged a 25-yard effort wide before Nikola Kalinic's shot late on was easily saved by substitute keeper Kieron Westwood.

No goals for the Republic but a good workout ahead of the qualifiers against Slovakia and Russia early next month.

Republic of Ireland: Given, Kelly, Dunne, St. Ledger, Ward, Duff, Whelan, Gibson, Hunt, Long, Keane. Subs: Westwood, Forde, Keogh, Treacy, O'Dea, Clark, Cox, Clifford.

Croatia: Pletikosa, Corluka, Lovren, Simunic, Strinic, Srna, Modric, Vukojevic, Kranjcar, Eduardo, Mandzukic. Subs: Subasic, Pranjic, Perisic, Schildenfeld, Kalinic, Ilicevic, Dujmovic, Olic, Petric, Vrsaljko.

Referee: Tom Harald Hagen (Norway)