Republic booed for taking a knee - then secure share of the spoils in Hungary

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Republic in Budapest

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Gavin Bazunu and Caoimhin Kelleher staked their claims for the goalkeeper's shirt as the Republic of Ireland fought out a 0-0 draw with Euros-bound Hungary.

19-year-old Manchester City keeper Bazunu and Liverpool counterpart Kelleher, 22, played a half each in front of a passionate crowd at the Szusza Ferenc Stadion in Budapest.

Ireland players were met with boos and jeers from the home fans after they took a knee before kick-off, while the Hungary players stood and pointed to their sleeves which were sporting UEFA's respect campaign logo.

Manager Stephen Kenny will reflect upon a performance which was characterised by impressive organisation, but perhaps not as much of the passing game on which his philosophy is based, although on the back of his first win as manager in Andorra on Thursday evening, he can be satisfied with a positive end to the season.

Opposite number Marco Rossi must now steel his players for what lies ahead as they prepare to launch their Group F campaign, which will also pitch them into battle with France, Germany, and then against Portugal next Tuesday.

Bazunu denied striker Adam Szalai and Kelleher the same man twice and defender Attila Szalai as they each attempted to persuade Kenny that they can push Darren Randolph for the number one spot.

In the process, they denied the Hungarians a fourth successive win with which to head into the finals, and they might even have condemned them to a first defeat in 11 had John Egan's fifth-minute header crept under the crossbar rather than cannoned back off it.

Had it not been for Kelleher, who acrobatically tipped over Szalai's 82nd-minute header and Szalai's shot seconds later, the visitors would have left empty-handed, although they could have won it too after substitute Chiedozie Ogbene fired into the side-netting seconds after becoming the first African-born player to make a senior debut for the Republic.

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