The Republic of Ireland have kept the hopes of those that like to bet on sports in Ireland alive as they move into position for their last Group D match in the Euro 2016 qualifiers needing a win against the Poles to avoid a play-off spot they’ve already assured themselves after a remarkable victory against the world champions.
Republic of Ireland Beat Germany
• Long ball to Long gets goal
• Neuer left floundering
• Win in Poland now on the cards
On a day you’ve claimed the entire world and humanity upon it will end in fiery doom, and the planet has singularly failed to burn, it’s quite difficult to avoid being the people who’ve made the most incorrect prediction of the day. However Chris McCann and the rest of his “eBible fellowship” were saved from being the globe’s most mistaken predictors of the future when everyone who thought Germany would batter the Republic of Ireland were proved wholly and entirely wrong.
“It was surprising,” said Chris of the world failing to end, “that it did not occur, but the comforting thing is that God’s will is always perfect.” Which is an almost endearingly stupid denial of the known facts about those organizations that claim to represent god here on Earth, however it is unlikely in the extreme that this thought will provide any comfort at all to the German national side as it wings its way to Georgia for its last Group D match in the Euro 2016 qualifiers.
Sitting atop the table in the group with one game left to play you’d think the World Champions, who struggled a hard fought 1-nil win over Argentina in Brazil in the 113th minute of the 2014 World Cup Final, would be quite buoyant, their automatic qualification spot almost assured, and indeed a win over the Irish would have secured it well before its last Group D match in the Euro 2016 qualifiers, but then it all went horribly wrong as the men in the green shirts defended like demons and then got lucky.
The Germans had so much of the game their own way, keeping possession, ramping up the pressure, moving dangerously up the wings, but whenever they got it in the final third and it came time to pull the trigger their attempts on goal were wayward and wasteful to say the least with none finding the back of the net. Boateng, Gundogan, Schurrie and even Thomas Muller all squandered their chances, and then……and then the luck of the Irish played its part.
Long Ball To Long Leaves Neuer Neutralized
If ever there were a day to be an advocate of just kicking it up field and hoping for the best, today’s that day. There is much to be said for fancy footwork, one-touch passes and extreme team cohesion moving forward, but when you don’t have the time or talent, booting it up there and being lucky can apparently work just as well. The German manager, Joachim Low, said afterwards, “We made a single mistake and it was a goal.” Their mistake? They’d forgotten how easy it can be.
Randolph’s kick from within his own area was probably a bit too hard if we’re honest about it, certainly much of the RoI team apparently thought so, many of them facing the wrong way, watching it sail over their heads, and the German defense was likewise surprised, a level of surprise only increased as Shane Long (a player never more aptly named under the circumstances) accelerated after the ball having technically been facing the wrong way, facing forward.
I’ve seen it said he allowed it to bounce once, although that might be ascribing him a power over gravity the young man doesn’t actually possess, the ball would have bounced regardless, and then as the German defenders turned to chase down this surprising one-man break Long surprised them a bit more by not neatly controlling the ball, bringing it down to his feet and taking it forward and waiting for some support across the pitch (as many a German would have been apt to do).
When the ball finally got low enough to deal with Long’s feet ran into it and then, sensing the German defense hard on his heels and, perhaps gambling news coverage of any effort would be positive, he looked up and just lashed at it hard. This direct approach seemed to confused Neuer, the ball sailing diagonally across goal into the top of the far side flying embarrassingly close to the German keeper who flailed at it ineffectively diving to his right, and then……and then the Aviva stadium went mad, the Republic’s last Group D match in the Euro 2016 qualifiers now meaningful.
The Last Group D Match In The Euro 2016 Qualifiers A Decider
Germany should have come back, restored the balance, but O’Neill’s men hung on in there and took the one-nil win at full time, a play-off place now assured and a game against Poland to come that could even see them grab one of the coveted automatic qualification places for the Euro 2016 finals in France next year. Obviously Ireland need to win their last Group D match in the Euro 2016 qualifiers if they want to join England and the triumphant Northern Ireland team (who beat Greece 3-1) in France, but that’s not beyond them.
Right now, for those that enjoy taking advantage of Irish betting laws to back their side, at Bet365 you can get 16/5 on the Republic of Ireland winning against the Poles, although the Polish side themselves are 5/6 to come out the victors, and a draw (which would only help the Irish if it were a particularly high-scoring draw) is garnering 13/5. These odds will probably tighten up a bit and the Poles who only got a draw against the Scots (who are now definitely out of the competition and face Gibraltar in their final game) have to be less confident about their last Group D match in the Euro 2016 qualifiers than before Long’s goal.
However the match pans out on the night at the Narodwy Stadium a play-off place beckons for the lads in green and on their performance against Germany it is well deserved, however you’ll have to expect a superhuman effort from the Irish in Warsaw given the Poles lack of polish and the Irish propensity to turn a moment’s good fortune into a dream come true. Whether they snatch a win against Poland in their last Group D match in the Euro 2016 qualifiers or battle through the play-offs you have to expect the Republic of Ireland to reach the end of the rainbow.