ALL THINGS IRELAND: IRELAND QUALIFY FOR EURO 2012 WITH 1-1 DRAW V ESTONIA
IRELAND BEAT NEW ZEALAND FOR THE 1ST TIME 40-29 IN HISTORIC WIN IN CHICAGO...

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

IRELAND QUALIFY FOR EURO 2012 WITH 1-1 DRAW V ESTONIA

The Republic of Ireland have qualified for their first major tournament in ten years by drawing with Estonia 1-1 at a sell-out Aviva Stadium to go through 5-1 on aggregate.
It wasn't a brilliant performance by Trapattoni's team, indeed it felt like a bit of an anti-climax after Friday's heroics in Tallinn in defeating Estonia 4-0.

All Ireland had to do, like the supporters, was to show up.
Ireland began the brighter and sharper and they did with both Robbie Keane and Damian Duff had several shots blocked in the first five minutes.

It was left to Steven Ward to score after a Londak save from a corner for the Wolves full-back to score his 2nd goal for Ireland in nine starts on 31 minutes.

Ireland played some nice football in the first-half with some good passing and movement, obviously under instruction from Manager Giovanni Trapatton pass the ball to feet, instead of the usual long-ball approach evident during his reign to date.
While it was certainly more attractive to watch, it was less effective to behold.
Ireland had ten shots on target in the game yet only scored one goal.

As half- time approached, the capacity-crowd of 51,151 engaged in the Mexican-Wave which must have proved distracting for the players.

Tarmo Ruuti's Estonia sensing a result went at Ireland in the 2nd-half and despite alot of wayward shooting, eventually got a goal they scarcely deserved when Vasselijev beat Shay Given with a dipping shot on 57mins to make it 1-1 on the night and 5-1 over two legs for Ireland.

Ireland had several shots saved from Richard Dunne from a corner and a McGeady cross was well gathered by Londak, Kevin Doyle headed  a Fahey free-kick wide in injury-time.

But it was all immaterial as Ireland coasted through to Euro 2012 next Summer.

The players did a lap of honour after the game as this is the first time an Irish team had qualified for a major final on home soil.

Well done to Trapattoni and the players on this significent achievement.

The actual draw for the finals takes place on the 2nd of December, we qualify as fourth seeds in the draw, so we are in for a tough group, still, its great to be there again.




Man of the Match: Glenn Whelan
Ireland: Shay Given, John O'Shea, Richard Dunne, Sean St Ledger, Stephen Ward, Stephen Hunt, Keith Andrews, Glenn Whelan, Damien Duff, Kevin Doyle, Robbie Keane (captain).

Estonia: Londak, Jaager, Rahn, Klavan, Kruglov, Saag, Teniste, Vassiljev, Vunk, Lindpere, Voskoboinikov.







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