ALL THINGS IRELAND: IRELAND DRAW 1-1 IN BOSNIAN FOG TO BOOST HOPES OF QUALIFYING FOR EURO'S
IRELAND BEAT NEW ZEALAND FOR THE 1ST TIME 40-29 IN HISTORIC WIN IN CHICAGO...

Saturday, November 14, 2015

IRELAND DRAW 1-1 IN BOSNIAN FOG TO BOOST HOPES OF QUALIFYING FOR EURO'S


The Republic of Ireland maintained their hopes of a Euro 2016 spot after they drew with Bosnia-Herzegovina in the play-off first leg in Zenica.

The game appeared in severe danger of being abandoned after half-time when the pitch became shrouded in thick fog.

Robbie Brady Scores For Ireland In Bosnia
However the Republic looked to have snatched victory when Robbie Brady hit a precious away goal on 82 minutes.


But Edin Dzeko levelled three minutes later to leave the play-off in the balance going into Monday's second leg.

Republic manager Martin O'Neill will hope the possible return of Shane Long, Jon Walters and John O'Shea will give them impetus for the Dublin contest.

Southampton striker Long may be available again after injury while O'Neill may also welcome back the influential O'Shea and Walters after suspension.

With the Republic having scored the away goal, a 0-0 draw at the Aviva Stadium will be enough to secure the Irish a finals berth in France.

Frantic finish in the fog after early stalemate


Robbie Brady's goal looked set to earn the Republic a precious first-leg victory

Brady struggled for much of the contest as both he and Republic left-back Stephen Ward found Bosnia right-sided midfielder Edin Visca a handful.

The Norwich winger's goal came in his only piece of attacking play of note as he cut inside Toni Sunuci before beating Bosnia's Chelsea goalkeeper Asmir Begovic at his near post with a shot from 14 yards.

Brady's goal could hardly be seen from the stands such was the fog that had enveloped the Bilino Polje Stadium in Zenica.

At that stage, the Irish - after being second best for most of the contest - looked on course to be in firm control of the play-off going into the second leg.

However, the Republic's left-sided flank was once again exploited three minutes later as Ognjen Vranjes got in behind Ireland substitute James McClean before squaring for Roma star Dzeko to poke past Darren Randolph.

Slack defending by Stoke's Marc Wilson allowed a cross to find Edin Dzeko and the lethal striker duly found the net to leave the first leg at 1-1.

Heading into Monday's return match at The Aviva Stadium, Ireland have the precious away-goal and while that may yet prove to be decisive, don't rule out Bosnia-Herzegovina scoring in Dublin.

However, Martin O'Neill's Ireland do have enough abought them to  get though the play-off tie and qualify for next Summer's Euro Finals.

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