What an unbelievable night for Irish football as Ireland beat world champions Germany in the capital.
Before the game many of us would have settled for a draw, nobody could have believed the night we were in for. All eyes were on Ireland but many of us kept an even closer eye on the game in Glasgow which saw Scotland take on Poland.
Once Scotland lost, our last two games automatically became irrelevant. That game began in our favour with Poland and their man main Lewandowski putting his side one up within the first five minutes.
It was great news for the Irish but the Scots weren’t going to give up without a fight and right before the end of the first half Matt Ritchie stuck the ball in the back of the net from some distance, it was a fantastic finish. Scotland now level had it all to play for.
Ireland’s first half was a nervy one, and to be honest it what we all expected. For us Irish it was pretty tough viewing, surely it was only a matter of time before one of their shots would hit the target?
The first half finished 0-0 much to the relief of the packed out Aviva and the fans all over the country, just another 45 to hold them off.
Back in Glasgow Scotland came out firing although Poland looked just as likely to score as the Scots. Then on the 62nd minute the Irish were dealt yet another devastating blow, Scotland had scored.
Another stunning finish for the home side, Steven Fletcher curling shot kept the Scots dreams of qualification alive, it was 2-1 and it wasn’t looking great for Ireland even if they held onto the draw.
The news hit the Aviva and the fans inside knew Ireland were in serious trouble. Now the focus was on Ireland if the Polish weren’t about to help us out we had to do it for ourselves.
Then as the 70th minute approached, what happened next will be forever remembered as one of the greatest moments in Irish footballing history. Shane Long just five minutes on the pitch put Ireland in front.
Although both Scotland goals were top notch this was just something else. A long ball forward from goalkeeper Randolph took the German defense by surprise, Long nipped in between the two centre backs to take the ball and volley it into the back of the net.
As it stood we were guaranteed at least the playoff spot, we just needed to hang on, there was 20 minutes on the clock and Germany looked like they were about to score every time they got the ball. Credit to Ireland we defended well and closed down Germany on most occasions.
Back in Scotland, the Scots knew Ireland had scored and I’m sure many were as surprised as us. If it stayed this way they were out regardless of the score. Then the killer blow Poland equalised in extra time again through on form striker Lewandowski, it was 2-2 and all over. All eyes were back on Dublin where Ireland were holding their own.
Three minutes added time and the crowd began to roar, could we hold on or were the Germans about to inflict heartache on the country?
Two minutes and 58 seconds played of extra time and the ref blew for full time. Ireland had beaten the champions of the world and we are now guaranteed at least the third playoff spot. Ireland will take on Poland now this Sunday in a game the Irish will be well up for. Could we take second spot and qualify automatically?
Well stranger things have happened, after all we did just beat Germany!
Check out Shane Long’s absolute screamer here courtesy of @CColliebyrne:
— CB_ (@CColliebyrne) October 8, 2015