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qualifier

Austrian View: Getting Back to Reality

ireland-austria On 5th November, 2015, little Austria stood 10th in the FIFA rankings. A landslide campaign in the Euro qualifiers with nine wins and just one draw even turned the Alaba-led team into a dark horse for the tournament in France. What has happened since then? Georg Sander of 90minuten gives the view from the Boys in Green’s next opponents. Continue reading →

On Our Way to Paradise?

Mark Lawrenson Scotland Unless you’re counting the 90 minutes in Paris which took the infamous play-off to extra-time, Ireland haven’t beaten a direct qualification rival away from home since a trip to Glasgow in 1987. With the Republic and Scotland reunited in Celtic Park on Friday, can history repeat itself? Continue reading →

On the Mid-Night Plane to Georgia

georgia stadium Irish supporters never made it to Tbilisi when the Republic faced Georgia under Giovanni Trapatonni. Political instability moved the World Cup qualifier to Mainz, Germany. Last weekend, as the green jerseys touched down beneath the Caucuses Mountains, Tbilisi-based Mory Cunningham wondered if it was just another away match location or if the fans felt further East in this still emerging nation of stark contrasts? Continue reading →

Teenage Kicks Could Make O’Neill’s Night

kenny mcevoy After his unveiling as Irish boss, Martin O’Neill spoke of unearthing a hidden 17-year-old gem that would take the Irish team by storm. When naming his squad to face Serbia, the Derryman lamented that he had yet to find one, but when Noel King’s U21s take on Montenegro in a vital Euro qualifier, it could be teenage kicks that get the Republic through the night. Continue reading →

View from the Other Side: Turbulence Ahead in Rhine Air

mesut ozil muslim 1 Aleix Gwilliam, co-editor of the English-language German-football website Bundesliga Fanatic, predicts a much different game between Ireland and Germany on Friday than the hammering in Dublin. Joachim Löw’s squad selection has not been without controversy but with qualification still to be secured, it could prove another long night on the banks of the Rhine for Noel King’s Ireland no matter what tactics he tries. Continue reading →

Dalymount, 1963, Ireland 3-2 Austria

ireland-1963-crop The last time Ireland defeated Austria was in Dublin in 1963 in front of almost 40,000 at Dalymount Park in a European qualifier. Having drawn 0-0 in Vienna three weeks earlier, Ireland progressed to the last eight of the European Nations Cup thanks to a 3-2 win with two goals coming from Manchester United’s Noel Cantwell. Continue reading →

‘Maestro’ Trap Faces Austrian Mountain

trap close up crop Both smarting from defeats last Friday and trailing the play-off spot by three points, Austria and Ireland face off in Vienna desperately clinging to hope. Georg Sander of 90minuten.au traces the recent development of Austrian football, claiming the current defence is a weakness, and that former Salzburg coach Trapattoni still holds a fascination for the natives – an allure that has all but disappeared in Ireland. Continue reading →

Swedes Told ‘No’ To Aviva March

swedish fans march A request by Swedish fans to march from Dublin city centre to the Aviva Stadium on Friday evening and perform a Tifo display in the grounds, has been turned down by the Gardai and FAI. Up to 6,000 Swedes are expected at the crunch World Cup encounter but the march, which has become a tradition on away trips, has been ruled out by the authorities while an in-stadium display has also been shot down. Continue reading →

Dalymount, 1963, Ireland 3-2 Austria

ireland 1963 featured The last time Ireland defeated Austria was in Dublin in 1963 in front of almost 40,000 at Dalymount Park in a European qualifier. Having drawn 0-0 in Vienna three weeks earlier, Ireland progressed to the last eight of the European Nations Cup thanks to a 3-2 win with two goals coming from Manchester United’s Noel Cantwell. Continue reading →

Last Meeting: Swede Disposition

staunton robson It was Steve Staunton’s first game in charge and a 3-0 win over Sweden threatened to usher in a new era in Irish football. It proved to be a false dawn. Will Friday’s World Cup clash in Stockholm see the sun begin to set on Giovanni Trapattoni’s reign or reignite our ambitions to reach Brazil in 2014? Continue reading →

He is Zlatan

Zlatan crop Zlatan Ibrahimovic is the man we must shackle if we are to have any chance of taking something from Stockholm. With a career that’s taken in some of the world’s top clubs, Ireland will be up against it to stifle the Swedish captain, but our own form striker Robbie Keane’s record measures favourably against the PSG hit-man. Continue reading →

Papering Over the Craic

smokingman It’s been a rough week for Irish football but a worse one for the people who report on it. The sports hacks as a collective have taken a PR battering and they’ve reverted to their defensive mode by blaming the FAI for the fiasco. Meanwhile, the public remains in the dark. Continue reading →

Swede Jaysus: Commentator Goes Comeback Crazy

Untitled Having mauled Ireland in Dublin, Germany thought they were home and leder-hosed when 4-0 up on Sweden in Berlin. Zlatan and co had other ideas though. The Swedes produced a stunning comeback to blow Group C wide open and leave Ireland trailing in third in the early World Cup qualifying running. It prompted a Swedish radio commentator to lose his cool and our own Des Cahill to ask, when have Germany ever thrown away a lead like this before? Continue reading →

Video: No Fairytale for Trap in Far Far Away

560856_10151286069255242_1824844458_n Ireland got their World Cup hopes back on track last night with a 4-1 win over the Faroe Islands but the pitch-forks are still out for the manager. An ogre in the eyes of the press and some supporters, Giovanni Trapattoni answered some of his critics by naming Seamus Coleman, Robbie Brady, and Marc Wilson in the starting eleven but will there be a happy ending or has the page turned on the Trap chapter of Irish soccer? Continue reading →

History Lessons: Home Rule for Ireland

Florrie-Burke-1951-1024x857 Remarkably, Ireland have recorded quite a few successes against the Germans over the years, especially at home. Despite the shambolic reign of Steve Staunton, we still gave them two tough encounters when last paired in a qualifying group. Despite the gloom among the home supporters, tonight’s visitors are well aware they face a potentially uncomfortable evening at Lansdowne Road. Continue reading →

Hold ‘Em Klose Irish Dancer

Robbie germany It’s ten years since Robbie Keane danced through the German defence and blasted a last gasp equaliser past Oliver Khan. Miroslav Klose, the man who scored Germany’s opener that day, is still leading the attack but Robbie won’t be doing cartwheels after being ruled out of Friday’s clash between the sides. The interest of a pessimistic Irish public, however, has also gone head over heels. Continue reading →

Trap’s Sermon for the Germans

irland-vs-germany-71 The high priest of Ireland’s football religion won’t be converted but Giovanni Trapattoni has a few new disciples. Announcing his squad for the upcoming qualifiers, Robbie Brady is on standby while the manager says Ireland needs a miracle to have Richard Dunne available. Now the Germans are coming to hammer the first nail in our World Cup hopes. Continue reading →