Friday 30 September 2016

It warms your heart when early leavers miss key goal

Michael McCarthy

Published 01/04/2015 | 02:30

The ‘ultras’ in the South Stand, ready for the Polish invasion, were determined to drown out every rallying cry of the huge red and white presence
The ‘ultras’ in the South Stand, ready for the Polish invasion, were determined to drown out every rallying cry of the huge red and white presence

Joyous greetings to the dozens of Irish fans I witnessed leaving the Aviva Stadium with two minutes of normal time still to play on Sunday night.

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I'm not as militant as some people on the subject supporters leaving a ground early, but when your team is one goal down, on the attack, playing well, and there's two minutes plus injury-time left, it's not the time to go and beat the traffic.

It has to be said I felt such animosity towards these 'supporters' that my joy at Shane Long's injury-time equaliser was actually enhanced by the knowledge they'd missed it.

It's hard to get your head around how someone would pay so much money to come and support their country only to give up on them when a crunch qualifier is still in the balance.

FANTASTIC

The Irish support in general was fantastic on Sunday night, the best I've been part of at the new stadium.

The 'ultras' in the South Stand, ready for the Polish invasion, were determined to drown out every rallying cry of the huge red and white presence.

It didn't always work, but the crowd usually responded very well, and for 90 minutes, it must have been as loud as a football match has been at the ground since Lansdowne Road's redevelopment.

But for those few who needed to get to the pub that bit quicker, I hope you enjoyed hearing the cheer of that fantastic crowd when you were half way down Shelbourne Road.

Irish Independent

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