Saturday 22 October 2016

Brady goal a shining light through the fog

Robin Schiller

Published 14/11/2015 | 02:30

Supporters Alan and Jack Keane, from Roscommon town in the stadium before the match
Supporters Alan and Jack Keane, from Roscommon town in the stadium before the match
Supporter Davy Keogh, from Cabra, Dublin, with security staff ahead of the game
Supporters Ann-Marie Brannigan, left, and Nikki Kavanagh, from Drogheda, Co. Louth
Supporters Sean & Louise O'Connor, from Killarney, Co Kerry

Out of the fog came the glimmer of hope... but it didn't last for long.Robbie Brady's unmisseable goal was missed by many of the Irish fans in the stadium.

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And despite more than 900 being packed into the away end of the stadium, everyone was baffled by the circumstances surrounding Bosnia's equaliser.

"Who scored, what was the goal like?" fans asked after the game, highlighting how poor the sight was from the Irish section.

The Bosnian equaliser dampened Irish moods, but the atmosphere soon returned to party mode as the beer taps began to flow once supporters arrived back in Sarajevo.

One of those enjoying the celebrations was Simon Byrne, who travelled to the match with his son Tom, and like most fans in the stadium didn't see the Bosnian equaliser. "We couldn't even see the goal it was that bad. We thought the referee might abandon the game. Us fans in the away end only realised when Bosnia scored because their fans erupted.

"I predicted 1-1 before the game and I should have stuck a bet on it.

"The main thing is we saw Robbie Brady stick the ball in the back of Begovic's net, so onwards to the Aviva on Monday and hopefully to France thereafter," Simon said.

The Irish fans received a police escort back to the capital, with the party beginning in earnest when the busloads of supporters began to arrive in Sarajevo.

Shouts of 'Ole Ole Ole' echoed around the capital well into the early hours of the morning as fans enjoyed their last night in the Bosnian capital, with the locals even getting involved in the chanting.

The traveling contingent have left their mark on Bosnia and Herzeogovina, with a good atmosphere expected in Dublin come Monday.

From early afternoon, Bosnian police, despite being heavily armed and having riot gear at the ready, gave a warm welcome to the traveling supporters, happily posing for pictures and obliging the Irish fans.

"We're getting the VIP treatment anyway, you'd think it would be tense but the Bosnian police were great craic, they gladly got into pictures and had a right old laugh before the game," Jimmy Corroon from the Mullingar supporters club told the Irish Independent.

Three dedicated fans drove seven hours from Budapest. "We got here eventually after driving over seven hours," said Paudie Vaughan from Clare , who was travelling with Conor McCann and Donal Howley. "It took a while to get here, but it was definitely worth it."

Liam Butler travelled with his sister Nadia. He said: "Hopefully we'll get the result in the Aviva."

Irish Independent

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