Saturday 3 December 2016

Robbie Brady's moment of madness was the only downside to an amazing night in Vienna

Published 12/11/2016 | 20:42

Ireland took a huge step towards qualifying for the 2018 World Cup in Russia tonight after a James McClean goal gave them a priceless 1-0 against Austria in Vienna.

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The victory puts Ireland at the top of Group D going into the new year, with the next round of fixtures not set to be played until March.

Ireland host Wales at the Aviva Stadium on 24 March, but they will have to go into battle against Chris Coleman's side without one of their most important players.

Robbie Brady will miss the key home fixture after picking up a yellow card during tonight's win. The left back - who threatened regularly from crosses and dead balls - foolishly kicked the ball away when it went out of play, leaving the referee with no option but to issue a card.

Brady's actions were extremely unwise given he was one caution away from suspension, with his manager Martin O'Neill reflecting on the incident as one of the few negatives from a special night.

"It means it's a second yellow card, I don't even think Robbie was aware beforehand," O'Neill told RTE after the game.

"It's alright pointing out things to players, but I think you should probably know the number of yellow cards you've picked up during the course of events, considering it's a soft one."

Brady told Newstalk's Nathan Murphy that he was 'gutted' to miss the Wales game, with O'Neill now needing to spend the next few months thinking of how to replace one of his star players in the team.

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