Monday 21 August 2017

WATCH: 'Austria had a 12th man' - James McClean hits out at referee after two controversial calls

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Republic of Ireland winger James McClean slammed referee David Fernández Borbalán for his performance in today's 1-1 draw at the Aviva, claiming he was Austria's '12th man'.

Ireland maintained their unbeaten record in Group D thanks to Jon Walters stunning 85th minute goal, which cancelled out Martin Hinteregger's first half opener.

Despite a pretty dismal display, Ireland felt aggrieved at the final whistle after two controversial calls in the dying minutes.

Shane Duffy had a goal disallowed in the 87th minute after he was adjudged to have fouled Stefan Lainer on the Austrian line after a botched clearance.

A minute later, Walters was through on goal again but the ref felt that he kicked Lainer, rather than the defender taking the Stoke City striker down.

James McClean was highly critical of the Spanish referee after the game.

"I know in this day in age the slightest wee thing you say about a referee and you get fined but you watched the game, you tell me. They had a 12th man today," he told RTE

"I'm really disappointed because we should have come away from that game with three points but we didn't.

"We rallied in the second half and that shows the character that we've got here. We don't lie down for no one.

"I'm really disappointed that we didn't get three points because I think we deserved it in the end-up.

"Jonny rescued us, great finish. I thought he was amazing today. We'll keep going."

Martin O'Neill backed up his winger's assessment: "It is a goal. I think it typified the referee's performance. The linesman thought it was a goal. He was back at the halfway line.

"I've seen the replay the second goal should count. There's nothing wrong with it at all, he's called a foul on Shane Duffy and I can't see it."

Man of the match Jon Walters added: "The big boy Duffy has got a goal at the end. No way it's a free kick and just before that, it's a penalty on me. I put my foot back and there is contact just before I kick the ball. We are thoroughly disappointed but we're still in it."

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