GIOVANNI Trapattoni must overcome Estonia to deliver qualification for the Euro 2012 finals and earn a new contract from the FAI. The wily Italian’s luck held firm in the play-off draw today, when Zbigniew Boniek pulled Ireland’s name from the bowl and lined it up alongside plum draw Estonia.
Better still, the second-leg will take place at the Aviva Stadium and if that does not deliver a full house, nothing will.
The Estonians effectively ended Nigel Worthington’s career as Northern Ireland boss with home and away victories but during the campaign lost to Brian Kerr’s Faroe Island minnows.
“It is extremely positive for Ireland that we will play the first leg away. We should not underestimate our opposition. Estonia, to have made it through to the play-off, must have quality,” said Trapattoni today.
“Our build-up to this stage has shown us the importance of organisation, attention to detail, and self-belief. That will be vitally important as we prepare for these games in November.”
EURO 2012 PLAY-OFF DRAW:
Republic of Ireland
Czech Republic v Montenegro
Bosnia/Herzegovina v Portugal
Turkey v Croatia