Saturday 18 November 2017

Video: 'The 100th long ball was one too many' - Joachim Low's rant prompts epic Martin O'Neill riposte

Republic of Ireland manager Martin O'Neill celebrates at the final whistle. UEFA EURO 2016 Championship Qualifier, Group D, Republic of Ireland v Germany. Aviva Stadium, Lansdowne Road, Dublin. Picture credit: David Maher / SPORTSFILE
Republic of Ireland manager Martin O'Neill celebrates at the final whistle. UEFA EURO 2016 Championship Qualifier, Group D, Republic of Ireland v Germany. Aviva Stadium, Lansdowne Road, Dublin. Picture credit: David Maher / SPORTSFILE

Shane Long's 14th international goal handed the Republic of Ireland a priceless 1-0 win over world champions Germany and blew the race for Euro 2016 qualification wide open.

The Southampton striker came off the bench to thump a 70th-minute thunderbolt past the helpless Manuel Neuer to hand the Republic their biggest competitive victory since they defeated Holland in a World Cup qualifier in 2001.

Ireland's success, coupled with Poland's 2-2 draw with Scotland, means that Martin O'Neill's men are guaranteed a top-three finish and a play-off place at worst, but they will head for Warsaw on Sunday knowing they could still top Group D.

It was a night for heroes at the Aviva Stadium as Martin O'Neill's depleted team stood firm in the face of a German onslaught and took their chance when it came in front of a delirious full house of 50,604.

There was more than a hint of condescension in Joachim Low's response to the result.

"Overall we have to say that it is one of the most unnecessary defeats we have had to accept over the last few years," he said.

"It was was to be accepted that Ireland would be defending with nine and sometimes 10 men and try long hopeful balls.

"They had only one opportunity to score whereas we squandered many of those.

Shane Long

This goal will be remembered for a Long time. A cracking finish to give the Republic of Ireland a famous victory over Germany.

Posted by RTÉ Soccer on Thursday, October 8, 2015

"Against opponents like these, you need to score and avoid any mistakes. We avoided 99 of those long balls and kept possession but the 100th long ball was one long ball too many."

Martin O'Neill's response was priceless.

"I'm not even sure we kicked it 100 time long. He's just gone out, he's congratulated me and whatever he said in here, he's been totally different out there before," he said.

"He's won the World Cup, he's entitled to a fairly decent opinion... and we we were brilliant."

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