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Irish fans sisters Nadia and Rachel Butler from Cork at the European qualifier with Scotland in Glasgow.
Pic:Mark Condren
14.11.2014

Irish fans sisters Nadia and Rachel Butler from Cork at the European qualifier with Scotland in Glasgow. Pic:Mark Condren 14.11.2014

Irish fans at the European qualifier with Scotland in Glasgow.
Pic:Mark Condren
14.11.2014

Irish fans at the European qualifier with Scotland in Glasgow. Pic:Mark Condren 14.11.2014

Irish fans Stephen Rynne from Kildare and Stephen Staines from Wicklow at the European qualifier with Scotland in Glasgow.
Pic:Mark Condren
14.11.2014

Irish fans Stephen Rynne from Kildare and Stephen Staines from Wicklow at the European qualifier with Scotland in Glasgow. Pic:Mark Condren 14.11.2014

Irish fans sisters Nadia and Rachel Butler from Cork at the European qualifier with Scotland in Glasgow.
Pic:Mark Condren
14.11.2014

Irish fans sisters Nadia and Rachel Butler from Cork at the European qualifier with Scotland in Glasgow. Pic:Mark Condren 14.11.2014

Irish fans sisters Nadia and Rachel Butler from Cork at the European qualifier with Scotland in Glasgow.
Pic:Mark Condren
14.11.2014

Irish fans sisters Nadia and Rachel Butler from Cork at the European qualifier with Scotland in Glasgow. Pic:Mark Condren 14.11.2014

Irish fans sisters Nadia and Rachel Butler from Cork at the European qualifier with Scotland in Glasgow.
Pic:Mark Condren
14.11.2014

Irish fans sisters Nadia and Rachel Butler from Cork at the European qualifier with Scotland in Glasgow. Pic:Mark Condren 14.11.2014

Irish fans sisters Nadia and Rachel Butler from Cork at the European qualifier with Scotland in Glasgow.
Pic:Mark Condren
14.11.2014

Irish fans sisters Nadia and Rachel Butler from Cork at the European qualifier with Scotland in Glasgow. Pic:Mark Condren 14.11.2014

Republic of Ireland Assistant Manager Roy Keane

Republic of Ireland Assistant Manager Roy Keane

PA

(centre) Barry Mitchell from Lusk, Dublin with friends from Lusk in Glasgow for tonights European qualifier with Scotland.
Pic:Mark Condren
14.11.2014

(centre) Barry Mitchell from Lusk, Dublin with friends from Lusk in Glasgow for tonights European qualifier with Scotland. Pic:Mark Condren 14.11.2014

(on shoulders)  Barry Mitchell from Lusk, Dublin with friends from Lusk in Glasgow for tonights European qualifier with Scotland.
Pic:Mark Condren
14.11.2014

(on shoulders) Barry Mitchell from Lusk, Dublin with friends from Lusk in Glasgow for tonights European qualifier with Scotland. Pic:Mark Condren 14.11.2014

Irish fans from left, Eoin McCarthy, David O'Brien, Mark Trinder, Eric Kennedy, Eric Dilloughery, Kevin O'Connor and Shane Dorgan at the European qualifier with Scotland in Glasgow.
Pic:Mark Condren
14.11.2014

Irish fans from left, Eoin McCarthy, David O'Brien, Mark Trinder, Eric Kennedy, Eric Dilloughery, Kevin O'Connor and Shane Dorgan at the European qualifier with Scotland in Glasgow. Pic:Mark Condren 14.11.2014

(centre) Barry Mitchell from Lusk, Dublin with friends from Lusk in Glasgow for tonights European qualifier with Scotland.
Pic:Mark Condren
14.11.2014

(centre) Barry Mitchell from Lusk, Dublin with friends from Lusk in Glasgow for tonights European qualifier with Scotland. Pic:Mark Condren 14.11.2014

(on shoulders)  Barry Mitchell from Lusk, Dublin with friends from Lusk in Glasgow for tonights European qualifier with Scotland.
Pic:Mark Condren
14.11.2014

(on shoulders) Barry Mitchell from Lusk, Dublin with friends from Lusk in Glasgow for tonights European qualifier with Scotland. Pic:Mark Condren 14.11.2014

Irish fans Sean McLoughlin, Karl Kiernan, Neill Hainsworth and Niall Lynch from Swords at the European qualifier with Scotland in Glasgow.
Pic:Mark Condren
14.11.2014

Irish fans Sean McLoughlin, Karl Kiernan, Neill Hainsworth and Niall Lynch from Swords at the European qualifier with Scotland in Glasgow. Pic:Mark Condren 14.11.2014

Irish fans from left, Eoin McCarthy, David O'Brien, Mark Trinder, Eric Kennedy, Eric Dilloughery, Kevin O'Connor and Shane Dorgan at the European qualifier with Scotland in Glasgow.
Pic:Mark Condren
14.11.2014

Irish fans from left, Eoin McCarthy, David O'Brien, Mark Trinder, Eric Kennedy, Eric Dilloughery, Kevin O'Connor and Shane Dorgan at the European qualifier with Scotland in Glasgow. Pic:Mark Condren 14.11.2014

Irish fans from left, Eoin McCarthy, David O'Brien, Mark Trinder, Eric Kennedy, Eric Dilloughery, Kevin O'Connor and Shane Dorgan at the European qualifier with Scotland in Glasgow.
Pic:Mark Condren
14.11.2014

Irish fans from left, Eoin McCarthy, David O'Brien, Mark Trinder, Eric Kennedy, Eric Dilloughery, Kevin O'Connor and Shane Dorgan at the European qualifier with Scotland in Glasgow. Pic:Mark Condren 14.11.2014

Former Donegal football manager Jim McGuinness at the European qualifier with Scotland in Glasgow.
Pic:Mark Condren
14.11.2014

Former Donegal football manager Jim McGuinness at the European qualifier with Scotland in Glasgow. Pic:Mark Condren 14.11.2014

Former Donegal football manager Jim McGuinness at the European qualifier with Scotland in Glasgow.
Pic:Mark Condren
14.11.2014

Former Donegal football manager Jim McGuinness at the European qualifier with Scotland in Glasgow. Pic:Mark Condren 14.11.2014

The Callaghan family from South Dublin at the European qualifier with Scotland in Glasgow.
Pic:Mark Condren
14.11.2014

The Callaghan family from South Dublin at the European qualifier with Scotland in Glasgow. Pic:Mark Condren 14.11.2014

Irish fans at the European qualifier with Scotland in Glasgow.
Pic:Mark Condren
14.11.2014

Irish fans at the European qualifier with Scotland in Glasgow. Pic:Mark Condren 14.11.2014

David Wheelan from Clondalkin with Scotish fan Lee McNamara at the European qualifier with Scotland in Glasgow.
Pic:Mark Condren
14.11.2014

David Wheelan from Clondalkin with Scotish fan Lee McNamara at the European qualifier with Scotland in Glasgow. Pic:Mark Condren 14.11.2014

Irish fans sisters Nadia and Rachel Butler from Cork at the European qualifier with Scotland in Glasgow.
Pic:Mark Condren
14.11.2014

Irish fans sisters Nadia and Rachel Butler from Cork at the European qualifier with Scotland in Glasgow. Pic:Mark Condren 14.11.2014

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Irish fans sisters Nadia and Rachel Butler from Cork at the European qualifier with Scotland in Glasgow. Pic:Mark Condren 14.11.2014

Irish soccer fans never come home without a story. Good or bad, the yarn is rarely indifferent so expectations of Celtic Park were high.

Even the endless sub-plots in the build up to kick-off had their own sub-plots.

Talk swirled around the return to Celtic Park of Robbie Keane and Aiden McGeady. Would they be welcome?

That script took an usual twist as instead of being 'booed' on every touch, the Irish gave McGeady an extra roar.

Many questioned why Celtic Park was chosen as the venue at all. Gordon Strachan claimed 'credit' for that, saying he wanted the maximum number of tickets possible available for the Tartan Army. There were some empty seats which the Scottish will have to explain later.

Still it was the biggest crowd at a Scotland home game in 25 years. Not since they qualified for Italia '90 have the Scots had 60,000 people at a match.

As it turned out, despite facing major obstacles, the Green Army well and truly infiltrated the Scottish regiment. And Keano must have been proud to see that corporate boxes, usually the reserve of men with a penchant for prawn sandwiches, was overrun with ordinary jersey wearing Joxers. The menu was actually Haggis Neeps and Tatties, whatever that is.

Then there was the Strachan versus Martin O'Neill scenario. Both old bhoys of Parkhead.

And of course, the Scots sought to exploit the Roy Keane row declaring that Ireland's preparations were in chaos.

But when it came to 7.45pm last night, a headline in the local Daily Record summed it best: "Stop the clocks. Turn off phones. Lock the door. Switch on telly."

All the 'distractions' counted for nothing.

The Irish fans filtered their way to Glasgow via Edinburgh, Newcastle and even Aberdeen.

Football aside, it was a historic day of sorts for the Scots as the Glasgow city buses formally widened their currency options, accepting Euros as payment from passengers for the first time.

Unusually few of the travelling support saw this as a 'must win' game. It was a 'must not lose' situation.

Yet it felt like 'the big one'. One of those night on the road again with the Boys in Green where pride was worn on the shelve, voices were lost in the 32nd rendition of 'Aa-den Ma-Geeedy' and every pass dissected afterwards in some watering hole that made a weeks earnings in a few hours - before everybody went home to dream of a team of Gary Breens.

It wasn't dynamic football. It certainly wasn't sexy. God knows at times it wasn't watchable.

But in the stadium is always audible.

When in the 75th minute the Scots got what was coming the way, a goal, you couldn't really begrudge them it - even of you wanted to.

Robbie Keane's return to Celtic was more muted than he might have expected.

The minutes clicked down, the hope faded, the crossbar was struck and ultimately the battle was lost.

As has often been the way for the travelling Irish fan of late we won the sing song, lost the three points.

Yet the war rages. The road to the Euro 2016 is long and we're on it.

We had three of the four elements boosted by the Scots on the big screen after the game:'Passion. Pride. Hope.' But perhaps we didn't really 'Believe'.

As is custom the Green Army hung back long after the final whistle, lamenting 'The Fields of Athenry'.

Disappointment rained but still a great night to wear green in Glasgow.

Online Editors


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