German football star Thomas Muller: Irish play acting and a weak referee contributed to German defeat
Thomas Muller insists the world champions “didn’t play badly” in their 1-0 defeat to Ireland and believes Irish antics and poor officiating contributed to the shock result.
A goal 20 minutes from time from substitute Shane Long stunned the football world as Ireland sealed at the very least a play-off spot for the 2016 European Championships next summer. Victory over Poland on Sunday, or a scoring draw of 2-2 or higher, will be enough to secure an automatic place in the tournament.
German manager Joachim Low described the 1-0 reversal as an “unnecessary” defeat and speaking to reporters in Germany, the World Cup winner denied the visitors played badly and was not impressed by Ireland’s attacking strategy and time-wasting tactics.
"Ireland only defended and played long balls," he told ESPN. "We had decent chances and gave nothing away.
"In the end we wasted too many chances and conceded an unnecessary goal after a mistake, coupled with a lot of play-acting and a weak referee.
Muller missed a gilt-edged chance to equalise in the second half and while a number of opportunities were created on the night, Shay Given and Darren Randolph were only called into action on a handful of occasions.
"Even if it sounds stupid, we didn't play badly."