Monday 23 April 2018

WATCH: 'We didn't get a decision all day' - Martin O'Neill slates ref in post-match press conference

Republic of Ireland manager Martin O’Neill reacts during the FIFA World Cup Qualifier Group D match between Republic of Ireland and Austria at Aviva Stadium, in Dublin. Photo by Seb Daly/Sportsfile
Republic of Ireland manager Martin O’Neill reacts during the FIFA World Cup Qualifier Group D match between Republic of Ireland and Austria at Aviva Stadium, in Dublin. Photo by Seb Daly/Sportsfile
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Republic of Ireland manager Martin O'Neill has taken aim at referee David Borbalan for his performance in his side's 1-1 draw with Austria this evening

Jon Walters cancelled out Martin Hinteregger's first-half strike with five minutes remaining - and moments later Shane Duffy had what he thought was a winner ruled out.

The draw means Ireland maintain their four-point lead over the Austrians in Group D, although they were perhaps fortunate to emerge with a point on a night when they were second best for long periods.

Austria were without a host of big names including Marko Arnautovic, Marcel Sabitzer and Marc Janko through a combination of injury, illness and suspension.

But Bayern Munich star David Alaba was available and he provided the corner from which Hinteregger thumped in the opener just after the half hour.

But in the 85th minute Walters ran on to a long ball out of defence and crashed in a dipping volley.

The Republic thought they had won it when Duffy bundled the ball home but Spanish referee David Borbalan ruled the goal out for a foul.

Speaking in his post-match press conference, O'Neill accused the ref of missing a hand-ball in the lead-up to the corner that Austria scored from and slammed his decision to disallow Duffy's goal.

"I think the referee was very poor. I didn't think we got a decision all day," he said.

"He wasn't the most contributing factor to us playing poorly in the first half. I think we have to put that down to ourselves.

"Any decisions seemed to go their way.

"Their goal for what it's worth, we still have to defend the corner kick, but their goal came as a consequence of a hand-ball down the pitch.

"Other instances, the goal should have counted. It's a big call. It nos as though you can say it's one point today and there is another seven for another match, there are three points for each game. They're big calls.

"We were fantastic in the second half in terms of energy and drive and determination and we got a legitimate goal chalked off. The referee hasn't not been great today for us.

"I think the big centre-half from Austria said, Prodl said, out there, had it been the other way around, they would have been disappointed if it wasn't allowed."

Asked if Duffy has led with his arm when scoring, he added: "I think there might have been a player called Andy Gray who wouldn't have scored a goal if you were not allowed (lead with your arm).

"They would have taken all those 400 goals off him."

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