Thursday 23 November 2017

Trap stands firm but Austria’s injury-time goal put Ireland’s World Cup hopes on knife edge

Giovanni Trapattoni speaking to the media after Ireland's draw with Austria
Giovanni Trapattoni speaking to the media after Ireland's draw with Austria
Daniel McDonnell

Daniel McDonnell

GIOVANNI Trapattoni says he has no intention of considering his position after Ireland conceded a late goal to Austria that places their World Cup hopes in jeopardy.

David Alaba's deflected injury-time strike secured a 2-2 draw for the visitors after the hosts invited pressure for the final 20 minutes. There were boos with seven minutes remaining when Trapattoni replaced Shane Long with Paul Green. Ireland struggled to retain possession and the Austrians struck at the death.

"We are Ireland. Do you think we are Germany or England?" said Trapattoni. "We are in a good position. There is not much difference in the table."

Ireland, Austria and Sweden are now level on eight points, with the latter having a game in hand. Trapattoni defended the decision to replace Long.

"He ran a lot," said Trapattoni, who left Wes Hoolahan on the bench for the duration. "At the moment we needed to support the midfield. You can say what you want now after the match."

Jon Walters looked set to be the hero with two first-half goals after an early Austria score rocked Ireland.

Ciaran Clark was caught in possession, opening the way for Zlatko Junuzovic to set up Martin Harnik. But Walters converted from the spot after Long was fouled before nodding home a corner from Glenn Whelan.

Alas, the hosts could not hold onto their advantage. Next up is the June 7 meeting with the Faroe Islands, a game Long and James McCarthy will miss after being booked here.

Irish Independent

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