The Republic of Ireland secured qualification for Euro 2016 after a 2-0 win over Bosnia-Herzogovina on Monday night, sealing a 3-1 victory on aggregate over their rivals in the playoff tie.
Walters opened the scoring on the night from the penalty spot, but it was his second as seen above that secured the result and ensured that Martin O’Neill’s men are heading for France next summer.
While the achievement of qualifying is in itself a major boost for the nation, it is the first time in their history that they have qualified for back-to-back European Championships.
Ultimately, they were in a strong position heading into the second leg at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin on Monday night, with Robbie Brady’s strike last week ensuring that they held the advantage with an away goal.
However, O’Neill will be delighted with the performance that his side produced as they not only kept it tight at the back to register a clean sheet, but Walters was on hand to add the icing to the cake and secure safe passage to next year’s tournament.
Triumph for the Irish means that they join England, Wales and Northern Ireland at Euro 2016, although as stated on countless occasions, a great deal of praise must go to O’Neill and his coaching staff for guiding a squad that isn’t blessed with any real superstars of note to the finals.
It wraps up a tough qualifying campaign as they overcame a stubborn Bosnia side in the playoffs after narrowly finishing behind both Germany and Poland in Group D.
Nevertheless, that will mean little to the manager, players and fans now as they look forward to potentially causing an upset or two next summer.