Shane Long will be the toast of a merry nation tonight after his goal earned the Republic of Ireland a momentous 1-0 win over Germany which puts them within touching of Euro 2016.
The Southampton striker came off the bench to shock the world champions with this well-taken goal on 70 minutes, as he ran onto a long ball and finished emphatically beyond Manuel Neuer.
This famous victory guarantees Martin O’Neill’s side at least a place in the playoffs. Should they beat Poland in Warsaw on Sunday, they will progress to France 2016 automatically from Group D.
Germany remain top of the group and will qualify with a point against Georgia, but Ireland’s triumph came at the expense of Scotland, who now cannot reach their first major tournament since 1998.
SEE MORE: Scotland 2-2 Poland video report: Richie scores stunner but game’s final kick sees Strachan’s boys bow out of Euro 2016
Ireland had to defend for long spells in Dublin and survived a few close shaves as Jerome Boateng headed over when unmarked, and Arsenal playmaker Mesut Ozil missed a good back-post chance.
Long’s introduction was timed perfectly and his pace cut open the visitors midway through the second half, although Germany should have defended substitute goalkeeper Darren Randolph’s kick better.
After Ireland’s opener, Thomas Muller had a golden opportunity to snatch Joachim Low’s side a draw from 12 yards. His uncharacteristic miss is perhaps evidence that it was destined to be Ireland’s night.
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