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Saturday 3 December 2016

Fog lifts for Irish

Brady's goal gives Ireland play-off edge

Robbie Brady celebrates his classy strike in Zenica in the first leg of the Euro 2016 play-off
against Bosnia & Herzegovina
Robbie Brady celebrates his classy strike in Zenica in the first leg of the Euro 2016 play-off against Bosnia & Herzegovina

Ireland grabbed a vital away goal and a draw against Bosnia & Herzegovina and now stand on the brink of the most unlikely qualification for a major finals ever.

Robbie Brady scored the precious goal with less than ten minutes left on the clock in fog-bound Zenica and but for a lapse in concentration, which allowed danger-man Edin Dzeko to snatch an equaliser, Ireland would have won the game.

"We're still alive," said a relieved O'Neill. "The concession of the goal towards the end was disappointing. We coped as well as we could and we're still alive.

"I'm delighted with the side. The commitment and application was fantastic. We have a battle on Monday night and the players are ready for it. I didn't see a great deal of the goal and I was actually worried that the game might be called off because of the fog but Robbie Brady has done brilliantly to get the goal.

"As I said, I'm naturally disappointed to concede that goal but we have something to go for and we're still in the tie," he said.

Bosnian boss Mehmed Bazdarevic was clearly deflated. "Nothing is lost, I'm still an optimist and if we play better we can win the second game," he said.

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