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Saturday 19 August 2017

Nice one, centurion

100-cap O'Shea is keen to keep Irish momentum going as late goal gives us reason to look on the bright side

John O'Shea
John O'Shea
John O'Shea celebrates with John Walters

The Monty Python reference in the headline above may go over the heads of the vast majority of the current Irish squad who (apart from David Forde) were not even born when The Life Of Brian appeared on our screens.

But there's no doubt that John O'Shea, who became only the sixth centurion in the history of the national team, made his mark on a night when he earned his 100th cap.

O'Shea doesn't score many goals - before last night his average was one international goal every 49 games - but the defender showed a striker's touch to finish past Manuel Neuer and earn Ireland a vital draw, the approach work done by Wes Hoolahan and Jeff Hendrick.

"My ratio should be a bit better without a doubt, playing that many games," said O'Shea at the end of a big night for the Waterford man.

"But thankfully I was able to help the team out and keep the momentum going. Hopefully there is a few more to come in the campaign.

"The goal was one of those things. I was thinking that Jeff was going to take a touch. Jeff has put a great ball across, first time, and I took a chance and got across my man. In fairness to the lad, Hummels, he was probably the best player on the pitch. It was the last kick of the game as well.

"It keeps the momentum going in the group, it's going to be very tight. But we have the momentum going into Scotland I hear they had a decent draw as well. It's a big point, hopefully, in the scheme of things," added O'Shea, who hopes the side can sustain this wave of enthusiasm.

"we took that from the Georgia game when we kept going. Momentum was key, the manager spoke to us about that at half time. I have known him from when he was manager of Sunderland, we didn't want to come off the pitch with a 1-0 defeat where we have done okay, people are saying 'that's not a bad result'.

"Germany are a good team and they were missing some players tonight. But they still have fantastic quality. Kroos, he loves scoring against us, it was a fantastic finish from him again last night, he was their main player, dictating play, we needed to get a little bit closer to him as he was dictating how they were playing. "So realistically, it's a big big point for us and we take forward to Scotland," he says.

"Seven points from nine? We would have taken it, without a doubt. With Poland beating Germany, there was more pressure on Germany but also pressure on to get something from the game, so we did well to get something from the game.

"We play Scotland away next month and hopefully we can take something from that game too. Then we'll have Scotland away, Germany away, Georgia away all out of the way and hopefully we'll still be close to the top of the table if not at the top of the table."

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