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Tuesday 6 December 2016

Republic of Ireland dream is still alive

Republic of Ireland's players celebrate their first goal during the Euro 2016 qualifying group D football match between Republic of Ireland and Georgia
Republic of Ireland's players celebrate their first goal during the Euro 2016 qualifying group D football match between Republic of Ireland and Georgia

It was dreary stuff against Georgia at the Aviva last night but a precious Jon Walters goal, set up by Jeff Hendrick, won the points and kept France 2016 firmly on the menu.

With Scotland losing 3-2 to Germany in Hampden Park, Ireland's qualification is firmly in Martin O'Neill's hands.

"I always said it was in our hands, even in June. That means that we have to win games," O'Neill said afterwards.

"We're not getting favours from anyone. We've had to fight for every single particle that's going. We found a way to win a game tonight that was very important. Now we need to pick up more points. We'll keep it going, we've something to look forward to."

"It was very tense and we didn't play well at all in the first half. We were tentative and nervous and there was no real no cohesion or energy about us," he added. "The second half was a great turnaround, there was a great effort and we found a way to win."

Meanwhile, James McCarthy says that Ireland will fight all the way for a place in the Euro 2016 finals.

The Republic are now four points ahead of Scotland and on course for a play-off place at least, though they will miss Glenn Whelan and James McClean for next month's game at home to Germany.

"It was always going to be difficult, as the gaffer says it's not over over until it's over, we are still fighting in this group," said McCarthy.

"The main thing was to get the three points on the board and move on to Germany. We are delighted to get the three points," added McCarthy.

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