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Wednesday 7 December 2016

Video: Watch Martin O'Neill's perfect response to German boss Joachim Low's claims of '100 long balls from Ireland'

Republic of Ireland manager Martin O'Neill celebrates at the final whistle of the UEFA European Championship Qualifying match at the Aviva Stadium, Dublin. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday October 8, 2015. See PA story SOCCER Republic. Photo credit should read: Brian Lawless/PA Wire.
Republic of Ireland manager Martin O'Neill celebrates at the final whistle of the UEFA European Championship Qualifying match at the Aviva Stadium, Dublin. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday October 8, 2015. See PA story SOCCER Republic. Photo credit should read: Brian Lawless/PA Wire.

Shane Long's 14th international goal handed the Republic of Ireland a priceless 1-0 win over world champions Germany and blew the race for Euro 2016 qualification wide open.

The Southampton striker came off the bench to thump a 70th-minute thunderbolt past the helpless Manuel Neuer to hand the Republic their biggest competitive victory since they defeated Holland in a World Cup qualifier in 2001.

Ireland's success, coupled with Poland's 2-2 draw with Scotland, means that Martin O'Neill's men are guaranteed a top-three finish and a play-off place at worst, but they will head for Warsaw on Sunday knowing they could still top Group D.

It was a night for heroes at the Aviva Stadium as Martin O'Neill's depleted team stood firm in the face of a German onslaught and took their chance when it came in front of a delirious full house of 50,604.

There was more than a hint of condescension in Joachim Low's response to the result.

"Overall we have to say that it is one of the most unnecessary defeats we have had to accept over the last few years," he said.

"It was was to be accepted that Ireland would be defending with nine and sometimes 10 men and try long hopeful balls.

"They had only one opportunity to score whereas we squandered many of those.

"Against opponents like these, you need to score and avoid any mistakes. We avoided 99 of those long balls and kept possession but the 100th long ball was one long ball too many."

Martin O'Neill's response was priceless.

"I'm not even sure we kicked it 100 time long. He's just gone out, he's congratulated me and whatever he said in here, he's been totally different out there before," he said.

"He's won the World Cup, he's entitled to a fairly decent opinion... and we we were brilliant."

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