Dublin, Oct 9 (IANS) The Republic of Ireland gave their Euro 2016 football qualifying hopes a massive boost by shocking world champions Germany 1-0.
Striker Shane Long struck after 70 minutes to give Republic of Ireland victory here on Thursday.
Germany dominated the first half but failed to get through a defiant Irish defence and, even after Long’s strike, they missed late chances.
The result meant Germany didn’t get the point they needed to secure qualification.
As for Ireland, guaranteeing at least third place in Group D was cause for loud celebrations at the final whistle.
The Ireland defence was opened up after only 13 minutes, but captain John O’Shea made a brilliant block to divert the ball wide as midfielder Ilkay Gundogan looked poised to score.
Germany arrived on a five-game winning streak and had other near misses.
Defender Jerome Boateng put a free header wide from a corner while midfielder Mesut Ozil was rightly ruled offside when he turned the ball in.
Yet for all their efforts, Ireland goalkeeper was not forced into making a decent save.
Although Andre Schurrle, a first-half replacement for the injured Maro Gotze, volleyed over from Marco Reus’ cross early in the second half, Ireland were now showing more attacking intent.
Their reward came with Long’s goal. It was simple stuff, Long racing on to a long kick upfield and burying a shot high to the right of German goalie Manuel Neuer to set up the win.