THE Republic of Ireland’s 1-0 win over Germany on Thursday, October 8 takes them a step closer to Euro 2016, whereas Northern Ireland and Portugal have both done enough to qualify for the tournament.
Shane Long came off the bench for Ireland on the 70th minute and put a stunning shot past Manuel Neuer to guarantee Martin O Neill’s team a place in the top three of their group with at least a play-off place guaranteed.
Ireland’s result over the world champions came after defender Stephen Ward was handed his first cap since November of last year with Richard Keogh, Cyrus Christie and Daryl Murphy also selected.
As celebrations started at the Aviva in Dublin, Northern Ireland qualified for the European Championships for the first time in history, beating Greece 3-1 at Windsor Park, Belfast. Steven Davis and Josh Magennis scored the three goals between them and have sent Northern Ireland into their first major tournament since the World Cup in 1986.
In Braga, Portugal’s Joao Moutinho scored against Denmark in their 1-0 win and have also qualified with a game to spare. A Ronaldo effort and a shot from Nani that hit the crossbar both came close for Portugal before Moutinho’s second-half goal beat Denmark goalkeeper, Kasper Schmeichel.
Scotland’s bid for qualification, however, came to an end after a late equaliser from Poland ended their match in a 2-2 draw.