While attention inevitably turns towards Cardiff on Monday night ahead of Ireland’s do-or-die clash with Wales, October 8 represents a significant anniversary.
It is two years to the day since Darren Randolph’s long punt up the pitch versus Germany found Shane Long who skinned the German defence and blasted the ball past Manuel Neuer. It was one of those famous nights in Irish football.
The atmosphere at the Aviva was incredible that night in what was a crucial 1-0 win against the odds versus the best team in the world.
Speaking after the game, Germany coach Joachim Löw famously bemoaned Ireland’s long ball tactics:
“We created loads of chances but wasted too many of them. Against opponents like this we needed to score. We avoided 99 of those long balls but the 100th was one too many.”
The manner of the goal mattered little though as it was a heroic performance from the Boys in Green which led to a memorable adventure to Euro 2016 that included the play-off triumph over Bosnia-Herzegovina as well as the late, dramatic win against the Italians in Lille.
Shane Long is currently completely out of form and received widespread criticism for his performance against Moldova on Friday, but let’s hope the Tipperary man, and indeed the rest of the team, can look back to two years ago for some inspiration.
— FAIreland (@FAIreland) October 8, 2017