Given enjoys 'historic moment'
Goalkeeper Shay Given was delighted to be involved in an 'historic moment' as the Republic of Ireland reached Euro 2012.
Last Updated: 15/11/11 10:54pm
Goalkeeper Shay Given was delighted to be involved in an 'historic moment' as the Republic of Ireland reached Euro 2012 on Tuesday evening.
Giovanni Trapattoni's side completed a 5-1 aggregate victory over Estonia at the Aviva Stadium to seal their spot in next summer's tournament, marking the first time Ireland have reached an international competition in 10 years.
Aston Villa keeper Given, who was at fault for Estonia's only goal over the two legs as they equalised for a 1-1 draw in Dublin, feels Ireland's success was well-deserved.
He told Sky Sports: "It's a historic moment. It's been a long 16 months but we're extremely happy obviously. We deserved it and we'll celebrate tonight for sure."
The shot-stopper admits it was a strange night given his side's huge 4-0 advantage from the first leg, which was extended by Stephen Ward's first-half effort.
"It was a little bit (strange), and for the crowd, because we were four goals ahead from the first leg and then five in the first half," he said. "But we're just going to enjoy the atmosphere now.
"I think the lads deserve it, it's been a long road, and we'll look forward to next summer."
Striker Robbie Keane, whose two goals in the first leg helped to put the tie beyond the Estonians, added that it was an special moment to seal qualification in Dublin.
"Look at the crowd here - I think that says it all," said Keane before jubilant scenes in the stands.
"It's a great night for everyone - the fans, the players - it's a night that we'll never forget.
"Full credit to everyone who's involved in the squad. This is why we play football, for situations like this."
Man of the match Glenn Whelan admits Tuesday night's display was not Ireland's finest but was pleased they managed to get the job done.
He said: "After Friday night everyone was more or less saying we were there but we knew we had to go out and do a job.
"It wasn't the best performance or result but it was just get the job done and get there and we've done that now."
The Stoke midfielder was blown away by the home support, adding: "You've seen all the fans. Everyone is buzzing, they can't wait, so roll on the summer."