Republic of Ireland 1-0 Germany: Substitute Shane Long scores in famous win
By Gerard Brand
Last Updated: 09/10/15 11:25am
Substitute Shane Long's second-half goal gave Republic of Ireland an historic 1-0 win over world champions Germany in Dublin.
Martin O'Neill's side are now guaranteed at least a play-off spot in Group D of the European Qualifiers, and can qualify automatically if they win in Poland on Sunday.
Southampton forward Long fired past Manuel Neuer from 15 yards after getting behind the German defence just five minutes after coming on the pitch.
Thomas Muller missed a fine chance to equalise at the other end in the closing stages, but Ireland held on for a crucial win, and after Scotland's 2-2 draw against Poland, have a fine chance of reaching their second consecutive European Championships.
Ireland soaked up pressure from the world champions in the first half, but Germany only went close on two occasions in front of a packed Aviva Stadium.
Ilkay Gundogan saw his effort from 18 yards blocked superbly by John O'Shea as it headed goalwards, before Mesut Ozil's left-footed effort on the stretch clipped the side of the post and went wide after Muller had cut the ball back.
Substitute Andre Schurrle went close after the break from a speedy German counter-attack, hitting his first-time volley over the bar from Marco Reus' cross, but the Irish took a shock lead shortly after.
Long, who had replaced Daryl Murphy just five minutes earlier, got on to a long punt upfield from Darren Randolph, and emphatically fired past Neuer to send the home crowd into raptures.
Muller had a clear opportunity to equalise for Germany eight minutes later, picking up a pull back from the byline, but he struck the ball wide despite being unmarked and dead centre of goal 12 yards out.
Jerome Boateng forced Randolph into a good save from 25 yards in the final 10 minutes, but despite some late pressure from Joachim Low's side, Ireland saw the closing stages out to claim a memorable victory.
Watch Poland v Republic of Ireland live on Sky Sports 1 HD from 7pm on Sunday night.