James McCarthy was magnificent in midfield for the Republic as they secured at least a playoff spot for Euro2016. (Tobias Schwarz AFP/Getty Images)
McCarthy played the full 90 minutes in Dublin and played a starring role with a typically tenacious performance as the Irish beat Group D leaders Germany 1-0 to move them level on points with Poland, the team they face on Sunday in the final match of group-stage qualifying.
Southampton striker Shane Long scored the only goal of the game with 20 minutes to go and Martin O'Neill's men hung on for the victory.
Seamus Coleman was ruled out with a hamstring injury while Darron Gibson and Aiden McGeady were un-used substitutes.
Naismith played 69 minutes for the Scots who were heading for a vital win of their own until Robert Lewandowski struck a heart-breaking last-minute equaliser that ended all hopes of Gordan Strachan's men earning a play-off spot in a 2-2 draw.
Elsewhere for the Home Nations, Northern Ireland booked their place in France next summer with a 3-1 win over Greece that means they are guaranteed to finish at least second in Group F.
Reader Comments (37)
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1 Posted 08/10/2015 at 22:18:36
2 Posted 08/10/2015 at 22:23:56
Great to see an Everton player right at the heart of such a fantastic performance!
3 Posted 08/10/2015 at 22:26:56
4 Posted 08/10/2015 at 22:33:08
Wheelan shouldn't get that green shirt on again unless Macca is injured or suspended.
5 Posted 08/10/2015 at 22:36:52
6 Posted 08/10/2015 at 22:39:47
Congrats to all the Irish.
7 Posted 08/10/2015 at 22:42:40
8 Posted 08/10/2015 at 22:48:59
What's wrong with good old fashioned goal difference? Everyone plays everyone else twice.
9 Posted 08/10/2015 at 22:57:25
10 Posted 08/10/2015 at 22:58:51
If only Scotland had have hung on for a couple of minutes longer as that Poland equaliser could prove crucial. Having said all of that, it does seem strange that Poland would progress if they manage a goalless draw, so the onus is on the Republic to take the game to the Poles.
12 Posted 08/10/2015 at 23:06:54
Ah well, I'd have bitten your hand off for a playoff place this afternoon, so anything more will be a bonus.
13 Posted 08/10/2015 at 23:27:45
The biggest two fingers goes to Trapp who wasted four years of Wes Hoolohan's career. Immense tonight.
Being a skillful footballer and being able to do the other side of the game aren't mutually exclusive.
Feet on the ground time. We're far from through.
14 Posted 09/10/2015 at 00:54:49
Some of us, myself included, often resent internationals. Tonight, however, James McCarthy did Ireland proud and it is good for Everton. A great night for Ireland from top to bottom.
15 Posted 09/10/2015 at 02:06:52
16 Posted 09/10/2015 at 06:42:38
17 Posted 09/10/2015 at 08:20:02
If it's 0-0 they finish 3rd due to Poland's away goals scored in the head to head, 1-1 and they finish 3rd on goal difference, so only a 2-2 draw gives them more away goals than Poland and leaves them second.
Win and they come second, of course.
18 Posted 09/10/2015 at 10:37:57
On a side note, I thought Christie had a really good game.. if Coleman is back fit, who do you play??!!
19 Posted 09/10/2015 at 10:56:22
It gives Coleman some serious competition which is good for everyone concerned.
I'd say he might stick with Christie given Seamus's injury.
20 Posted 09/10/2015 at 11:05:17
21 Posted 09/10/2015 at 12:34:31
It might be interesting if the match was drawing to a close and the scores suited Poland and Ireland to play out a draw... after all, there is no advantage in finishing 1st rather than 2nd is there? Everybody just goes into the big pot so Uefa can properly rig the draw.
22 Posted 09/10/2015 at 13:36:57
I know that Barry has been playing well recently. But when everyone is fit, this is the four man midfield that I would like to see play: Deulofeu. Gibson. McCarthy and Cleverley. Deulofeu playing deeper, but bombing forward when he can. McCarthy cleaning up like he did last night. Gibson in the centre. And Cleverley on the left. Kone and Lukaku up top. Just a thought... but, barring injury, Barry won't be dropped.
Anyhow, well done to Ireland. North and South. And bring on Man Utd.
23 Posted 09/10/2015 at 14:06:22
And I wonder how Villa's Jack Grealish feels? (Or maybe he is not bothed.) I could be wrong, but I don't see him getting too many England caps.
24 Posted 09/10/2015 at 14:24:51
25 Posted 09/10/2015 at 14:32:36
When he wants to be, he's the best around at doing his job, putting out fires, but how about commanding the ball too, James?? Being a box-to-box midfielder, isn't that what being a midfielder is all about? Also wanting the ball when your own team are in possession. Go on James, be that player!!
26 Posted 09/10/2015 at 14:44:49
He ran his arse of for Scotland last night just as he does so often for us. Those who so disparage his efforts should recognise the value of such a selfless, all action player and the space he opens up for colleagues in every game he plays.
27 Posted 09/10/2015 at 14:55:52
I can't remember a player to moan as much and it's to everyone. The ref, his own players the opposition. The most annoying is when he complains to an opposition player who has just being penalised for a foul on Naismith. If that player pleads his case with the ref, there's Steven over mouthing off.
In case you didn't notice, it's been getting increasingly annoying.
28 Posted 09/10/2015 at 15:04:59
29 Posted 09/10/2015 at 15:12:29
30 Posted 09/10/2015 at 15:19:13
I'm surprised nobody else has commented on it. I'd clip him across the ear if I was beside him.
31 Posted 09/10/2015 at 16:05:27
32 Posted 09/10/2015 at 20:22:28
England, Ireland, Northern Ireland, and Wales all in (c'mon Ireland beat Poland and don't mess around with the stupid play-in game).
There's the small (cough-cough) matter for me personally of the US-Mexico game tomorrow. But when it comes to international football, if America isn't playing I'm always pulling for the Irish and the teams in Great Britain.
Very happy for everyone residing on an island in the North Atlantic today. Footy is finding its proper home(s) in world football with players who generally don't dive and put in one hell of a shift when they take the field. Excellent.
33 Posted 09/10/2015 at 21:30:32
Of course Ross Barkley is a cert to start most of the time. I just find the Everton midfield unbalanced most of the time. I would like to see how McCarthy. Gibson and Cleverley all fare in the same team. Maybe with Ross alongside them, instead of Deulofeu.
Some people like to accomodate wingers; I don't. I prefer a solid midfield.... I like a 4-4-2 set-up, and Kone is important to that set-up. And as much as I like Barkley. I sometimes think he goes missing.
34 Posted 09/10/2015 at 00:00:03
And the fact that he was moved out of his natural position to accommodate Glenn fucking Whelan make me even more angry.
For this Ireland team, with such a – let's face it – poor pool of players to choose from, it's criminal not to maximise the quality of your best players.
35 Posted 10/10/2015 at 00:15:47
36 Posted 10/10/2015 at 00:37:44
37 Posted 10/10/2015 at 14:17:02
He has half the talent of McCarthy but at least he seeks the ball in midfield. As good as McCarthy as the other night he still doesn't show enough for the ball and when he get is he doesn't try to develop the play. He generally gives the simple ball all the time.
Now you might say that's not his game but I don't accept that. He's a midfield player. His good play when his team don't have the all ball shouldn't mean he has to disappear when they do. See my point on Hoolahan above. Wes worked as hard as anyone without the ball the other night. McCarthy should do the reverse role.
38 Posted 10/10/2015 at 16:24:02
All the lads must be very proud, and we are for Jimmy Mac on top of that.
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