McCarthy stars in famous Irish win

by | 08/10/2015  37 Comments  [Jump to last]

James McCarthy was magnificent in midfield for the Republic as they secured at least a playoff spot for Euro2016. (Tobias Schwarz AFP/Getty Images)
James McCarthy and Steven Naismith started for their respective countries in Euro2016 action this evening but it was the Republic of Ireland who achieved the better result, one that leaves automatic qualification for next year's Finals in their own hands.

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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Brian Murray
1 Posted 08/10/2015 at 22:18:36
Well done Ireland, brilliant performance by the boys in green.
Barry Morrison
2 Posted 08/10/2015 at 22:23:56
For those of you that weren't watching, James McCarthy was immense for Ireland tonight. He really came of age in a green shirt and hopefully shut a few of his more vocal critics up – I'm looking at you, Brady and Dunphy.

Great to see an Everton player right at the heart of such a fantastic performance!

Craig Fletcher
3 Posted 08/10/2015 at 22:26:56
Agreed Barry. Watched the game and Macca ran his socks off. Typified the Irish attitude on the night; they barely gave the Germans a moment's peace.
Barry Morrison
4 Posted 08/10/2015 at 22:33:08
Glenn Wheelan's suspension meant O'Neill finally played McCarthy in his natural defensive position rather than pushing him further forward and it made such a difference.

Wheelan shouldn't get that green shirt on again unless Macca is injured or suspended.

Gerard Carey
5 Posted 08/10/2015 at 22:36:52
Agreed, McCarthy was brilliant tonight. Did what he does best, closing down the opposition and breaking up the play. Some engine!!!!.
James Flynn
6 Posted 08/10/2015 at 22:39:47
The game was on over here. Exciting to watch, especially Long gathering in that ball from 3 defenders and that clinical finish.

Congrats to all the Irish.

Ciaran Duff
7 Posted 08/10/2015 at 22:42:40
Well done Jimmy Mc and ROI (fair play to Norn Iron too it must be said). Great result - will be very interesting how Ireland approach the Poland game. If they lose or draw they still get 3rd spot but if they win they overtake Poland in second spot and auto qualify. So, will they just have a go for the win? IF they do, then maybe a more attacking line-up might mean that the likes of Gibson, McGeady and Coleman (depending on injury) could feature.
Barry Morrison
8 Posted 08/10/2015 at 22:48:59
Ciaran, I think any draw above a 1-1 will also see Ireland though on the 'head to head' rule, although I'm not 100% sure because the 'head to head' rule confuses the life out of me.

What's wrong with good old fashioned goal difference? Everyone plays everyone else twice.

Gerard Carey
9 Posted 08/10/2015 at 22:57:25
Spot on Barry, any draw above 1-1 and Ireland get second automatic place.
Patrick Murphy
10 Posted 08/10/2015 at 22:58:51
Barry, I think you are correct that the Republic need at least a 2-2 draw or a victory to finish above Poland. Head-to -head is a far fairer way than old-fashioned goal difference because it stops a team rolling over in the final fixtures when they may have little to play for.

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.

Barry Morrison
12 Posted 08/10/2015 at 23:06:54
And that, Patrick, is exactly where Ireland could come unstuck!

Ah well, I'd have bitten your hand off for a playoff place this afternoon, so anything more will be a bonus.

Shane Corcoran
13 Posted 08/10/2015 at 23:27:45
COYBIG. McCarthy brilliant but let's not knock the knockers. They were right, that performance from him was a long time coming.

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.

Andy Crooks
14 Posted 09/10/2015 at 00:54:49
Ciaran, # 7, Poland really is a chance to go for it and I'd start all the Everton players. How good would it be for them to come back to the club having been part of a miraculous comeback?

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.

Harold Matthews
15 Posted 09/10/2015 at 02:06:52
Terrific performance. No changes needed.
Craig Fletcher
16 Posted 09/10/2015 at 06:42:38
Lets hope Gibbo stayed off the beersies in the post-match celebrations... :)
James Marshall
17 Posted 09/10/2015 at 08:20:02
Gents, Ireland need at least a 2-2 draw to come second.

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.

David McKitt
18 Posted 09/10/2015 at 10:37:57
Agree with you Shane #12. Such a pity Hoolohan hasn't got more games in an Ireland jersey. As you say, "feet on the ground" time, we have to do it over again, that German result won't mean as much if we don't beat Poland.

On a side note, I thought Christie had a really good game.. if Coleman is back fit, who do you play??!!

Shane Corcoran
19 Posted 09/10/2015 at 10:56:22
David, Christie was excellent considering it was his second competitive start, the other being against Gibraltor.

It gives Coleman some serious competition which is good for everyone concerned.

I'd say he might stick with Christie given Seamus's injury.

Colin Glassar
20 Posted 09/10/2015 at 11:05:17
Well done, the Irish. I watched the Scottish game and it was a bit cruel on the jocks but that's football. Northern Ireland deserve a big pat on the back as well as do Wales.
Aidan Wade
21 Posted 09/10/2015 at 12:34:31
If Germany were to lose to Georgia on Sunday (before yesterday, I would have it was impossible: now merely highly improbable), and Ireland and Poland draw, it would put Deutchland back in 3rd on the head-to-heads.

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.

Victor Jones
22 Posted 09/10/2015 at 13:36:57
Well done, the Republic of Ireland. And well played Northern Ireland as well. Tough luck on Scotland. Did you see Naismith's miss?? Almost as easy to score that one. He seems to have lost his scoring touch since the Chelsea game. I hope all the Everton players return to club football safe and sound. A few big games ahead of us.

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.

Victor Jones
23 Posted 09/10/2015 at 14:06:22
Just a wee thought, slightly off topic, but couldn't McCarthy have played for Scotland? I bet he's happy that he chose Ireland.

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.

Graeme Jenkinson
24 Posted 09/10/2015 at 14:24:51
That reminds me, had a dream last night that McCarthy was sold to Sunderland. Phew!
Max Middleton
25 Posted 09/10/2015 at 14:32:36
Barry @ no 2 he was rightly criticised imo, he was awful for Ireland up until yesterday, when he was a colossus, one of his best ever performances green or blue. He was so below par last season and didn't start this season off too sprightly either.

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!!

Peter Weaver
26 Posted 09/10/2015 at 14:44:49
Is there a harder worker in football than Steven Naismith?

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.

Shane Corcoran
27 Posted 09/10/2015 at 14:55:52
He's great Peter but I wish he'd keep his mouth shut.

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.

Phil Bellis
28 Posted 09/10/2015 at 15:04:59
Victor... have you sold Ross?
Peter Weaver
29 Posted 09/10/2015 at 15:12:29
Shane, if he's a pain in the arse for you, just imagine how much he must upset the opposition. He's the only feisty player we've had since Tin Cahill.
Shane Corcoran
30 Posted 09/10/2015 at 15:19:13
Peter, I've no problem with him being feisty when the ball's in play but give it a rest when it's not. Especially when the decision has gone your way.

I'm surprised nobody else has commented on it. I'd clip him across the ear if I was beside him.

Frank Wade
31 Posted 09/10/2015 at 16:05:27
I agree, Peter, he works really hard and covers a lot of ground and even adopts an Assistant Referee role at times, most notably in the Ireland v Scotland match.
Jamie Crowley
32 Posted 09/10/2015 at 20:22:28
This is making for potentially some fantastic viewing next summer.

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.

Victor Jones
33 Posted 09/10/2015 at 21:30:32
No mistake, Phil. I was just wondering how that midfield would do in a one-off match.

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.

Barry Morrison
34 Posted 09/10/2015 at 00:00:03
Max #24, I agree that McCarthy hasn't been great for Ireland at times, but playing further forward is not his game, so I'm not surprised he struggled and why I feel the criticism of him was so unfair.

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.

Andy Crooks
35 Posted 10/10/2015 at 00:15:47
Nice post,,Jamie.
Philip Bunting
36 Posted 10/10/2015 at 00:37:44
Goes to show with football that it is not necessarily about having great individual players, but the sum of all the parts pulling in the same direction. Look what Northern Ireland achieved with what many consider Championship players at best... luv it.
Shane Corcoran
37 Posted 10/10/2015 at 14:17:02
Barry # 33, you're being a bit harsh on Whelan.

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.

Keith Glazzard
38 Posted 10/10/2015 at 16:24:02
A fabulous result for Ireland – is it 'historic'?

All the lads must be very proud, and we are for Jimmy Mac on top of that.

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