Euro 2016 qualifiers: Germany's World Cup hangover continues as they draw with Ireland
John O’Shea marked his 100th cap with a last-minute equaliser to seal Ireland’s dramatic 1-1 draw with Germany on Tuesday (Oct 14) as the world champion’s Euro 2016 qualifying woes continued.
Germany thought they heading to a 1-0 win in Gelsenkirchen before O’Shea turn up to stab his shot home.
This turn of events sparked celebrations on social media.
“Germany had far more chances. In the last ten minutes, we had to hope to get something on the counter,” said the centre-back after beating Germany goalkeeper Manuel Neuer.
“At the end, the best goalkeeper in the world couldn’t keep it out. It was a great moment.
After their 33-match unbeaten run in qualifiers was ended by Saturday’s 2-0 shock defeat to Poland in Warsaw, Germany’s finishing again deserted them as Ireland claimed a deserved point.
“We’re all disappointed. I think that was Ireland’s only chance of the game and they scored from it,” said Germany coach Joachim Loew.
Germany players down on their luck, unlike the Irish. Photo: Reuters
The result keeps Germany fourth in the Group D table, but level on four points with Scotland while the Irish are level on seven points with leaders Poland, but second on goal difference.
Germany host minnows and bottom side Gibraltar in Nuremberg next month while Ireland had a confidence boost ahead of their clash with Scotland in Glasgow.
But three months after winning the World Cup, Germany again produced a below-par performance which has not been helped by a host of injuries and retirements.
Loew was forced into two changes after both Chelsea’s Andre Schuerrle and Borussia Moenchengladbach’s Christoph Kramer dropped out with flu.
Irish eyes smiling
Ireland were chasing their first win over Germany in 20 years, but Germany made a bright start with left-back Erik Durm hitting the crossbar after just five minutes from 32 metres.
Germany enjoyed over 65 per cent possession, but, just like Poland before them, the Irish defence repeatedly thwarted the German attack.
Ireland defended doggedly in the first 45 minutes, and Germany’s Neuer had an easy half as he did not have to make a single save.
Toni Kroos’ shot beat Forde from 25 metres and crashed in off the left post, which looked to have spared the world champions’ blushes.
But the Irish grew in confidence in the dying stages when Wes Hoolahan had his shot blocked before O’Shea had Irish eyes smiling.
An overhit cross was looped back into the area and O’Shea beat Mats Hummels to the dropping ball to nudge past Germany’s goalkeeper Manuel Neuer, sparking wild celebrations in the stands and on the field.