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08th Oct 2020

Penalty heartbreak for Republic as Northern Ireland advance to play-off decider


Cruel way to lose and all that.

Ireland did enough to win the game in normal time and in extra time – well, they did everything but put the ball in the net.

The chances came and the chances went and Conor Hourihane’s 85th minute effort from six yards out was the toughest of the lot to swallow.

Alan Browne missed a good chance when Stevens fed him through and Browne also hit the post as Ireland turned up the heat on Slovakia but never converted.

As it was, Hourihane redeemed himself in the shootout as him and Robbie Brady scored from the spot but that was to be the Republic’s lot. A perfect record for Slovakia meant the deed was done in eight penalties. Four scored for the home side, two missed by the Irish – Browne and Matt Doherty drawing the short straws.

Left on the pitch, available to take penalties for Ireland were as follows.

  • Shane Long
  • Callum O’Dowda
  • Jeff Hendrick
  • John Egan
  • Shane Duffy
  • Enda Stevens
  • Darren Randolph

But Browne and Doherty put themselves forward and they were unlucky to fall victim to what we’ve seen even the best fall victim to.

Slovakia go on to play Northern Ireland now after the north came through a penalty shootout of their own out in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Ah, that looks fun.

On November 12, Northern Ireland will host Slovakia in Windsor Park for a place at the Euros.


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