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31st May 2016

WATCH: Martin O’Neill admits dropping hero of Gelsenkirchen David Forde was a tough call

Mikey Stafford

If Mario Gotze had found the net it would have been curtains.

Instead David Forde made a vital save from the German attacker, which left the deficit in Gelsenkirchen at 1-0, close enough for John O’Shea to win a vital point with a stoppage time equaliser.

Republic of Ireland manager Martin O’Neill would not forget Forde’s vital save, which is what made dropping the Millwall stopper from his final 23 for Euro 2016 that much harder.

“David just hasn’t been playing regularly enough just at this minute,” O’Neill told RTÉ’s Tony O’Donoghue.

“But I do remember the save David Forde made in Germany to keep it at 1-0 at that stage, if that had gone 2-0 it would have been a long way back from that. We ended up getting a point, which eventually took us to France.”

The Galwegian has been dropped in favour of the in-form Keiren Westwood, who looked likely to be the fall guy when Forde was selected to play the second half of the 2-1 defeat to Belarus in Turner’s Cross.

Three International Friendly, Turner's Cross, Cork 31/5/2016 Republic of Ireland vs Belarus Ireland's David Forde at the end of the game Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Donall Farmer

In the end, O’Neill could not ignore the positive reports from his goalkeeping coach.

“He’s played a lot of games and Seamus McDonagh has seen him very, very often indeed and had always come back with very good reports.” Click snap

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