Bosnia for Martin O'Neill and Ireland

It is the Play Offs for the Republic of Ireland after Martin O'Neill and his team failed to get a result in Poland to see them qualify automatically for the European Championship 2016. In  a group consisting of Germany, Georgia, Poland, Gibraltar and Scotland the Irish could only manage to finish third and so entered the vase for the play off last week.If you were to ask people before the qualifying, what would be the outcome of the group, the majority of Irish fans would have been quite happy with a play off place. The highlight of the qualifying has to have been the four points that they took off Germany. The victory over the World Champions in Dublin will go down in History as one of the great nights for Irish soccer. At the final tally of points when the group ended, the Irish fell short by three points, the lottery of the Play Offs is now to unfold.

As per usual with these draws, their will always be seeded teams and in this case the teams seeded by UEFA  were Sweden, Hungary, Bosnia and the Ukraine. Within those four teams I am sure Martin O'Neill had his view as who he wanted to draw. Sweden and Ukraine were the teams most Irish fans were desperate to avoid and low and behold when the balls game out of the vase, yes vase, they are very posh in UEFA, Ireland were paired with Bosnia and Herzegovina and the cherry on top for the FAI is the fact that the first leg is away from home. Their is no doubt the tie against the Bosnians will be difficult but things could have been a lot worse.

When Ireland line out in Zenica on the 13th of November for the first leg they will come up against players whom we all no a good bit about. Barring injuries the Irish can expect to face the likes of Asmir Begovic, Miralem Pjanic, Edin Dzeko and Ervin Zukanovic to name but a few. The coach is a guy called Mehmed Bazdarevic and he has his team playing excellent. They have won their last three matches, including a victory over Wales who suprised everyone in qualifying. The feeling on the Bosnian side is that they want to come to Dublin with the job already done. This attitude could  cause them huge trouble if they do not succeed at home, because the Irish will be a tough nut to crack in the Aviva, It has the making of a very exciting couple of days and when it is all over we will see where the future stands for Martin O'Neill and his coaching staff.


David Meier

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