John O’Shea hailed a "special moment" after equalising last night on the occasion of his 100th cap, and argued that it was crucial for the team’s momentum that such a fine performance actually got the result it deserved.
Ireland seemed to be destined to pick up more credit but no points after Toni Kroos had given Germany the lead with a 71st-minute pile-river. Centurion O’Shea managed to shock Jogi Low’s side with a stoppage-time equaliser, however, and he praised the spirit of the team.
“The manager put me forward with a couple of minutes to go,” he said. “It was a big credit to the lads in front of me tonight because, the way we played in the first half was very determined, very dogged. We were unlucky not to get an equaliser before with Wes [Hoolahan].
“It was a big performance but one with little bits of quality. That was very pleasing. Once they get that goal, it’s a big blow to us. We had to come out that little bit more to take those chances. I think, throughout the night, James [McClean] and Aiden [McGeady] were creating a lot of problems with them.
“That’s what the manager said to us at half-time. Even if we do go a goal down, we will have chances, we will have time to play, especially when Wes came on.
“It was very pleasing. What a special night. I was pleased to play my part at the end.”
Remarkably, it was just O’Shea’s third Ireland goal.
“That one takes over this other two!” he said. “As I said, a very special moment. This group has fantastic spirit. We didn’t want to come off the pitch tonight just with a 1-0 defeat, and people thinking we did okay. We did this. That makes it a bit more special that we got something out of the game, and we can carry momentum to Scotland away.”
© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved