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Seamus Coleman and Conor Sammon left to rue late Austria goal

Updated: Tuesday, 26 Mar 2013 23:04 | Comments

David Alaba's late leveller was a major blow for Ireland's World Cup hopes
David Alaba's late leveller was a major blow for Ireland's World Cup hopes

Disappointment and bitterness were the overriding emotions for the Ireland players after Austria snatched an injury-time equaliser in their World Cup qualifier at Lansdowne Road.

It was a draw that felt like a defeat and is a major setback for Ireland’s hopes of reaching Brazil next year.

David Alaba's strike from the edge of the box took a deflection off Sean St Ledger on its way past David Forde to break Irish hearts.

Ireland looked to be heading to a morale-boosting victory and four points from two qualifying games when Jonathan Walters struck twice before the break to cancel out Martin Harnik's early opener for the visitors.

“It’s very disappointing,” said defender Seamus Coleman. “We tried to hold out and get all three points, but it was a sucker goal at the end.

“We’re still a bit bitter at the minute. It’s hard to take. I thought we got the win, but we move on to the next game.

“He (Alaba) took a strike form the edge of the box and it took a deflection and went in. They were putting on a bit of pressure and maybe it was just destined to come.

“It was disappointing for us because I thought we’d done alright on the night and I thought we were going to finish off with three points.

“But we have to pick ourselves up and we can’t afford any more mistakes in the group. That’s the main thing. It would have been great to finish off with four points.”

There was a similarly downbeat assessment from striker Conor Sammon.

“We are bitterly disappointed to come so close to winning the three points, which was what we set out to do before the game,” he said.

“I don’t think we done anything particularly wrong. Austria came on strong and had a lot of possession in the second half. I didn’t think they created an awful lot.

“We had them in front of us and kept them at bay. We all worked extremely hard to close them down and get blocks in. Unfortunately, they managed to nick on right at the death, which is really hard to take.”

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