As it happened: Ireland v Austria

Updated: Tuesday, 26 Mar 2013 21:09

Tap here to refresh

The Republic of Ireland were crushed by an injury time Austrian equaliser at a snowy Aviva Stadium. See how it all unfolded here.

By Rob Wright

World Cup Qualification Group C

Ireland 2-2 Austria, Aviva Stadium, 7.45pm
Ireland: Walters pen 25, 45
Austria: Harnik 10, Alaba 90

Get involved. Email sportonline@rte.ie, tweet #rtesoccer

21:38

Full-time, Ireland 2-2 Austria: Alaba's goal ruins the night for Irish fans and puts a leaves their team with a massive task to finish second behind Germany and claim a play-off place. It's a cruel, cruel way for a game to finish but you can't argue that there were no warning signs.

We sat back and allowed ourselves to concede ground and possession to the Austrians and when the belated changes did come, they were the wrong ones.  

21:35

GOAL, Austria, Alaba 

90+2 mins: Heartbreak for Ireland as Austria snatch a last-ditch equaliser. Alaba finds a yard of space in front of the Irish penalty and hits a shot that comes up off the out-stretched foot of substitute St Ledger and loops over Forde and into the net.

21:34

90+1 mins: A goalmouth scramble in front of the Irish goal has everyone's heart in their mouths before Coleman finally boots the ball clear. 

Hang on lads!

21:34

90 mins: There's just three added minutes for Ireland to hang on.

21:32

89 mins: Austria are resorting to more long balls and John O'Shea is unlucky to be penalised for a foul on Hoisner after he appears to win a long ball cleanly. An intricate training ground routine sees Alaba deliver the ball to the back post where Harnik attempts to head it back across the Irish goal, but Forde is aware and cuts out the danger.

21:31

87 mins: The introduction of Green and the extra body in midfield for Ireland seems to have had the desired effect and has disrupted the Austrian play. 

21:28

85 mins: The crowd continue to roar their team one. It's the best atmosphere at the Aviva in many a year and after a Euro 2012 campaign that saw the bond between the team and the fans shaken, it looks like things are back on track.

21:26

83 mins: Shane Long, who has been Ireland's best performer by some distance, is sacrificed for an extra body in midfield as Paul Green comes on. Would have gone for Sammon myself, but he has been almost playing as a midfielder this half already.

Looks like Walters is going to be the lone man up front now.

21:24

81 mins: Forde plucks Alaba's cross from the left out of the air and sets up a rare Ireland attack. Long, on the right, cuts the ball back to Walters who crosses in for McClean but it's slightly behind the midfielder and he can't get enough power in his header.

21:22

80 mins: Shane Long picks up a booking after he barges into Baumgartlinger from behind. He's the second Ireland player that will miss the next game with the Faroe Island dues to an accumulation of yellow cards.

21:21

78 mins: A foul by Janko on O'Shea gives Ireland chance to lift the pressure but it's all Austria now. Not sure how much longer Ireland can hold out like this.

21:20

76 mins: Trapattoni and Tardelli are deep in conversation on the Irish bench but no signs of any further changes as yet.

21:18

75 mins: Sammon's had a very good game but Ireland are starting to get over-run in the centre of the pitch and Trapattoni could do with taking him off for an extra body in there to try and disrupt the Austrian passing.

21:17

74 mins: Ireland are living dangerously and get forced back deeper and deepers. Janko just misses making contact with Wiemann's cross from the left and Forde is able to gather the ball. It's been all Austria for the last few minutes.

21:16

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-partner="tweetdeck"><p>Ireland defending very very deep... Push out lads... Too early to soak up this pressure.. <a href="https://twitter.com/search/%23rtesoccer">#rtesoccer</a></p>&mdash; Ed Leahy (@Ed_Leahy) <a href="https://twitter.com/Ed_Leahy/status/316660120346054657">March 26, 2013</a></blockquote>
<script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

21:15

72 mins: Ireland make their first change of the match as Sean St Ledger comes on for Ciaran Clark who looks to have picked some kind of shoulder injury.

21:13

70 mins: Austria make another change as Aston Villa's Andrews Wiemann comes on for Kavlak.

21:12

68 mins: What a save from Linder in the Austrian goal. A corner from McClean on the right has the visitors in all kinds of trouble and, under pressure, the ball comes off Garics and looks certain to nestle in the back of the net but Linder stretches to tip it over.

21:10

67 mins: John O'Shea picks out Long with a great through ball from defence that plays the Irish striker in behind the right fullback. With Sammon and McClean waiting in the middle, Long sends in a low cross but it doesn't have enough pace and Austria put it behind for a corner.

21:05

65 mins: Ireland escape there as Garics bursts down the right wing and cuts the ball back towards Harnik, but Hosiner gets there just ahead of him and his touch takes the ball off the toe of his team-mate and Ireland scramble it clear.

21:02

61 mins: Some worrying signs in the last few minutes as Ireland start to sit further and further back. A fine tackle from Coleman on Fuchs gives Austria their first corner of the game and while Hoisner makes contact with the cross he can't direct his header and it goes well wide.

21:00

58 mins: Kavlak goes in late on Sammon with his studs showing but somehow avoids a second yellow card. You get the feeling that had he not already been booked, the referee would have taken his name.

20:58

56 mins: The crowd are really starting to get behind the Ireland team. Haven't seen them have get much vocal support at home since before the Euros.

20:58

55 mins: Harnik is involved again, cutting back a cross from the by-line that comes to the full-back Garics who hits a volley that just goes wide. Austria are forcing their way back into this.

20:56

54 mins: Fuchs picks out Harnik with a great cross-field pass and the Austrian forward hits a snap-shot at goal but Forde is equal to the task and gets down smartly to save.

20:55

51 mins: Good pressure from Sammon forces Pogatetz to put the ball out of play. The Irish forward is there harshly penalized for a foul on Hosiner but he's putting himself around and continues to make life difficult for the Austrian defence.

20:53

50 mins: For what feels like the 10th time tonight McClean fails to beat the first man with a cross. For a winger, he's not great at crossing the ball.

20:52

49 mins: Marc Wilson is penalised as he and Harnik come together and there's a break in play for a clash of heads but both players are alright to continue.

20:51

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-partner="tweetdeck"><p>Sammon's aul' head must be frozen. <a href="https://twitter.com/search/%23RTEsoccer">#RTEsoccer</a></p>&mdash; Michael Conlon (@mike1conlon) <a href="https://twitter.com/mike1conlon/status/316653719733284864">March 26, 2013</a></blockquote>
<script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

20:50

47 mins: Some clever footwork from Sammon draws a fouls and earns Ireland freekick in a promising position on the right of the Austrian box. McClean steps up to take it and lifts the ball over the wall only to see it just curl wide of the right upright. Close.

20:48

46 mins: Glenn Whelan and Shane Long get the second-half underway and immediately hoof the ball forward and into the arms of Linder. Hope this isn't a sign of things to come and the Irish team don't sit back and try to defend their one goal lead.

20:40

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-partner="tweetdeck"><p><a href="https://twitter.com/search/%23rtesoccer">#rtesoccer</a> starting to feel excited about an Irish team again first time since Roy left</p>&mdash; Ray Ryan (@RayRyanLaois) <a href="https://twitter.com/RayRyanLaois/status/316652674919571457">March 26, 2013</a></blockquote>
<script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

20:39

Can you see the sky?

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-partner="tweetdeck"><p>Niall Quinn is the George Foreman of broadband. <a href="https://twitter.com/search/%23rtesoccer">#rtesoccer</a></p>&mdash; Lee Daly (@leedalyire) <a href="https://twitter.com/leedalyire/status/316649961372676096">March 26, 2013</a></blockquote>
<script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

20:37

That's the spirit...

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-partner="tweetdeck"><p>So <a href="https://twitter.com/search/%23GreysAnatomy">#GreysAnatomy</a> isn't on tonight cause the football is! Yea, that's really fair @<a href="https://twitter.com/rtesoccer">rtesoccer</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/search/%23dickheads">#dickheads</a></p>&mdash; Aoif's x (@aoifekilleen) <a href="https://twitter.com/aoifekilleen/status/316644170263572480">March 26, 2013</a></blockquote>
<script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

20:34

Half-time: Walters goal is the last meaningful act of the half and Ireland take a 2-1 lead into the break. Trapattoni's men started poorly but really forced their way into the game in the last 20 minutes of the half. Long is running the Austrian defence ragged and Sammon has proved to be a good foil for him thus far.

20:32

GOAL, Ireland, Walters 45

45 mins:  Whelan takes over from McClean on corner-kick duties and it pays immediate dividends. He swings over a ball into the heart of the Austrian penalty and Walters manages to lose his man before he stoops to head the ball to the bottom right of the net.

Austria won't be happy with their defending but Walters did brilliantly to make the space for himself. 

20:30

43 mins: Long continues to cause problems for the Austrian back four. This time his cross takes a deflection that sends it to the head of Walters but when he tries to flick it on for Sammon, he gets too much power on the ball and it goes to goalkeeper Linder.

20:27

41 mins: The snow is starting to drive down at Lansdowne and Kavlak is finally booked for fouling Shane Long. That yellow rules him out of Austria's next game and he's not happy, he'll be even more unhappy when he sees the replay clearly show Long standing on his foot before falling over.

20:24

37 mins: So close for Shane Long who hits the post with brilliant back-heel effort! Sammon wins a long ball forward and flicks it on to Long, who lays it off for McClean on the left. The Sunderland midfielder sends in a low cross that takes a deflection to put it behind the Long who, with his back to goal, takes a touch before back-heeling it from the penalty spot only to see it come back off the upright.

20:21

36 mins: The crowd are angry as Harnik escapes without a booking for a crunching foul on O'Shea. It's getting slightly niggly out there.

20:20

34 mins: O'Shea is booked for a push on Hosiner but it's a clever foul that prevents an Austrian break.

20:18

32 mins: Great battling play from Long who wins a header, flicks it on and then chases down his own flick-on before sending in a cross that Austria just about clear. The ball goes out to the left where McClean sends in a fine, curling cross but Pogatetz manages to cut it out.

20:16

30 mins: Austria continue to dominate the midfield with Glenn Whelan a virtual absentee in the centre. Can't remember him having a meaningful touch of the ball.

20:15

27 mins: Elsewhere in the Group, Germany lead Kazakhstan 2-0.

20:14

26 mins: Austria has brought on Baumgartigner for Junuzovic, who was injured in that earlier challenge with McClean.

20:10

GOAL, Ireland, Walters 25 (pen)

24 mins: Shane Long chases down a through ball but finds himself in the box with no support. He looks happy to try and hold up the ball but Pogatetz needlessly slides in and connects with the Irish striker, who goes to ground. The referee, who is some way behind the play, takes a second before blowing his whistle and pointing to the spot.

Jon Walters, who has a mixed record with penalties for Stoke this season, steps up and confidently slots it to the bottom left with the goalkeeper going the other way.

20:09

22 mins: McClean finds space down the left wing for the first time and sends in a great cross that has the Austrian goalkeeper Linder in all kinds of trouble. He collides with his defender Emanauel Pogatetz and the ball bounces loose but now Irish players are close enough to capatilise.

20:06

20 mins: James McCarthy picks up a booking as he goes in with his studs showing against Junuzovic. That yellow card rules him out of Ireland's next World Cup 2014 qualifier against the Faroe Islands.

It's harsh on McCarthy as both players went in equally committed for the loose ball.

20:04

18 mins: The officials aren't doing Ireland any favours and a blatant Irish cornerkick is given as an Austrian goalkick. 

20:02

17 mins: The referee ignores what looks to be a decent shout for an Irish penalty as Alaba appears to use his hand to swat away the ball from the head of McClean. 

19:57

14 mins: Ireland have to settle again now and try to get themselves back into the game. It's going to be a lot tougher now that Austria have a lead to defend and Trapattoni's gameplan may already have to be adjusted. 

19:57

GOAL: Austria, Harnik 10

11 mins: That's disastrous stuff from Ciaran Clark in his own half. The Aston Villa man gets closed down and instead of clearing to safety, he tries to dribble the ball past Junuzovic who just takes it off his toes. The Austrian midfielder then bursts forward before squaring the ball to Harnik who has the simplest of tasks in poking it past Forde in the Ireland goal. 

You can't make those kind of mistakes at this level.

19:54

9 mins: Sammon chases a miss-hit cross from Wilson that looks certain to go behind but the Derby forward somehow forces a corners from it. James McClean fails to beat his first man though and Austria clear.

19:52

7 mins: Sammon's flick-on looks like putting Long through, but Austrian goalkeeper Heinz Linder anticipates it and rushes off his line to collect the ball.

19:50

5 mins: Shane Long gets on the end of a huge booming header from Ciaran Clark and bears down on the Austrian goal before being flagged for offside. Replays show it's the wrong decision and that Long was well onside. 

19:49

4 mins: This is a shaky start from Ireland and Austria are getting forward in numbers. The visitors look confident on the ball and their passing is sharp in front of the Irish defence. A foul by Veli Kavlak on Conor Sammon helps to lift the pressure.

19:46

1 min: Austria get the game under way and immediately Ireland apply the pressure and win the ball. Glenn Whelan is loose with possession however and gives the ball away midway inside his own half before committing a foul that gives Austria a free-kick. David Alaba takes the free and blasts it goalward, but it drifts just wide. That wasn't too far away.

19:43

There's plenty of empty seats at the Aviva - disappointing to see for such an important match. The cold weather may have put a few people off but ticket prices, as ever, are a major factor.

19:39

So it's that time, the players are out on the pitch and we're minutes away from kick-off. Despite all the doom and gloom over the selection of Sammon, I've got a feeling that he'll turn in a performance to justify his inclusion in the side. He'll certainly be busy tonight and will have to work hard to hassle the Austrian defence.

I have to disagree with some of the sentiments of the RTE panel too - criticising the team selection and decrying the fact that we may play the long ball game. Fact is, Ireland are a long ball team and always have been. Our most successful moments came from playing that style of football that suits our limited squad and unsettles oppenents.

19:34

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-partner="tweetdeck"><p>Looks like the Austrian fans stopped off at Carrolls en route to Lannsdowne Road... <a href="https://twitter.com/search/%23rtesoccer">#rtesoccer</a> <a href="http://t.co/X4mvkSuuPG" title="http://twitter.com/Ed_Leahy/status/316633199247761411/photo/1">twitter.com/Ed_Leahy/statu…</a></p>&mdash; Ed Leahy (@Ed_Leahy) <a href="https://twitter.com/Ed_Leahy/status/316633199247761411">March 26, 2013</a></blockquote>
<script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

19:30

Doesn't look like we're in for an exhibition of total football tonight. Liam Brady, who still has the ear of Trapattoni after working with his in the Irish set-up, reckons that the Italian will employ the long ball game. Brady predicts that James McCarthy and Glenn Whelan will be under orders to aim for Sammon at ever available opportunity.

19:22

Austria manager Marcel Koller has made just one change to the side which beat the Faroe Islands 6-0 on Friday as Martin Harnik replaces Andreas Ivanschitz in midfield.

Rep of Ireland: Forde, Coleman, O'Shea, Clark, Wilson, Walters, Whelan, McCarthy, McClean, Sammon, Long.

Subs: Westwood, O'Dea, St. Ledger, Hoolahan, Doyle, Kelly, Keogh, Brady, Cox, Green, Hendrick, Randolph.

Austria: Lindner, Garics, Pogatetz, Dragovic, Fuchs, Arnautovic, Junuzovic, Kavlak, Alaba, Hosiner, Harnik.

Subs: Ozcan, Ivanschitz, Weimann, Suttner, Baumgartlinger, Prodl, Jantscher, Klein, Leitgeb, Janko, Ortlechner, Konigshofer.

Referee: Marijo Strahonja (Croatia)

19:09

Dunphy continues his anti-Sammon stance. "He won't make an impact on this defence. It's highly unlikely that he'll worry their defence in the same way that Wes Hoolahan would."

Johnny Giles goes even further: "I'm amazed that he's playing."

19:06

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-partner="tweetdeck"><p>Irish players on way out on pitch to warm-up. League of Ireland alumni in full effect... <a href="https://twitter.com/search/%23rtesoccer">#rtesoccer</a> <a href="http://t.co/spUPHVZg26" title="http://twitter.com/Ed_Leahy/status/316627782606135296/photo/1">twitter.com/Ed_Leahy/statu…</a></p>&mdash; Ed Leahy (@Ed_Leahy) <a href="https://twitter.com/Ed_Leahy/status/316627782606135296">March 26, 2013</a></blockquote>
<script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

19:06

Eamon Dunphy's at it already, insisting that Conor Sammon is 'not good enough to play at this level'. He has slammed Trapattoni for picking the Derby forward over Simon Cox, Kevin Doyle and Wes Hoolahan.

18:56

Just a reminder that the game is live on RTE Two and online here at rte.ie (Republic of Ireland only). There's also live commentary on 2FM's Game On which is streamed worldwide. 

18:46

There's plenty of optimism out there tonight. 

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-partner="tweetdeck"><p>Buzzing for this now, 3 crucial points put us right back in contention. 2-0 Ireland, Sammon and Clark <a href="https://twitter.com/search/%23FeedTheFishAndHeWillScore">#FeedTheFishAndHeWillScore</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/search/%23RTEsoccer">#RTEsoccer</a></p>&mdash; Rob O'Hanrahan (@RobOHanrahan) <a href="https://twitter.com/RobOHanrahan/status/316621399471054849">March 26, 2013</a></blockquote>
<script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-partner="tweetdeck"><p>@<a href="https://twitter.com/rtesoccer">rtesoccer</a> Ireland win 3-0, John O'Shea to score first goal... You heard it here first! <a href="https://twitter.com/search/%23rtesoccer">#rtesoccer</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/search/%23IreAus">#IreAus</a></p>&mdash; Noel Tate (@NoelTate) <a href="https://twitter.com/NoelTate/status/316621039247446016">March 26, 2013</a></blockquote>
<script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-partner="tweetdeck"><p>Jon Walters is going to score tonight <a href="https://twitter.com/search/%23rtesoccer">#rtesoccer</a></p>&mdash; Eoin Gallagher (@ecsg94) <a href="https://twitter.com/ecsg94/status/316620713261944832">March 26, 2013</a></blockquote>
<script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

 

18:46

Just is case you missed it, here's the RTÉ panel's reaction to the 0-0 draw with Sweden in Stockholm.

 

 

18:41

Well look who it is. Morrissey has rocked up at the Aviva to support his long-lost cousin's side - Robbie's grandfather was Morrissey's Dad's cousin.  

So..........There is a Floodlight that Never Goes Out? Goalkeeper in a Coma? This Charming Man (City)? Sorry.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-partner="tweetdeck"><p>Look who just made an appearance in the tunnel of Aviva Stadium! <a href="https://twitter.com/search/%23morrissey">#morrissey</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/search/%23cousins">#cousins</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/search/%23COYBIG">#COYBIG</a> <a href="http://t.co/w9qGxNeY3e" title="http://twitter.com/FAIreland/status/316619431713316864/photo/1">twitter.com/FAIreland/stat…</a></p>&mdash; FAI (@FAIreland) <a href="https://twitter.com/FAIreland/status/316619431713316864">March 26, 2013</a></blockquote>

<script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

18:33

JUST IN: Marc Wilson will start at left back after recovering from a groin strain. Stephen Kelly, who had been on stand-by to replace Wilson if he hadn't made it, is on the bench.

18:23

The decision to leave Wes Hoolahan on the bench is a contentious one, but Michael Mac has emailed to claim that the manager has made the right call.

"I think Trap does rate Hoolahan but would rather use him as an impact sub, which looking at the bench probably ain't a bad idea. Ye need an odd player on bench like him that can come on and lift things and change a game."

Ronnie Murtagh disagrees but is optimistic. "Good luck to the boys tonight. I am here in North Carolina getting ready to call it a day and go home to watch the match! I wish Wes was starting, but I am sure Trap knows what he is doing, I hope! Up The Irish!"

18:04

I don't care how charitable you want to be, this is going above and beyond. Sure she'll catch her death!

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p>This is Strictly a charity tweet...!! Promoting an upcoming dance comp in aid of John Giles Foundation. <a href="https://twitter.com/search/%23rtesoccer">#rtesoccer</a> <a href="http://t.co/cZEmbFxblo" title="http://twitter.com/Ed_Leahy/status/316612012627091456/photo/1">twitter.com/Ed_Leahy/statu…</a></p>&mdash; Ed Leahy (@Ed_Leahy) <a href="https://twitter.com/Ed_Leahy/status/316612012627091456">March 26, 2013</a></blockquote>
<script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

17:40

The weather looks like picking up ahead of kick-off. It's been snowing in Dublin for most of the day and remains bitterly cold. But skies are clearing and while I'm no Jean Byrne - just don't have the figure for those dresses - I reckon we'll be in for a cold but dry night at the Aviva and the pitch shouldn't tear up too much.

17:12

The cold appears to have already got to RTÉ Online's Ed Leahy who's down at the Aviva already. Reach for the lazers!

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p>Irish fans are going for the 90s techno-musik hi-viz theme in honour of our Euro visitors... <a href="https://twitter.com/search/%23hyperhyper">#hyperhyper</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/search/%23rtesoccer">#rtesoccer</a> <a href="http://t.co/GudGG8E4W0" title="http://twitter.com/Ed_Leahy/status/316604293186732032/photo/1">twitter.com/Ed_Leahy/statu…</a></p>&mdash; Ed Leahy (@Ed_Leahy) <a href="https://twitter.com/Ed_Leahy/status/316604293186732032">March 26, 2013</a></blockquote>
<script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

17:15

We always strive to inform and educate as well as entertain in our match trackers and thanks to 'nevermind' in the comments section I can now confirm that the German for a rake of pints is 'eine menge bier'. The Austrian is 'an haufn hoibe' and I'm sure that both were consumed by the Austrian fans who were able to get a glimpse of Irish hospitality courtesy of the @YouBoysInGreen lads.

17:06

Shay Given, while no longer involved in the Irish set-up, remains fully behind the lads.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p>Big result on fri from the lads, 3 points tonight against Austria and we will be in a great position to qualify. Good luck<a href="https://twitter.com/search/%23COYBIG">#COYBIG</a> </p>&mdash; Shay Given (@No1shaygiven) <a href="https://twitter.com/No1shaygiven/status/316596591857369088">March 26, 2013</a></blockquote>
<script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

16:45

While we were holding Sweden to a scoreless draw in Stockholm. Austria claimed a pretty impressive 6-0 victory over Group C's whipping boys Faroe Islands. 

 

16:33

Good to see the lads from @YouBoysInGreen do their bit for international relations. Anyone know what the German for 'a rake of pints' is?

16:20

Niall Kilmurray isn't exactly overjoyed with the prospect of Conor Sammon lining out against Austria. He emailed in to say: "We cannot expect to qualify for a World Cup with Conor Sammon in the team. His performance against Poland proved that. Surely Walters was the man to partner Long up front tonight as he clearly does not fancy Hoolahan from the start."

On form I would have gone for Hoolahan myself, but Trap' obviously doesn't rate the Norwich forward. It's surprising that Walters, who has been a favourite of Trap in the past, didn't get the nod but I've got a feeling that Sammon could surprise a few people tonight. The conditions and the way the team sets up could suit him down to the ground and at 16/5 to score any time, he could make a few quid for those brave enough to back him.

15:48

The only real talking point in Trapattoni's team selection this time out is the inclusion of Conor Sammon, who replaces the injured Robbie Keane. Sammon is preferred to Simon Cox and Kevin Doyle up front and will sit in behind Shane Long offering support.

Sammon has been in a rich vein of form with club Derby County so far this season, scoring eight goals, and the Irish manager clearly feels he can be a big threat in conditions that are going to be far from ideal.  

Ireland XI: Forde, Coleman, O’Shea, Clark, Wilson, Walters, Whelan, McCarthy, McClean, Sammon, Long.

Austria XI (probable): Lindner; Garics, Dragovic, Pogatetz, Fuchs (capt); Ivanschitz, Arnautovic, Alaba, Baumgartlinger or Leitgeb, Junuzovic; Hosiner.

15:25

Whisper it quietly but there suddenly seems to be a bit of a lift in all the gloom surrounding the Irish team. After Friday night's impressive display in Stockholm where Giovanni Trapattoni's men held their biggest rivals for second place to a scoreless draw, the mood has lifted slightly among Irish supporters.

Whether by design or chance, against Sweden Trapattoni stumbled up a team selection that the fans have been clamouring for. And now with Robbie Keane - an increasingly divisive figure among Irish fans - injured, this team is looking to be as close to our best available eleven. 

The trick now however, is to bring our away form home. It's a lot easier to go away and stifle your opponents than it is to take the game to them in your own stadium and that's what's required tonight. A draw tonight, while not a complete disaster, would be a wasted opportunity and if Trapattoni is serious about 2014 qualification, then three points are essential.

Click here to refresh