Robbie Brady has echoed manager Martin O’Neill’s outrage at the Republic of Ireland’s disallowed ‘goal’ against Austria, but insisted it won’t prevent them from qualifying for next year’s World Cup.
The Republic of Ireland were denied a late winner against Austria in their crucial World Cup qualifier in Dublin, when Shane Duffy rose to head home only for the goal to be chalked off for a foul.
The 1-1 draw at the Aviva Stadium, coupled with Serbia’s late equaliser against Wales, means it’s as you were in Group D, with O’Neill’s side still level on points with group leaders Serbia, but four clear of both Wales and Austria.
“I just watched the disallowed goal back there and I think it’s a disgrace,” Brady told RTÉ Sport.
“In my eyes, it was a goal. But it’s just one of those things so we’ll have to suck it up and get on with it.
“We’re still sitting pretty enough in the table and we’re not finished yet. We’ll be raring to go now come September.”
Ireland went behind to a Martin Hinteregger strike in the 31st minute after an indifferent first half display, but took the game to the visitors in the second half and were rewarded when Jonathan Walters levelled five minutes from time.
“We didn’t start the way we wanted to. They were on front foot in the first half and pinned us back a little bit,” added Brady.
“We were a bit lax and we got what was coming to us.
“It was sloppy play from us and they got in and scored a goal.
“It was very disappointing. We’re well drilled so to concede like that wasn’t nice but we’ll make sure it doesn’t happen again.”
Ireland looked to have snatched it at the death when Duffy rose above Stefan Lainer on the line to head in from close range, only for the referee to rule that the Brighton and Hove Albion defender had fouled the Austrian.
“I knew at the time I didn’t foul him. My eyes were on the ball the whole way,” Duffy told RTÉ Sport.
“If it’s anywhere else on the pitch it’s play on. It’s a player against a player in the air and I beat him in the air.
“I could see why the referee gave it because I came in full-blooded. It’s a foreign referee and maybe different to the way we play but it’s a little bit disappointing.”
Republic boss O’Neill, however, was adamant that the goal should have stood – a goal which would have sent Ireland two points clear at the top of the table.
“I’ve seen it back again. It should count, the referee should have given the goal,” O’Neill told RTÉ Sport.
“It is a goal. There is absolutely nothing wrong with it.
“I personally think it typified the referee’s performance today. He let a lot of things go and if that’s the case, then you think, ‘let this go’. If he’s called a foul on Shane Duffy, I can’t see it.
“The lineman thinks he has given a goal and he’s almost up at the halfway line before he is called back.”
Despite his unhappiness at Duffy’s header been ruled out, O’Neill admitted his side’s first half performance just wasn’t good enough.
“We were very, very sloppy first-half and never really got a grip of the game at all,” he said.
“In the second half we came roaring into the game. We dominated, even though they had one good chance, but you always take that gamble by putting men forward.
“I’m disappointed [with the result], but we’re still in the competition.”
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