While their Euro 2016 qualifier match against Poland ended in a 1-1 draw, Irish player Robbie Keane says that he was very happy for the outcome of the match and adds that defeat would have been “unacceptable” for them.
“We’re happy with getting a point. We certainly deserved it, there’s no question about it,” the striker, who also plays for the LA Galaxy in the MLS, said. “It would have been a travesty if we didn’t get something out of the game.”
Had the Irish lost the match, it would have left them six points behind Poland in the Group D rankings of the qualifiers, which would have severely affected the Boys in Green’s chances. The draw keeps the Irish campaign alive for another match. Ireland’s single goal came in the 91st minute courtesy of Shane Long, which cancelled out Slawomir Peszko’s shot in the first half.
“When you go behind against anybody it’s difficult and,” Keane said of the pressure they faced during the match. “When you’re chasing the game, you feel like it’s not going to come so, to get that goal at the end, it was certainly a relief and it was certainly deserved.”
Keane also dismissed the notion that his team should consider their two points dropped from the team tally. “When you go behind and you equalise in the last minute of the game, it’s certainly a point gained,” the striker explained. “If we had scored earlier, maybe [it could be seen as two points dropped] but, when you score in the last minute, it’s a point gained.
The 34-year old player also praised teammate James Mclean for his defensive efforts. “James McClean, I thought he was brilliant when he came on,” he enthusiastically said. “He put some tremendous crosses in. He put them on the back foot. When we’ve got players like that running at defences, naturally they drop off and it pushes the whole team further up the field.”