Date: 17th November 2015 at 3:52pm
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It was Daryl Murphy’s determined run that lead to the penalty that was controversially awarded to the Irish when the ball hit the hand of Ervin Zukanović, as Murphs tried to cross the ball.

Dutch referee Bjorn Kuipers pointed to the spot after guidance from one of his officials from behind the goal and up stepped former Town favourite Jonathan Walters to convert the spot kick, sending his former Stoke City team-mate Asmir Begovic the wrong way, to the delight of a vociferous home crowd.

So you could argue it was a Town double-act that got the Irish on their way and although Murphy was eventually substituted after 55 minutes, Walters was again on hand to volley in the decisive second as the Bosnians threatened to claw their way back into the match late in the game.

It was Jonathan Walters fourth goal in five games for the Republic and arguably the most meaningful, as there were just twenty minutes remaining of a pulsating encounter but there was no way back for Bosnia Herzegovina – no matter how they tried.

On a fantastic night for the Irish, the only disappointment was that Daryl Murphy once again failed to score.

He has now played nineteen full international for his home nation and has yet to find the net.

I lost a bit of money on that little wager but more than made up for it with the result, that takes the men in green to the Euro finals in France next year.

Former Town boss Roy Keane, who is now assistant to Martin O’Neill, could even afford a smile when the final whistle sounded on what turned out to be a historic night for the Republic.

Ipswich Irish did the country proud again and I only hope that Daryl Murphy can now start scoring freely for the blues once more so that he is in contention for a place in the squad next June.

By then, even David McGoldrick may have rekindled some form of old and get his name on the team sheet and who knows, Adam McDonnell and Dylan Connolly may be knocking on the Irish door by then?

Frank Weston Editor of Vital Ipswich


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