Date: 15th November 2015 at 2:05pm
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Irish manager Martin O’Neill played a formation against Bosnia Herzegovina that Mick McCarthy would probably have been proud of.

Yet, even he would have wanted more support for Town’s central striker, who was starved of service throughout this crucial first leg play off encounter for a place in France next year.

Murphy battled tirelessly for the full ninety minutes but rarely got a chance to make an attacking impression because Ireland had one thing on their mind and that was to stifle the home nation by playing ten players behind the ball for most of the game.

As a blanket of fog threatened to cancel this game altogether, the Irish took an unlikely lead when a bit of Robbie Brady trickery gave them the lead with just eight minutes remaining.

Few of us actually saw the goal though – including the commentary team and we relied on action replays from unusual angles to explain just how he executed his solo effort.

Within three minutes however Edin Dzeko had levelled things for the Bosnians but the Irish will go into Monday’s second leg at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin (Sky Sports One, 7 p.m.) in good spirits and with every chance of progressing to next summer`s Euro finals in France.

For Daryl Murphy, it was an evening of frustration because there was very little he could do to break his goal duck as the lone striker with such little service.

We can only hope he can redeem the situation next week when he may get another start because I still believe that he is very close to getting his first goal in a green shirt.

One thing seems certain and that is if he plays from the off, he will get opportunities because this time the Irish strategy must be to attack and with a vociferous home support to call upon, this may be his best ever chance to net for Ireland!

Rumour has it that Shane Long might just be fit enough to play some part in proceedings and of course Jonathan Walters is available again after his one match ban.

The hope is that Martin O’Neill and assistant Roy Keane will look to play two up front and I would think that if Long is back he will probably start from the bench.Let us hope so!

 

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