Ireland boss O'Neill laments referee's performance

Eamon Dunphy believes Martin O'Neill paid the price for "gross mistakes" when it came to his team selection after the Republic of Ireland's 1-1 draw with Austria in Dublin.

The first half deservedly belonged to Austria and they took the lead after superb finish from Hinteregger who drilled the ball home from an in swinging corner.

And Bayern Munich star David Alaba was not happy, blasting Martin O'Neill's side's long-ball tactics.

The Stoke striker brilliantly brought down a long ball to fire home past Heinz Lindner in the Austrian goal.

Duffy looked to have snatched a dramatic victor with a close-range header shortly after, only for the officials to rule out the goal for an apparent foul from the Ireland defender before he bundled the ball over the line.

Ireland to group D 1 shares the place of Serbia, in which the asset 11 points.

"We beat Austria in the away game and if we get another 1-0 win now, we will be in great shape to qualify for the World Cup", Aldo tells us.

After a slow first-half, the Italians turned on the style vs. Liechtenstein, with five different players on the score-sheet.

James McClean was clearly unhappy with the referee when interviewed moments after the Republic of Ireland and Austria played out a draw at the Aviva.

Sixteen points are not enough for Italy to top Group G as Spain, who only just squeezed past Macedonia 2-1 on Sunday night, boast the same tally but have scored over 20 times, keeping Italy in the playoff position.

O'Neill on the performance: "We had a very, very tough first half, I thought Austria were better than us".

We couldn't really create anything in the game, and I was a bit surprised about that because we had talked a couple of days ago about trying to get started very, very early in the game and try to be on the front foot, as I mentioned before.
But O'Neill does not want such thoughts to infect the minds of his players and has urged them treat this as a make-or-break battle like their famous duel against Italy at Euro 2016, when Robbie Brady's goal earned passage to the last 16.

"I have to say we were backed by a ferocious crowd". He wasn't the biggest contributing factor to us playing poorly in the first half but their goal came as a effect of... "It's a clear goal and it's cost us three points".

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