Ireland get draw in Russia

Republic of Ireland kept their chances of qualifying for Euro 2012 intact by recording a gutsy 0-0 draw against Russia in Moscow on Tuesday night.

In a heroic defensive display, Shay Given and Richard Dunne performed admirably to keep out a home side full of attacking talent. Both goalkeeper and defender put their bodies on the line, and were the subject of praise from manager Giovanni Trappatoni.

“Dunne was fantastic. I thank God that we had Richard in this game. He sacrificed himself because he went back on to the pitch with four stitches. He understood the need to stay on the pitch,” the Italian told reporters after the game.

“Shay Given also saved two or three goals. They were fantastic saves.”

Despite the result, Trapattoni was quick to admit that his side had ridden their luck, and on another day may well have been beaten.

“It is impossible not to recognise that we have been lucky in this 90 minutes.

“The determination and the application on the pitch of the team, particularly of the senior players like Richard Dunne, Shay Given, Keith Andrews, Aiden McGeady was the pull for the younger players who gained confidence from them.

“That balance allowed us to achieve what I call a golden point,” he concluded.

Ireland still have fixtures against Andorra and Armenia to play, and sit two points behind Russia in second place in Group B.