Monday, 15 June 2015

Republic of Ireland 1 v Scotland 1

Scotland are still in the mix for Euro '16 after a point in Dublin from what was a pretty poor quality game. Irish confidence looked low and Scotland played for the draw. This cheeky Paddy Power advertisement set the tone for for the match and the draw.

The two nights in Dublin were spent with good mates who had travelled from Aberdeen and Oslo as we enjoyed the 'Irish Temple Bar' and my favourite Doheny & Nesbitts. I have been to Dublin six times over the last twenty-five years and am used to seeing hardship, from drug-embattled housing estates with 'father vigilantes' patrolling to stop dealers throwing drugs to their children, to the more run-of-the-mill down-and-out. Perhaps it's a reflection on how much better London has become but the numbers of people begging on the Dublin streets was alarming. Most looked like young immigrants and the form is to clutch a sleeping bag around your body and shake a paper cup. Ireland's benefits were very good a few years back but that has been cut as the economy has suffered. Perhaps that's the explanation?

Anyway, Scotland now stand looking at three possible victories from qualification. Georgia away, Poland at Hampden and Gibraltar in Faro. No doubt it won't be that easy but we have edged ahead of Ireland in the race to France.

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