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16th Nov 2015

This play-off stat suggests Ireland will qualify for Euro 2016

History is on our side

Robert Redmond

We don’t wish to tempt fate, but history is on The Republic of Ireland’s side.

Martin O’Neill’s team take on Bosnia and Herzegovina this evening, with the small matter of a place at Euro 2016 to be decided. Ireland hold the advantage after last Friday’s 1-1 draw, thanks to Robbie Brady’s away goal, and history suggests they’ll prevail tonight.

Newstalk have looked back at the history of play-offs for World Cups and European Championships and found, when the first-leg ended in a 1-1 draw, the home side in the second leg usually advance.

Of the five play-off games which have ended 1-1 since the ties were introduced to qualifying, the team which played at home in the second have advanced on four occasions.

Ireland have twice been on the wrong end of this statistic.

Robbie Keane of Ireland goes past Ali Eren Beserler of Turkey during the Euro 2000 Playoff First Leg match played at Landsdowne Road.

Back in 1997, Ireland and Belgium played out a 1-1 draw at Lansdowne Road in the fist leg, but Ireland lost the away tie 2-1 and missed out on the World Cup in France.

Two years later, Turkey escaped from Dublin with a 1-1 draw, and a bad tempered return leg finished goalless, and Turkey progressed to Euro 2000 on away goals.

The Irish players, coaches and fans will hope history is on their side this time around.