Republic of Ireland - Group E
When faced with a qualification group featuring world champions Germany, a Robert Lewandowski powered Poland, and old enemy Scotland, the Republic of Ireland might have felt that qualification would be hard work. They did need a play-off win against Bosnia to secure their, but Martin O'Neill's men thoroughly deserved to be in France this summer.
Get to know: Republic of Ireland
Unbeaten at home in 5 qualification matches, including a 1-0 demolition (ahem) of world champions Germany at the Aviva Stadium, and tough to beat away from home, Ireland ensured that qualification Group D was very much a 3 horse race right up to the last round of matches. Ultimately beaten into third place, just 4 points behind group winners Germany, Ireland required a play-off victory to secure their place in France, where they promise to be a tough nut to crack in Group E.
In the group stages, they won 5 games, drew 3 and lost 2, scoring 19 goals, conceding 7 and ending up with a +12 goal difference.
In the draw for the main event, Ireland were placed in Group E, alongside Sweden, Italy and Belgium.
June 13 vs. Sweden 4pm – Stade de France, Saint-Denis
June 18 vs. Belgium 1pm – Nouveau Stade de Bordeaux, Bordeaux
June 22 vs. Italy 7pm – Stade Pierre-Mauroy, Lille
During qualification, the Ireland scored 19 goals
Their goal scorers were:
- Robbie Keane (5)
- Shane Long (3)
- Jonathan Walters (3)
- James McClean (2)
- Aiden McGeady (1)
- John O’Shea (1)
- Wes Hoolahan (1)
- Cyrus Christie (1)
- Own goals (1)
Qualification Stat Truths:
- Eight goals from inside the 6 yard box was the highest in qualifying and joint-highest percentage of goals of any qualifier with 36.4%.
- Blocked the greatest share of opponents’ shots in qualifying: 23.9% – over double the average of 10.9%.
- Took highest percentage of shots in the second half of matches of any side at the finals (61.5%).
- Spent the second-lowest share of time winning of any qualifier: 25.9% or 280 minutes.
All data based on Ireland’s Euro 2016 qualification campaign. Courtesy of the Press Association.