Breaking News: Ireland and Italy tie

Italy played Ireland tonight, in Southern Italy, for the World Cup qualifying round. Italy had won every match in the round so far.

Robbie Keane scored in the 85th minute to tie the match, an incredible result against the reigning world champions.

This is not an April Fool!

2 Comments to “Breaking News: Ireland and Italy tie”

  1. Dave said...
    2 April 2009

    Awesome! What does this mean for them for World Cup Qualifying?

  2. Will said...
    2 April 2009

    From the Irish Independent online:

    The dream of automatic qualification for South Africa remains alive, although realistically the most pertinent consequence of Keane’s goal is that the gap between Ireland and Bulgaria — who beat Cyprus yesterday — will be five points rather than four when they take to the field in Sofia in June.

    Europe (UEFA) has 13 slots for the 2010 World Cup. There are nine groups of national teams, with each ground playing a double round-robin tournament.

    The winner of each group will get a slot in the World Cup. Last night’s tie with Italy means that Ireland can still win Group 8 and get an automatic qualification for the World Cup.

    The remaining four slots will be filled by a playoff among the strongest eight of the nine second-place teams. Last night’s tie with Italy makes Ireland’s case for this playoff much stronger, by distancing Ireland from third-place Bulgaria. Bulgaria is a strong team, and there are still many more matches to play (through October 2009).

    The next fixture for Ireland will be June 6th, at Bulgaria.