By Ger McCarthy
Thursday night’s penultimate round of Group D results means the Republic of Ireland can still grab automatic qualification for Euro 2016.
Scotland’s 2-2 draw at home to Poland was bettered by Ireland’s unlikely 1-0 defeat of Germany at the Aviva Stadium meaning Martin O’Neill’s side cannot now finish lower than third.
A victory from Sunday’s trip to Warsaw would guarantee Ireland a top-two finish and automatic qualification for next summer’s tournament.
A draw or Polish win would keep the boys in green in third place and facing the prospect of a two-legged play-off against one of the other eight qualifying group’s third-place finishers.
The concession of a last-minute goal at Hampden Park ended Scotland’s interest in the competition and ensured Ireland would have at worst, a two-legged play-off shot of making it to next summer’s tournament. Another emotional roller-coaster ride awaits this Sunday.