If a four nil defeat for NI in Manchester can be look upon as good performance, then the Republic’s one all draw in Tel Aviv, looks like carelessness. A win would have seen them capitalise on an earlier excellent draw in Paris and go top of their group. The 40,000 crowd were kept relatively quiet by a competent Irish performance until a lapse of concentration let Bnei Sakhnin Abbas Suan through in the last minute to snatch a draw. The after match party went on regardless.
Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty