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O’Neill Says Away Goal Doesn’t Matter

Ireland manager Martin O’Neill doesn’t think that the away goal the Irish scored in the 1-1 draw against Bosnia and Herzegovina gives them that big of an advantage.

The Irish were able to grab the lead in the foggy conditions at the Bilino Polje Stadium in Zenica on Friday. Robbie Brady scored in the 82nd minute, but Bosnian scoring leader Edin Dzeko tied the game up three minutes later.

With the return leg taking place on Sunday in Dublin, O’Neill still fears that scoring threat of the Bosnians.

“I don’t think the advantage is with us,” O’Neill told BBC Sports. “Bosnia are capable of scoring a goal.

“We got an away goal which helps, but that can be wiped out in a minute.”

The conditions at the stadium were less than ideal as heavy fog made it difficult to see.

“I was concerned when the fog came down,” O’Neill said. “What I didn’t know until afterwards was that if the game had been called off, we would only have come back for the rest of the game.”

O’Neill could speak to much about the opening goal by Brady, as the fog made it hard for the manager to see exactly what happened.

“It was a very foggy goal,” O’Neill said. “I haven’t seen it back but I think he did very well to get back into position.”

Ireland were without John O’Shea and Jon Walters in the first leg as they were both suspended, but O’Neill is hoping that they can participate on Sunday.

“John will join up with us on Saturday,” O’Neill said. “Jon Walters is coming in and I hope nothing happens. He can play in terms of fitness.”

O’Neill were also without striker Shane Long, and it remains to be seen if Long’s ankle issue will keep him from playing on Sunday.

“Shane hasn’t ruled himself out,” O’Neill said. “He has had no football, which is very, very important, but it’s great to know he doesn’t want to rule himself out.”

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