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Euro 2016 qualifiers: Ireland stand firm against Germany

A single goal from John O’Shea in the dying minutes of the game saw Ireland draw with Germany 1-1.

Germany's Jerome Boateng and Ireland's Robbie Keane fight for the ball during the Euro 2016 qualifiers on 14 October 2014. Picture: DFB-Team official Facebook page.

JOHANNESBURG - Ireland stunned World Cup winners Germany with a stoppage time equaliser by John O'Shea on his 100th appearance to draw 1-1 in their Euro 2016 qualifier on Tuesday.

The Germans were in complete command, as they had been in their 2-0 defeat to Poland in Warsaw on Saturday, and had a bagful of chances against the Irish, but were again missing the finishing touch.

Toni Kroos seemed to have rescued the three points for the injury-hit Germans and settled the nerves of 50,000 fans in Gelsenkirchen with a powerful low drive that went in off the post after 71 minutes.

But O'Shea silenced the home crowd with his stoppage-time goal to punish lackluster Germany, who have now failed to keep a clean sheet in their four internationals since winning the World Cup in July and have conceded eight goals in the process.

"We are all very disappointed," said Germany coach Joachim Loew. "To lead until the final minute and then they score with their first chance, it's disappointing."

The result left the Germans on four points in Group D with Ireland on seven, the same as leaders Poland.

RONALDO PUTS PORTUGAL 'AHEAD'

A headed goal in second-half injury time by Cristiano Ronaldo gave Portugal a much-needed 1-0 win over Denmark in their Group I Euro 2016 qualifier on Tuesday.

Ronaldo rose to meet Ricardo Quaresma's cross and bury his header past Kasper Schmeichel to claim all three points after referee Felix Byrch played five minutes stoppage time at the end of the game.

Denmark's best chance of the match came when Pierre Hojbjerg muscled his way through and fed Christian Eriksen, who teed up Michael Krohn-Dehli to fire in a shot that came back off the far post.

Ronaldo's goal lifts Portugal off the bottom of the table and into third in the five-team group on three points. Denmark remain second, level on four points with leaders Albania.

POLAND, SCOTLAND DRAW

Poland's fairytale triumph over Germany was quickly overtaken by a touch of anti-climax in Warsaw on Tuesday as they found themselves held to a 2-2 draw by Scotland in a pulsating Euro 2016 qualifier.

A pumped up crowd had expected more of the same from their new heroes in the National Stadium following the historic 2-0 win over the world champions but had to watch them come from behind to earn a point with a 76th minute goal from Arkadiusz Milik.

In the dying minutes, Poland poured forward and another memorable triumph looked on the cards as Kamil Grosicki hit the post and Robert Lewandowski forced a terrific save from David Marshall.

Yet Scotland, who had won a friendly in this same stadium in March, held on stoutly, once again looking like a rejuvenated side under Gordon Strachan's stewardship.

"Told you it was the hardest group," said Strachan. "And we must cope with the level of stress."

The Scotland manager admitted he felt a little disappointed that his side had only ended with the one point but added: "I'm pleased with a lot of things and I think it was a terrific game."

His Polish counterpart Adam Nawalka was also struck by the competitive nature of the group. "It seems to be very difficult and each game is an another war," he said.

In other matches, Northern Ireland beat Greece 2-0 and the match between Serbia and Albania was abandoned on Tuesday following a brawl between players from both sides after a flag stunt.

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