Republic handed tricky Euro 2016 play-off clash v Bosnia

Date published: Sunday 18th October 2015 11:44

Republic of Ireland: Face Bosnia in Euro 2016 play-offs

Republic of Ireland: Face Bosnia in Euro 2016 play-offs

The Republic of Ireland have been paired with Bosnia-Herzegovina in one of the four Euro 2016 play-offs, while Sweden will clash with Denmark.

The first leg will take place in Bosnia-Herzegovina on November 12, 13 or 14, with the return game on November 15, 16 or 17.

The winner on aggregate – using away goals if necessary – will then go into the main tournament draw, which will take place on December 12.

Martin O’Neill’s men missed the chance of automatic qualification when they were beaten 2-1 by Poland in their final group game, leaving them third in the group and forcing them to settle for a play-off spot.

Bosnia finished third behind Belgium and Wales in Group B but took four points off Chris Coleman’s side, drawing 0-0 in Cardiff last October and winning 2-0 in Zenica earlier this month.

Five of Ireland’s seven previous attempts at making major finals via the play-off route in the last 50 years have ended in heartache.

Former Republic of Ireland international Ian Harte has told Sky Sports News that Bosina will be no pushovers and believes veteran striker Robbie Keane will have a key role to play.

He said: “It’s going to be a difficult game. Watching them play against Wales just recently, they’re very organised at home and it’s going to be difficult for the Irish.

“If they can go there and keep a clean sheet then try to get them back to Ireland… It’s going to be difficult. They’ve got quality in their squad but hopefully the Irish can do it.

“With Shane’s ability and his pace, he’s always looking to get in behind teams but you’ve got someone like Robbie Keane who knows where the goal is. Give him an opportunity and he’ll stick it in.

“It’s going to be two difficult games home and away but hopefully they’ll be well organised and up for it and they’ll get the right results.”

Full draw

Ukraine v Slovenia
Sweden v Denmark
Bosnia-Herzegovina v Republic of Ireland
Norway v Hungary


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