Soccer – Given helps Ireland to vital point in Moscow

Ireland's Euro 2012 qualification hopes remain alive after an against-the-odds draw against Russia in Moscow on Tuesday. Shay Given and Richard Dunne led a backs-to-the-wall defensive display in the face of a Russian on-slaught as Giovanni Trapattoni's men managed to hold-out for a scoreless draw at the Luzhniki Stadium. Given produced a string of top-class saves while a bruised and bloodied Dunne led the defense by example - including one goal-line block in the first-half. Ireland's hopes of escaping from Group B were radically improved after Armenia shocked their hosts Slovakia by four goals to nil in Zilina. Armenia scored four second-half goals to move level on points with the Slovaks in third place in the group. That result leaves Ireland in pole position to claim a play-off place. Trapattoni's side are now in second place in the standings on 15 points, two points behind leaders Russia, who must now face Slovakia in early October. The Republic know if they beat Andorra and Armenia in their next two Euro qualifiers they'll be guaranteed a place in the playoffs.

Shay is hoping Ireland can now move on and get the points in their final two games.
[podcast]http://www.highlandradio.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/given.mp3[/podcast]