Ireland manager Giovanni Trapattoni believes his side can still reach the World Cup in Brazil despite being held to a 2-2 draw by Austria.
Martin Harnik gave the Austrians an early lead at Aviva Stadium on Tuesday, but two goals from Jonathan Walters – the first of them from the penalty spot – gave Ireland a 2-1 advantage at half-time.
Bayern Munich midfielder David Alaba secured a point for the Austrians with an injury-time winner, however, leaving Trapattoni’s team in fourth place in Group G, locked with Austria and Sweden on eight points in the chase for a play-off berth.
Speaking after the game in Dublin, the Italian was somewhat downbeat about the result, and felt his team had done enough to win.
“I think we had a good match, but the draw is enough,” Trapattoni told RTE.
“I think we did not deserve to lose, and we had a good chance to win. (Shane) Long hit the post, also the deadballs (were good chances).”
Explaining how Ireland conceded the late goal, Trapattoni said his team had faded physically after a strong first-half showing.
“We were tired in midfield,” Trapattoni said. “I changed to have Paul Green in midfield. Shane Long was running, running, running – he was tired.
“We needed the midfield in the last 20 minutes. We needed in these 20 minutes someone to press.”
However, despite the result, the Italian tactician believes Ireland are still in contention to reach the play-offs.
“We are in same situation, it is also possible after the draw with Sweden. At the moment, the table is very open. We are in a good position, there is no difference in the table,” he said.