Football

Ireland Face An Away Play-Off Final In Belfast Or Bosnia To Qualify For EURO 2020

Ireland Face An Away Play-Off Final In Belfast Or Bosnia To Qualify For EURO 2020

Ever since the final whistle sounded at the AVIVA on Monday, thoughts turned to potential play-off opponents in March.

The three possibilities at that time were Wales, Slovakia and Bosnia-Herzegovina, however, as soon as Wales defeated Hungary on Tuesday night, our play-off semi-final was set.

On March 26, Ireland face Slovakia for a one-off semi-final showdown in either Trnava or Bratislava. Following that, attention turned to this Friday's EURO 2020 draw, where we would find out if a potential play-off final would be held.

The opponent, should Ireland defeat Slovakia, would be either Bosnia-Herzegovina or Northern Ireland. This potential final will take place on March 31, with Ireland being the away side.

The means that there could be a repeat of the EURO 2016 play-off against Bosnia, where the thick fog of Zenica saw a 1-1 draw. However, it could also see the first competitive game between Northern Ireland and the Republic since the boisterous 1-1 draw at Windsor Park in the qualification campaign for the 1994 World Cup. Alan McLoughlin's goal that day saw the Republic qualify for their second World Cup, and tempers could flare once again.

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Of course, in order to ensure a match against either side, Ireland must first dispatch Slovakia.

EURO 2020 play-off round-up (all semi-finals to be played on March 26 and finals to be played on March 31):

Sean Meehan

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