After beating Estonia on aggregate, the Irish national football will be heading to the UEFA European Championship next year.
Ireland's battle with Estonia took place over two matches. The first was hosted in Tallinn last Friday (11/11/11), where Ireland emerged with an impressive 4-0 victory. The second match took place in Dublin this past Tuesday (15/11/11).
In a packed Aviva Stadium, Stephen Ward secured a goal in the 31st minute. Although it looked like Ireland's European campaign was a sure thing, Estonia battled back with a goal from captain Konstantin Vassiljev.
But as the whistle blew at full time, Ireland were through to Euro 2012 with a victory of 5-1 (on aggregate).
'It's a historic moment. it's been a long 16 months but we're extremely happy... We deserved it and we'll celebrate for sure'
- Goal Keeper Shay Given
This is the first time Ireland have qualified for a major championship tournament in 10 years. The last time they featured in the European Championships was 1988! So there's plenty of reason to celebrate last Tuesday's very important victory, and the energy and motivation for next year's tournament is already building.
'We will shake a few teams up next summer - that's for sure... we'll look forward to the draw and all the fans can look forward to next summer'
- Shay Given
The match draw will take place of December 2nd, which is when the Euro 2012 campaign will truly begin. We're sure Wild Geese across the world will be watching with anticipation and ready to support Ireland through their first major tournament in 10 years.
Congratulations to the entire team!