Shane Long: Euro 2016 still in Republic of Ireland's hands

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Shane Long scored the Republic of Ireland's equaliser against Poland

Shane Long believes his injury-time equaliser against Poland has kept the Republic of Ireland in with a good chance of making Euro 2016 in France.

The Irish were heading for a costly 1-0 defeat until the Southampton striker came off the bench to keep them within three points of group leaders Poland.

"We don't have to rely on other results and we are confident that we have got a good enough squad," said Long.

"It is definitely within our grasp. Getting that draw was a big result."

He added: "If we had lost, Poland would have gone six points ahead of us and it's a big gap to claw back."

The Republic recovered from a drab first-half display, during which Slawomir Peszko fired the visitors into a 26th-minute lead.

It looked as if they would be falling to a second consecutive Group D defeat after Robbie Brady and then Robbie Keane hit the post.

But Long scored his second competitive international goal when Wes Hoolahan headed Brady's cross down and the substitute pounced to chip a close-range shot over goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski.

"Scoring for your country is obviously a massive honour. I was on the bench and I was just waiting for my time to get on the pitch," he said.

"Luckily, I got the last 10 minutes. Sometimes the ball doesn't fall for you, and sometimes it does, and it was just nice to see it hit the back of the net."

The top two teams from each group go through, while third place guarantees a play-off place at least. The Republic are two points off second and third-placed Germany and Scotland.

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