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Live Reporting

Thomas McGuigan

All times stated are UK

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  1. Goodbye

    So, Scotland emerge from Dublin with a point following a pulsating Euro 2016 qualifier. Gordon Strachan's side move up to second place in Group D, ahead of Germany's game against Gibraltar, with a frustrated Republic of Ireland still two points further back.

    Scoreboard at full-time

    Thanks for your company and comments throughout the day. We'll have reaction from the Scottish and Irish camps; player ratings and the thoughts of Tom English coming up later.

    Meanwhile, you can read Alasdair Lamont's match report from Dublin here.

    Enjoy the rest of your weekend. Cheers.

  2. 'We were dominant'

    Republic of Ireland manager Martin O'Neill

    "I thought we were dominant in the first half and deserved to be in front.

    Republic of Ireland boss Martin O'Neill

    "We have absolutely fallen asleep for the goal, even though it's going miles wide. We should've closed it down at about three different occasions.

    "I thought we were going to win it at the end. We didn't and I'm obviously disappointed not to have won.

    "We didn't want half-time to come and I thought Scotland were in disarray at the time. We were in control of the game.

    "Naturally, the advantage is with Scotland because the status quo remains. They must be delighted to have gone away with something from the game.

    "Having said that, we're still well in the group..."

  3. 'Passing is the most sacred thing'

    Scotland manager Gordon Strachan

    Scotland manager Gordon Strachan

    "For all you say about systems we couldn't get ours working, whether it's through Ireland pressing or their physical strength or a lack of match fitness.

    "I think I counted seven or eight passes where you expected the players to pass it to each other and they gave it away and you have a series of crosses. Whatever you do in football, passing is still the most sacred thing."

  4. 'Second half performance was brilliant'

    Scotland defender Russell Martin

    "I think that was a good point. We stood up to pretty much everything they threw at us."

    Scotland defender Russell Martin
    Image caption: Scotland defender Russell Martin suffered a facial injury during the Euro 2016 qualifier

    "Disappointed to concede the goal we did but I think the second half performance was brilliant.

    "We can go and enjoy our summer now and look forward to two massive games when we come back on the international scene."

    On the aerial challenge by James McCarthy. "I've headed the ball and McCarthy's obviously caught me; I don't know what with. The referee has given him a yellow card. I wasn't too happy about it at the time, but that's football and part of the job.

    "He's apologised, so we move on."

  5. Join the debate at #bbcscotfootball

    SFA chief executive Stewart Regan: "Well done lads. Three points would have been nice but we'll take that. #WeAreScotland #teamspirit #UEFAqualifier #IRLSCO"

  6. Join the debate at #bbcscotfootball

    Aditya Mohan: Ugly shirts not withstanding... great game for the Scottish faithful #bbcscotfootball

    Neiily: Tale of two halves & a tale of two decisions, offside goal & should have been red card. Come on Gibraltar to keep us 2nd! #bbcscotfootball

  7. Elsewhere around Europe

    Ronaldo leads Portugal to win

    Cristiano Ronaldo

    You may not be surprised to learn that Cristiano Ronaldo stole the show as Group I leaders Portugal edged to a 3-2 win in Armenia.

    The Real Madrid superstar scored a scintillating hat-trick as his nation moved five points clear of nearest rivals Denmark and Albania.

    Elsewhere, Hungary nicked a late 1-0 win at Group F counterparts Finland - which isn't great news for Northern Ireland ahead of their crucial tie against Romania.

    Hungary clinched maximum points thanks to a rasping half-volley from Zoltan Stieber (who was once on the books of Aston Villa), meaning they are now just a point behind Michael O'Neill's second-placed side.

  8. 'We're still in with a chance of qualifying'

    Scotland manager Gordon Strachan on Sky Sports

    Scotland manager Gordon Strachan
    Image caption: Gordon Strachan's substitutions paid dividends

    "It might be offside (Jon Walters's goal] but I've not seen it again. They made it difficult: they're warriors and they stuck in there.

    "There's a few twists and turns to come, that's for sure. We are still in with a chance of qualifying..."

  9. Join the debate at #bbcscotfootball

    Slowbear: Ikechi is going to be a star, 'Anya' can quote me on that! #bbcscotfootball

    Hutch: I suppose that levels up the bad goal decision argument doing the rounds. The linesman on that side had a shocking game.

  10. Text us on 80295

    Anon: Why are Ireland so bad and lack passion/skill/basic intelligence when they play football? Time for O'Neill and Keane to leave and get someone in to prepare for World Cup 2018 now!

    Benji, Leith: I despair re: another example of the failure to apply the rule of offside! Scotland the latest victim in Dublin! The years pass by and nowt changes re: ref inadequacy in applying this rule effectively.

  11. Join the debate at #bbcscotfootball

    Joanna Maria: It was an exceptional game. Both countries have showed their power throughout the whole game. Cannot be more proud! :') #bbcscotfootball

    Robbie Devenney: Good point, third is ours to lose and would fancy our chances against most play-off teams #bbcscotfootball

  12. Elsewhere in Europe

    Poland 4-0 Georgia

    Robert Lewandowski

    Poland will still lead Group D tonight - regardless of Germany's result (win) against minnows Gibraltar later. That's because the Poles are four points clear of the world champions after a 4-0 victory against Georgia.

    A four-minute hat-trick in the dying stages from striker Robert Lewandowski, who plays his club football in Germany for Bayern Munich, gives the scoreline an emphatic look.

    Scotland are sandwiched between Poland and Germany, who will move back above Gordon Strachan's men with a win later.

  13. Anya rejuvenates Scots

    Ikechi Anya inspired a Scotland comeback in the second half
    Image caption: Ikechi Anya inspired a Scotland comeback in the second half
  14. Republic of Ireland 1-1 Scotland

    Former Scotland international Pat Nevin

    BBC Radio 5 live

    "Scotland are celebrating like it is a victory. They did not play anywhere near like they can and this is a hard place to come. Ireland will be gobsmacked to come away with just a point. Scotland rode their luck but come away with a point from their closest rivals.

    "Goal difference could have a big affect in the end. Scotland and Ireland cannot think about that, they need the points on the board. Both of the sides can face up to Poland and beat them."

  15. Join the debate at #bbcscotfootball

    Ross Armour: And Strachan, make sure Anya is the first name on the team-sheet from here on in! #bbcscotfootball

    Jim Wright: The linesman on the far side had me angrier than I've ever been at a football match! #bbcscotfootball

    Norrie Pedersen: A moral victory for Scotland #bbcscotfootball


    Republic of Ireland 1-1 Scotland

    Martin O'Neill and Gordon Strachan exchange handshakes before the former trudges up the tunnel. The Scotland fans roar their approval at a point most definitely earned after a listless opening 45 minutes.

  17. Republic of Ireland 1-1 Scotland

    ANOTHER ball played into the Scotland penalty area and Charlie Mulgrew flashes a boot to clear the danger. Frustration pouring down from the home fans inside the Aviva Stadium.

  18. Republic of Ireland 1-1 Scotland

    Ireland continue to plug away in search of a late winner but Brady's deep cross sails out of play for a goal kick.

    A draw would suit Scotland more here. Christophe Berra replaces Steven Naismith as the Everton man takes his time heading off the pitch.


    James McClean and Steven Naismith receive yellow cards for a bit of handbags after contesting a loose ball in midfield.

  20. Republic of Ireland 1-1 Scotland

    Scott Brown is replaced by James McArthur as Gordon Strachan bolsters his midfield in the closing stages of this fascinating encounter in Dublin.

  21. Republic of Ireland 1-1 Scotland

    The Republic of Ireland have Scotland under the cosh and force a blizzard of corners in search of a second goal. However, the visitors are holding firm and repelling the aerial bombardment with a steely resolve.

    Scotland are repelling Ireland's aerial bombardment
    Image caption: Scotland are repelling Ireland's aerial bombardment
  22. Republic of Ireland 1-1 Scotland

    Martin O'Neil

    Steven Naismith's effort inside the box hits Scotland team-mate Steven Fletcher and seconds later Scott Brown demolishes Ireland substitute Shane Long with a WWE-style smash.

    It's all happening as we enter the final 10 minutes in Dublin. It remains 1-1, can either side find a late, late winner?

  23. Republic of Ireland 1-1 Scotland

    Jon Walters eases Craig Forsyth off the ball as they contest an aerial challenge; the defender tumbling like TFI Friday's Baby left, baby right...

  24. Republic of Ireland 1-1 Scotland

    Steven Fletcher

    Steven Naismith plays the ball out for an Irish throw, triggering howls of Scottish frustration, as the visitors aim to stem the Irish tide.

    Seconds later, Scotland press but the final ball evades the lonely figure of Steven Fletcher.

  25. Republic of Ireland 1-1 Scotland

    Former Scotland international Pat Nevin

    BBC Radio 5 live

    "What a lift Robbie Keane has given Ireland, a huge lift. What a difference to the game. Scotland can finally draw breath because they have not been able to get the ball since the substitution."


    Republic of Ireland 1-1 Scotland

    Here he comes. Robbie Keane, with a wee shuffle, steps away from the Scotland defence but his rasping shot is straight down the throat of David Marshall and the goalkeeper gathers comfortably.

  27. Republic of Ireland 1-1 Scotland

    Charlie Mulgrew

    Alan Hutton is pocket-picked by Ireland's Daryl Murphy about 40 yards from goal but the visitors manage to clear the danger for a corner.

    Almost a calamitous self-inflicted wound for the visitors.

    Meanwhile, Ireland's record goalscorer Robbie Keane is on for Wes Hoolahan.

    Seventeen minutes plus added time remaining in Dublin.

  28. Text us on 80295

    Mark, Ayr: If Forsyth is kept on much longer one of his mistakes will cost us big time.

  29. Republic of Ireland 1-1 Scotland

    Former Scotland international Pat Nevin

    BBC Radio 5 live

    "Ireland know they have to go for the win and Martin O'Neill knows that. Really intriguing to see how Ireland go about this now. This game is wide open and I expect to see more chances now."

  30. Republic of Ireland 1-1 Scotland

    James McClean replaces Glenn Whelan as Republic of Ireland boss Martin O'Neill seeks to wrest the impetus back from the rampaging Scots.

  31. Elsewhere in Europe

    Cristiano Ronaldo

    Big goal in Warsaw where Group D leaders Poland have taken the lead over Georgia, Arkadiusz Milik with the goal.

    Elsewhere, Cristiano Ronaldo has just scored his third hat-trick in three games. That's right... three hat-tricks in three games.

    Having ended the season with back-to-back trebles for Real Madrid, the former Manchester United forward has helped himself to three more for Portugal, who have come behind to lead 3-1 away to Armenia in Group I.

  32. European XI of the year

    BBC World Service picked their European XI of the year earlier this evening with the help of a panel of experts.

    The rule was at least two players from each of Europe's top five leagues.

    The selection was Neuer, Terry, Alaba, Chiellini, Pogba, Verrati, Hazard, Matuidi, Messi, Ronaldo, Suarez.


    Republic of Ireland 1-1 Scotland

    Shay Given, take a bow! The dancing feet of Ikechi Anya have the Irish in a spin and his pitching wedge cross is clawed away by Given like a hungry bear at the river's edge swatting a leaping salmon.

  34. Republic of Ireland 1-1 Scotland

    Steven Naismith

    The Republic of Ireland are claiming for a foul following a robust challenge from Scott Brown but the referee is having none of it.

  35. Republic of Ireland 1-1 Scotland

    Entering the final half hour and this Euro 2016 qualifier could swing either way. Ireland are doing their best to pressure Scotland's rearguard but Anya continues to look threatening on the counter attack. Great stuff!

  36. Republic of Ireland 1-1 Scotland

    A howler! Awarded a free-kick 25 yards from goal, Scotland defender Charlie Mulgrew trots up before ballooning his effort high over the bar.

    More of a Six Nations strike than a Euro 2016 qualifier drive...

  37. Republic of Ireland 0-0 Scotland

    Craig Forsyth

    Both sides are showing increasing attacking intent in search of a goal to take the lead. Seamus Coleman continues to threaten Scotland's rearguard: this game could end up 1-1 or 8-8...

  38. Republic of Ireland 1-1 Scotland

    Suddenly, Scotland are gliding over the turf and look increasingly comfortable with every touch. Martin O'Neill, in the Irish dugout, is wearing a pained expression, as though trying to decipher what's going on in Wayward Pines...

  39. 'Incredible start' to second half

    Former Scotland defender Willie Miller

    "An incredible start to the second half for Scotland! Right from the off I thought Ireland were sitting too far off Scotland. It's just what Scotland needed. What a tonic!"

  40. Republic of Ireland 1-1 Scotland

    Former Scotland international Pat Nevin

    BBC Radio 5 live

    "Scotland have finally one decent piece of play. What a nightmare for Ireland, they had controlled this game but come back into the second half and it is all level."


    Republic of Ireland 1-1 Scotland

    It should be 2-1 Ireland, it really should. A flowing Irish move sees Daryl Murphy free in the penalty area but Scotland goalkeeper David Marshall somehow blocks with his legs and the ball spins away for a corner.

    What a game we have now!

  42. GOAL

    Republic of Ireland 1-1 Scotland (Maloney)

    Shaun Maloney

    An inspired substitution? Scotland fans will say yes indeed! Shaun Maloney plays a lovely one two with Ikechi Anya and his shot finds the net via a hefty deflection off of the luckless John O'Shea. Maloney, who scored the winner against the Irish in November, strikes again.

    Game on!

  43. KICK-OFF

    Here we go in the second half...

  44. Scotland change

    Gordon Strachan shuffles his Scotland pack: Ikechi Anya is on for Matt Ritchie; Ireland unchanged for the second half.

  45. Text us on 80295

    James Morrison

    Gary, Dundee: "Scotland are poor, but the goal was offside. Why can't six officials just do their jobs!!! Naismith and Forsyth off and Anya and Robertson must come on!!!"

    John, Glasgow: "Why bother with an extra pair of eyes on the touchline with the officials behind the goals? I can honestly say whenever there is contentious issues they have never got the decision correct, a complete waste of time. Having said that, Scotland have been poor."

  46. Join the debate at #bbcscotfootball

    Brian: A goal and a man more to the good than ROI should be right now. Luck of the Irish indeed. #bbcscotfootball

    Alex Paterson: Inject some pace! Get Anya on ASAP. #bbcscotfootball

    Alan: Sending off, penalty, terrible ref but we can't defend corners and Mulgrew, Brown, Morrison and Naismith have found one pass. ‏

  47. Elsewhere in Europe

    It is goalless between Group D leaders Poland and Georgia. What does that mean? The Republic of Ireland are now one point behind Poland in the 'as it stands' table. Remember, Germany are away to Gibraltar later.

    Elsewhere, Group I leaders Portugal are being held 1-1 away to Armenia while it's goalless in Northern Ireland's group between Finland and Hungary.

  48. Post update

    Scotland, so assured for long spells of the Euro 2016 opener in Germany, have struggled to establish any fluency in their passing.

    With the exception of Steven Fletcher's 25-yard drive that forced Shay Given into an impressive save, the visitors have been unable to shine in the final third.

    The Republic of Ireland will be delighted with their first-half display.

  49. Republic of Ireland 1-0 Scotland

    Former Scotland international Pat Nevin

    BBC Radio 5 live

    "The scary thing for Scotland's point of view is that when the have had to perform under pressure, they have put in their weakest performance.

    "A well-deserved lead for Ireland who have stuck to their game plan. They wanted to get the ball into the mixer and get on the loose ball.

    "Not one player in the Scotland team has played well. That surely cannot continue in the second half. Gordon Strachan has made quick changes in this campaign so I expect him to do the same in this match."


    Republic of Ireland 1-0 Scotland

    Jon Walters's close-range strike separates the two sides. Scotland appealed, unsuccessfully, for offside but in truth the hosts have looked hungrier and sharper in this crucial Euro 2016 qualifier.

  51. 'Scotland second best'

    Alasdair Lamont

    BBC Sport in Dublin

    Scotland fans

    "There was so much confidence among Scotland supporters before kick off, but nothing we have seen so far in this match justifies that. Scotland have been second best all over the park."

  52. Join the debate at #bbcfootball

    Martin Walker: As a Sunderland fan I hope Steven Fletcher has a great game. So that someone will buy him this summer. #bbcscotfootball

    Thomas Chapman: The referee/linesman aren't paying attention! I started the game as a neutral but a Scottish equaliser would be welcome #bbcscotfootball

  53. Republic of Ireland 1-0 Scotland

    Robbie Brady whips in a delicious cross that Daryl Murphy wants to head at goal but Scotland manage to clear for a corner...

    The set piece comes in and bounces in the six-yard box but no takers in green are there to double Ireland's lead.

  54. Elsewhere in Europe

    Remember the shock that was brewing between Armenia and Portugal ? All square now. You've guessed it... Cristiano Ronaldo with the equaliser for the visitors. The Real Madrid forward found the net from the penalty spot.

  55. Republic of Ireland 1-0 Scotland

    Former Scotland international Pat Nevin

    BBC Radio 5 live

    "You have to say the goal is deserved. Ireland have been the better team and have been very stronger physically.

    "You cannot argue about it. They have been very direct but it has worked for them very well. This is, by some distance, the weakest 45 minutes since Gordon Strachan has taken over as manager.

    "They are not passing it well, or holding the ball. The centre-backs look like they have not met before. They are lucky to just be one goal down."

  56. Republic of Ireland 1-0 Scotland

    The Irish are flying and a flowing move from their own penalty area slices through the Scotland midfield but James McCarthy's shot is blocked by some frantic Scotland defending.

    The visitors are on the ropes with a little over five minutes until the break.

    Can Gordon Strachan's men respond?

  57. GOAL

    Republic of Ireland 1-0 Scotland (Walters)

    Jon Walters

    The Republic of Ireland draw first blood as Murphy's bullet header from a corner is parried by Marshall but Jon Walters is on hand to fire home from close range.

    Scotland are claiming offside but their appeals are in vain.

    A jubilant Martin O'Neill celebrates on the touchline. Game on!

  58. Join the debate at #bbcscotfootball

    The Music Man: Naismith is totally useless, in a whole we are poor in the final 3rd #bbcscotfootball

    Rosco: I hope Gordon Strachan has emphasised a win puts us in pot 2 for WC qualifiers #bbcscotfootball

  59. Republic of Ireland 0-0 Scotland

    Seamus Coleman has been at the heart of the Republic's best attacking work in the first half. Once again the Everton full-back blazes down the right but his low centre is swatted away by the alert Russell Martin.

  60. Post update

    Republic of Ireland 0-0 Scotland

    Former Scotland defender Willie Miller

    Matt Ritchie

    "I think James McCarthy was up with an elbow there. It was naughty of him to do it. The elbow was into the face of the Scottish defender and the Scotland players don't like it."

  61. Republic of Ireland 0-0 Scotland

    Former Scotland international Pat Nevin

    BBC Radio 5 live

    "Would the Irish fans get behind their team? They had to start quickly and put the tackles in, which they have done. The game is not great quality but the Irish players are well up for it."


    Republic of Ireland 0-0 Scotland

    James McCarthy earns a booking for leading with his elbow in an aerial challenge with Scotland defender Russell Martin.

    Players lock horns in the centre circle before an uneasy calm is restored.

    Both managers are waving their arms in their respective technical areas, like frustrated conductors aiming to get the orchestra back on track.

  63. Republic of Ireland 0-0 Scotland

    The Republic of Ireland are warming to the task. However, a number of promising attacks have hit the rocks on account of a poor pass in the final third or a determined block by a Scottish leg.

    Martin O'Neill gets to his feet to offer his troops some tactical instructions.

  64. 'I don't wanna' talk about this first half...

    Scotland fan Rod Stewart

    Rod Stewart is in Dublin to watch his beloved Scotland team play. No sign of a tartan scarf, though - maybe it clashes with the stripes he's sporting today.

  65. Elsewhere in Europe

    Armenia v Portugal

    Goalless here but there's a huge shock brewing in Group I where leaders Portugal, whose side includes Cristiano Ronaldo, have fallen behind to bottom of the table Armenia, Marcos Pizzelli with a sublime goal from a free-kick.

    Elsewhere, it's goalless in Warsaw between Poland and Georgia and there is no breakthrough in Helsinki between Finland and Hungary in Northern Ireland's group.

  66. Join the debate at #bbcscotfootball

    Calamity: Is that the worse international kit ever? Not sure who it will distract more but I bet they would play better in blue.

    Republic of Ireland manager Martin O'Neill gives Scotland's Matt Ritchie the ball
    Image caption: A sight for sore eyes? Scotland's away strip...
  67. Republic of Ireland 0-0 Scotland

    Shaun Maloney

    Warm sunshine bathes parts of the impeccable surface at the Aviva Stadium as both sides trade attacking blows in search of a breakthrough.

    You sense a goal is in the post...

  68. Edge of your seat...

    Alasdair Lamont

    BBC Sport in Dublin

    "Scotland look to have settled down after a nervy opening, but Craig Forsyth still looks very edgy at left back. Meanwhile, I'm very edgy up here in the press box.

    "The Republic of Ireland's tenacity and pressing has been mightily impressive so far. Just what Martin O'Neill was talking about all week - wanting to be on the front foot early on."

  69. Join the debate at #bbcscotfootball

    Brian: Charlie Mulgrew is an accident waiting to happen...

  70. 'Making it difficult for Scotland'

    Former Scotland defender Willie Miller

    Jon Walters

    "Ireland are slowly working their way up the park, keeping the ball under control. The strike from Whelan was always going to be speculative from that kind of range. They are working hard to shut Scotland down, not giving them any time on the ball. They are making it very difficult for Scotland."

  71. Republic of Ireland 0-0 Scotland

    Encouraging signs for Martin O'Neill's side as an impressive passing move tees up Stoke City midfielder Glenn Whelan for an effort but his 25-yard howitzer whistles high and wide.

  72. Republic of Ireland 0-0 Scotland

    Seamus Coleman looks to get his skates on down the right flank but Scotland are alive to the danger of the Everton defender.

    It's very, very cagey as we approach the 15-minute mark in Dublin.

  73. Republic of Ireland 0-0 Scotland

    Former Scotland international Pat Nevin

    BBC Radio 5 live

    "There are a few robust challenges going in. I am happy the referee is allowing the play to go on before having a quiet word with the offending player."

  74. Republic of Ireland 0-0 Scotland

    Gordon Strachan

    Scotland manager Gordon Strachan and assistant Stuart McCall appear a little more content with how their charges are performing after a shaky opening spell.

  75. CLOSE!

    Republic of Ireland 0-0 Scotland

    Much better from Scotland. A promising attack sees Shaun Maloney send striker Steven Fletcher into space on the left and his fizzing drive forces Shay Given to tip over for a corner.

    The visitors fail to profit from the set piece. It remains goalless after 10 minutes but the game is coming to the boil nicely.

  76. Republic of Ireland 0-0 Scotland

    Alan Hutton comes galloping down the right but another Scotland attack fizzles out as the full-back can't find a Scotland team-mate with his pass.

    Gordon Strachan's men have yet to settle in a nervy opening spell.

  77. Irish in fine voice

    Alasdair Lamont

    BBC Sport in Dublin

    Wes Hoolahan

    "The home crowd are enjoying this brisk start to the game by the Republic of Ireland. Wes Hoolahan, playing just off the front for the home side, isn't being picked up and that's something Scotland will have to address."

  78. Republic of Ireland 0-0 Scotland

    Former Scotland international Pat Nevin

    BBC Radio 5 live

    "A very nervy start from a number of players. Scotland defender Russell Martin gave the ball away at the back, you would think he was dependable for the side but an edgy start."

  79. Republic of Ireland 0-0 Scotland

    Irish tails are up as a blizzard of green jerseys pour forward in search of an early breakthrough. Wes Hoolahan is ready to ping an effort at David Marshall's goal but the ball doesn't fall to him as he winds up the right boot.

  80. Republic of Ireland 0-0 Scotland

    Martin O'Neil

    The Republic of Ireland come roaring out of the traps, probing for an opening down the left as Alan Hutton coughs up possession.

    Scotland regain their composure, though, and the danger is cleared.

    Dublin is rocking...

  81. KICK-OFF

    Scotland get us under way! Hang onto your hats...

  82. 'Adrenaline should be lifted for this'

    Republic of Ireland 0-0 Scotland

    Former Scotland international Pat Nevin

    BBC Radio 5 live

    "The two teams are going to be up for it. This game is right at the end of the season so a number of player won't have played many competitive games recently. They won't be at the top of their game. The adrenaline should be lifted for this, in this stadium, with all this riding on the match, it should get you through.

    "Interesting to see how Matt Richie will do for Scotland. He scored last week so will be confident. Ireland have a few players missing such as Robbie Keane and Shane Long."

  83. White-hot atmosphere

    The respective national anthems are belted out in front of a sun-kissed Dublin crowd. What an atmosphere inside the Aviva Stadium...

  84. Join the debate at #bbcscotfootball

    Bernard Ryan: I'd like to be confident, but if Scotland intercept the long ball game we're presumed to play we'll be in trouble: 1-1.

  85. High note

    What a day for football! Both sides trot out onto the pitch in front of a pulsating Aviva Stadium in Dublin. How are the nerves holding up?

    Rod Stewart, in a fetching Miami Vice-style suit that would get the thumbs up from Crockett & Tubbs, takes his seat in the stand.

    Wonder which song Rodders will be belting out at full-time?

    Send your suggestions via text to 80295 or tweet #bbcscotfootball

  86. Join the debate at #bbcscotfootball

    Donough Ryan: Tight game, dismal football, Scotland to nick it 1-0.

  87. You talkin to me?

    Republic of Ireland boss Roy Keane

    Roy Keane has been patrolling the Dublin pitch like a bearded bear ready to pounce on any and every Irish indiscretion....

  88. 'Saltires dotted all over the ground'

    Alasdair Lamont

    BBC Sport in Dublin

    "What a climax to the football season this promises to be. The supporters are gradually tearing themselves away from the Dublin hostelries - and there are a few decent ones - and filling up the Aviva Stadium.

    "The Scotland fans are predominantly in the single tier stand down to my left, but there are Saltires dotted all over the ground. Most are in pretty confident mood, which I have to say makes me feel a little uneasy. Confidence is not a trait Scotland supporters are used to displaying!"

  89. Not long to go...

    Republic of Ireland's Aiden McGeady in front of the Scotland team

    The teams are being put through their paces at the Aviva Stadium with a little over 15 minutes until kick off.

    The pitch is looking "lush" as they say in Gavin & Stacey...

  90. Join the debate at #bbcscotfootball

    John McEnerney: Tight game, 2-1 home win. The Boys in Green 2 get back on track or risk facing the wrath of MON, Keano & the nation!

  91. 'There are no egos here'

    One person guaranteed to be unfazed by the omission of Ikechi Anya from the Scotland starting line-up... is the Watford winger!

    Anya was deployed at right-back in the friendly win over Qatar at Easter Road.

    Scotland winger Ikechi Anya
    Image caption: Ikechi Anya: happy to be the 'water boy'

    "That is where the gaffer wanted to play me," he said. "If the gaffer said I had to be water boy and we won, I'd gladly do it.

    "It's bigger than one person, the thing we've got here.

    "There are no egos here. We are all looking out for each other. We have very much a team environment..."

  92. Text us on 80295

    Joe in Fife: Charlie Mulgrew will lose this for us. He will give away a penalty - guaranteed!

  93. Maloney marker

    Gordon Strachan's side earned the spoils when the sides met at Celtic Park in November; pint-sized hitman Shaun Maloney scored the only goal of the game with a clever strike shipped straight from the training ground warehouse.

    Victory for Scotland would catapult them to the top of Group D and embolden Tartan Army dreams of marching on Paris.

    Shaun Maloney scored the winner when the sides met in Glasgow in November
    Image caption: Shaun Maloney's strike secured victory for the Scots in November

    Defeat for Ireland would be a hammer blow to their hopes of qualification with four games remaining.

    The stage is set.

  94. Join the debate at #bbcscotfootball

    Scotland team - Your views

    The omission of lightning quick winger Ikechi Anya from Scotland's starting XI hasn't gone down well with some of you.

    Scotland winger Ikechi Anya is on the bench
    Image caption: Gordon Strachan named winger Ikechi Anya among the substitutes

    Kenny Stewart: I think I speak for most of us when I express surprise that Anya and Robertson are on the bench.

    John Sartain: Good team but no Anya!?!

    HEELwood: It's going to be a scrappy affair. I actually see the Irish getting a result. I still believe though...

    Jim Nimmo: I think it's the right team. Delighted to see Naismith play. Main man for me. Bench looks strong too.

  95. European XI of the season

    BBC World Service

    Right now on BBC World Service, they are putting together their European XI of the season.

    The rules are you can only select players who play in the "big 5" European leagues (England, Spain, Germany, Italy and France) and there must be a minimum of two players from each in your team.

    BBC journalist John Bennett will be discussing the options with a panel, including Champions League winner Benni McCarthy.

    Head over this way to listen to the show live.

  96. Join the debate at #bbcscotfootball

    Tom English

    BBC Scotland

    The legend [former Scotland defender turned pundit Willie Miller] mulls over Gordon Strachan's team. Very surprised Ritchie is in ahead of Anya...

    BBC Scotland's Willie Miller
  97. 'I sense it's going to be an occasion'

    Scotland manager Gordon Strachan

    Gordon Strachan insists he doesn't know how to play for a draw; great news for Scotland fans and neutrals alike.

    "I can't remember any manager telling me that this is the way you play for a draw," he said.

    "I don't think I have tried it. Try to win and see what happens after that.

    Scotland manager Gordon Strachan
    Image caption: Gordon Strachan will send his side out to try to win the qualifier in Dublin

    "So you play the game and you get your point, or three points or no points and get on with it.

    "It might have no relevance to where we end up or it might be important, you never know.

    "All we try to do is perform and we have done in every tie so far. I sense it's going to be an occasion."

  98. 'There'll be a few twists and turns...'

    Martin O'Neill is reluctant to consider losing to Scotland and how that would potentially leave their hopes of qualifying from Group D.

    "Eventually in the group you come to crunch matches," he said.

    "This is very important because we don't want Scotland to get too far ahead of us.

    Republic of Ireland boss Martin O'Neill

    "We don't want to give ourselves an absolute mountain to climb for the last four matches, so it would be important, if we can win the game, we're right there and obviously if we lose, the gap becomes difficult.

    "But I mentioned earlier, there'll be a few twists and turns along the way."

  99. Join the debate at #bbcscotfootball


    Scottish FA tweets: Some of the key stats ahead of #IRLSCO at the Aviva Stadium. #WeAreScotland

    Euro 2016 qualifying statistics
    Martin O'Neill and Gordon Strachan
  100. 'Big call from Martin O'Neill...'

    Tom English

    BBC Scotland in Dublin

    "Everyone in Ireland will be shocked that Daryl Murphy is starting. I would imagine that Aiden McGeady has succumbed to that injury. I'd have thought Shane Long would've started; a big call from Martin O'Neill..."

  101. Strachan's tactics?

    Scotland manager Gordon Strachan
  102. Irish concerns

    Republic of Ireland boss Martin O'Neill
  103. Get involved

    Predictions for the game in Dublin? Will Scotland claim victory or can Martin O'Neill's men fight their way back into contention in Group D?

    Text us on 80295, tweet using #bbcscotfootball or visit the BBC Sport Scotland Facebook page.

  104. Elsewhere in Europe

    Portugal forward Cristiano Ronaldo

    Group D leaders Poland are in action at the same time as the Republic of Ireland and Scotland. They start at home to struggling Georgia with a one point lead over nearest rivals Germany, who are in action later away to win-less Gibraltar.

    Other 17:00 BST kick-offs include Finland at home to Hungary in Northern Ireland's group, while Cristiano Ronaldo is set to turn out for Group I leaders Portugal away to Armenia.


    Rep of Ireland: Given, Coleman, Brady, Wilson, O'Shea, McCarthy, Whelan, Hendrick, Hoolahan, Walters, Murphy.

    Scotland: Marshall, Hutton, Forsyth, Martin, Mulgrew, Maloney, Morrison, Brown (c), S Fletcher, Naismith, Ritchie. Subs: Gordon, Whittaker, Anya, D Fletcher, Adam, Greer, Robertson, Forrest, Griffiths, Samson, Berra, McArthur.

  106. Group D as it stands

    Victory for Scotland in Dublin tonight would see them climb to the top of the group - Poland result permitting - with four games remaining.

    Group D as it stands

    A win for Martin O'Neill's men would see them leapfrog the Scots and move into third spot.

  107. Bring the noise...

    We've all heard about football's "noisy neighbours".

    Today's Euro 2016 qualifier in Dublin tees up a mouth-watering clash between the "cantankerous cousins".

    The Republic of Ireland host Scotland as the Celtic nations do battle for crucial points in the race to book a place in next summer's finals.

    Scotland's Scott Brown tussles with Republic of Ireland's Aiden McGeady
  108. Post update