History Makers: Why Ireland Beating Austria Yesterday Is Such A Big Deal
They came, they saw, they conquered. It's not often Irish fans can return home to the Emerald Isle safe in the knowledge that three points have been secured against a half decent European nation.
Sure, wins have been produced against cannon fodder such as San Marino and Andorra in recent years and there have been famous draws against the likes of the Netherlands, France and Italy.
But to recall the last time the Boys In Green defeated a side anywhere near the same level as their own on their travels you would have to go back a long time...
Other than Estonia in the play-off, Ireland's biggest and best away win in an actual qualifying group since... Scotland 1987?— Miguel Delaney (@MiguelDelaney) November 12, 2016
Best away win since Scotland in 1987 in terms of the opposition's reputation and ranking, even if Austria were dire.— Neil O'Riordan (@noriordan) November 12, 2016
Looked it up. Last time Ireland beat a higher ranked (non British) opponent away in a competitive international; v Czechoslovakia in 1967— Dodge (@seidodge) November 12, 2016
Martin O'Neill's men needed James McClean's second half goal to clinch the 1-0 victory and captain Séamus Coleman was quick to praise the travelling supporters in his post-match interview with RTE:
He certainly wasn't the only happy Irishman in Vienna:
Most importantly, the victory leaves us top of our qualifying group going into Christmas which basically means we can start booking those flights to Russia 2018. COYBIG!