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McClean facing EURO 2016 play-off after Poland defeat

12 October 2015

Fletcher, Brunt and McAuley also in international action

JAMES McClean completed 73 minutes of the Republic of Ireland’s 2-1 defeat in Poland on Sunday night – a result which meant they failed to qualify automatically for EURO 2016 from Group D.

Grzegorz Krychowiak gave the hosts the lead in the 13th minute only for Jon Walters to equalise from the spot three minutes later.

Bayern Munich forward Robert Lewandowski made it 2-1 in the 42nd minute – a goal which proved to be decisive in Warsaw.

Martin O’Neill’s side will now need to come through a two-legged play-off in November if they want to join the party in France next summer.

In the same group, Darren Fletcher was a 63rd minute substitute in Scotland’s 6-0 win against Gibraltar.

The Baggies skipper entered the field with the score already at 4-0 after goals from Chris Martin, Shaun Maloney and a Steven Fletcher double.

Fletcher then completed his hat-trick before Steven Naismith added a sixth in injury time as Scotland finished fourth in the group.

Meanwhile Chris Brunt and Gareth McAuley both completed 90 minutes for Northern Ireland as they drew 1-1 with Finland.

The point ensured top-spot in Group F for Michael O’Neill’s men.

Northern Ireland took the lead shortly after the half-hour mark through Craig Cathcart, but were denied all three points in their final qualifier when Paulus Arajuuri equalised with just three minutes left on the clock.

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