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Martin O'Neill slams "very poor" referee

Republic of Ireland manager Martin O'Neill criticises the performance of the referee during his side's 1-1 World Cup qualifying draw with Austria.

Republic of Ireland manager Martin O'Neill has criticised the performance of referee David Borbalan during his side's 1-1 draw with Austria this evening.

Ireland looked on course for a damaging defeat in their World Cup qualification campaign when they trailed with just five minutes remaining at the Aviva Stadium, but Jonathan Walters levelled things up late on.

The hosts then thought they had completed a dramatic late turnaround when Shane Duffy nodded home in the dying stages of the match, only for the goal to be controversially ruled out for a foul.

"I'm delighted to have got the equaliser and I thought that we had a legitimate, good goal disallowed. The referee wasn't totally to blame for our performance in the first half, but I thought he was very poor in the game," O'Neill told reporters.

"Considering he was letting things go during the course of the game - that's fine, I like referees who let things go - but he seemed to be penalising us a great deal. I'll tell you something now - there might have been a player called Andy Gray who wouldn't have scored a goal. They'd have to take almost 400 goals off him.

"When [the referee] first pointed, I thought he'd obviously given it. The linesman is halfway up the pitch - he's closer to me than he is to the game. Once or twice, I was close to him as well. Listen, I can't change it. I thought it was a good goal and funnily enough, Jon Walters, it is a penalty, he's caught his foot."

The draw means that Ireland remain second in Group D, level on points with leaders Serbia.

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Ireland's coach Martin O'Neill attends the Euro 2016 group E football match between Ireland and Sweden at the Stade de France stadium in Saint-Denis on June 13, 2016. The match ended in a 1-1 draw
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