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'They had a 12th man today' - James McClean outraged with referee's performance

Ireland had a goal disallowed and appeals for a late penalty were ignored.

Ireland winger McClean.
Ireland winger McClean.
Image: James Crombie/INPHO

IRELAND’S JAMES MCCLEAN has criticised the referee’s performance after his side earned a draw against Austria in their World Cup qualifier this evening.

Ireland rallied from 1-0 down to score an equaliser through Jonathan Walters in the second half at the Aviva Stadium.

Martin O’Neill’s side could have stolen a victory after Shane Duffy headed the ball into the roof of the net near the end, only to have his effort ruled out by the referee for an apparent foul in the Austrian goalmouth.

There was also an appeal for a late Irish penalty, which was denied.

Speaking to RTÉ Sport after the final whistle, James McClean gave a damning assessment of referee David Fernández’s performance.

“Look, I know in this day and age, the slightest wee thing you say about a referee, you get fined and that,” said McClean. “But you watched the game, you tell me.

“They had a 12th man today. That’s all I’ll say on that. I’m really disappointed. We should have came away from that game with three points but we didn’t.”

Remarking on Ireland’s disappointing first half display, McClean added:

“No we weren’t [at it]. I can’t put my finger on it. It was disappointing to go in at half-time 1-0 but look, we rallied around. We had a go in the second half. That shows the character we’ve got here.

We don’t let in for no one. I’m really disappointed we didn’t get three points because I think we deserved it in the end.

“On another day we’d take them chances. We’re not cursing the referee’s decision. It is what it is. Jonny rescued us, great finish. I thought he was amazing today. Look, we’ll keep going.”

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