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'I knew what I was doing' - Harry Arter explains his role in Ireland's golden goal

The Bournemouth midfielder had a hand in James McClean’s winner against Wales in Cardiff.

Harry Arter celebrates after the game Harry Arter celebrates after Ireland's win against Wales. Source: James Crombie/INPHO

– Paul Dollery reports from Cardiff City Stadium

JAMES McCLEAN WAS Ireland’s hero in Cardiff but his winning goal in tonight’s World Cup qualifier against Wales wouldn’t have been possible without a bit of brilliance from Harry Arter.

McClean fired home the only goal of the game in the 57th minute at the Cardiff City Stadium to send Ireland into next month’s play-offs, where they’ll bid for a place at next summer’s World Cup in Russia.

The West Bromwich Albion winger was on the end of a Jeff Hendrick cross from the right, but Arter’s clever stepover played a key role in the goal.

“A few of the lads think it was a bit lucky but I knew what I was doing,” Arter said. “I didn’t get a shout but I could sense there was a player behind me. I didn’t know it was James exactly but I could sense it. Thankfully I did leave it and he tucked it away nicely.”


Arter’s inclusion in the starting line-up was one of three changes from Friday’s win over Moldova. The Bournemouth midfielder admitted to being “a little bit surprised” when he was informed of the news after the team’s pre-match meal.

The 27-year-old, who made his senior Ireland debut against England in June 2015, played 77 minutes before being replaced by Glenn Whelan after he had picked up a knock.

“We put our heads in places where other teams and other players might not. The determination to keep a clean sheet and hold onto that 1-0 was a credit to everyone. It’s what this group is made of,” Arter said.

“We’re fighters. We might not be blessed with superstars like other nations but we’ve got the togetherness and the willingness to get results. That’s what pulled us through tonight.”

He added: “Unbelievable feeling, one that I probably haven’t had in football up until this point. Promotion [to the Premier League] with Bournemouth was similar but there was a whole different feel to that too. It’s something I’m proud to be part of.”

McClean fires Ireland to World Cup play-off with vital victory in Cardiff

Here’s how we think the Boys in Green rated in tonight’s World Cup qualifier

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Paul Dollery

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