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banner Thursday, 15 November, 2001, 16:58 GMT
Delight for McCarthy
McCarthy is embraced by the Ireland support staff
McCarthy said it had been a wonderful campaign
An emotional Mick McCarthy praised his Republic of Ireland team after they reached next summer's World Cup finals in Korea and Japan.

Yahya Golmohammadi's last-minute header at the Azadi Stadium was not enough to prevent the Irish securing a 2-1 aggregate victory.

Afterwards a tearful McCarthy was almost lost for words.

"I might articulate it better tomorrow when I'm not as emotional," McCarthy told the BBC.


It's a dream come true for me and everyone
Ireland defender
Ian Harte

"We've waited a long time for this. It's a wonderful group of players and staff, they deserve it."

In the second half the home fans started throwing missiles on the pitch and lighting fires in the stands.

McCarthy said it was then that he knew his team had done enough.

"It's great to see them doing that because it meant we were through.

"What a wonderful campaign."

After a passive first-half display Iran picked up their tempo after the break and Ireland keeper Shay Given had to be at his sharpest to deny Karim Bagheri.

Despite his acrobatics Given felt that it was a team effort that had taken Ireland to the finals.

Absolutely shattered

"The whole squad of players tonight gave it their all.

"We're absolutely shattered now, so we just have to go home and enjoy the party."

Defender Ian Harte was overjoyed at the prospect of playing in the World Cup finals.

"It's a dream come true for me and everyone and I'm just delighted for Mick McCarthy as well.

"They got a late goal but we're going to the World Cup and it's very important to the country as well."

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
Republic keeper Shay Given
"We're all buzzing"
Ireland boss Mick McCarthy
"What a wonderful World Cup campaign"
BBC Sport
Match of the Day- post match reaction
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