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Thursday, 6 June, 2002, 08:43 GMT 09:43 UK
Irish hungover but happy
The FAI paid for drinks for drinks all round for players and fans
FAI president Milo Corcoran with his family
BBC Sport Online's Lyle Jackson

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Hungover, but happy. That was the Irish camp the morning after Wednesday's last-gasp draw against Germany.

The party went on until dawn as supporters celebrated Robbie Keane's crucial injury-time goal which earned the Republic a 1-1 draw in Ibaraki.

Keane's strike has given Ireland a good chance of qualifying for the last 16, which would mean travelling to Korea.

When the team got back to their hotel in Chiba, they got another great reception from the fans in green.

The hotels kept their bars open especially and were rewarded as hundreds of thousands of yen changed hands.

It is a fair bet our Japanese hosts had not seen the like of this before.

Irish fans believe their team are on the way to the second round
The Irish fans know how to party

And to help the party along in the team hotel, the Football Association of Ireland paid for drinks all round for players and fans.

No-one had seen the like of that before.

The beer was flowing and the singing non-stop.

It was six and seven in the morning before some supporters went to bed.

Hopefully, they will still remember the night before, because Keane's perfectly-timed goal was one of those moments to savour.

Just like Matt Holland's equaliser against Cameroon four days earlier, it kept Ireland's hopes alive.

Mick McCarthy's tactics proved spot-on as substitute Niall Quinn provided the flick-on for the goal.

On Thursday morning, the players and their families headed off for a relaxing day at a Disney theme park.

Open Quote
The fans were absolutely fantastic once again
Close Quote
FAI president Milo Corcoran

Meanwhile, FAI president Milo Corcoran, who has wife Marie and sons Evan and Alan over for the tournament, reflected on a fine result against the three-times winners.

"I was looking at my watch all the time," said Milo.

"We were creating chances and I was just hoping against hope one of them would go in.

"The fans were absolutely fantastic once again.

"Even when we were one down they were singing and keeping the atmosphere going.

"We are still in with a chance of going through to the last 16 but it is going to go down to the wire."

Yes, it is now an anxious wait for the Republic.

They progressed from the initial group stage in Italia '90 and again in the United States four years later.

The Irish players and their dedicated fans will not know their destiny until the final Group E games take place on Tuesday 11 June.


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GROUP E
  P GD PTS
GERMANY 3 +10 7
IRELAND 3 +3 5
CAMEROON 3 -1 4
SAUDI ARABIA 3 -12 0

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