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Ireland advance to Euro 2016 with 2-0 win over Bosnia

Ireland has become the latest team to qualify for next summer's European championship after beating Bosnia 2-0 in Dublin. Bosnia wasted several scoring chances.

The Irish advanced to the European championship finals for the third time in their history on the strength of a brace from Jon Walters on Monday night.

Walters, who plays for Stoke City, opened the scoring by beating his former teammate, Asmir Begovic with a penalty in the 24th minute. He sealed the result with his second of the game in the 70th.

Bosnia wasted a number of chances to score, the last coming from Hertha Berlin striker Vedad Ibisevic, who hit the crossbar in stoppage time.

Coach Martin O'Neill's side advanced to Euro 2016 thanks to a 3-1 aggregate score from the two playoff legs, having earned a 1-1 draw in Zenica last week.

"I couldn't be more proud," O'Neill said. "They are a fantastic bunch of players who wanted to play for their country, which is very important."

He also pointed to Ireland's

1-0 win over Germany

last month as a key moment of their qualifying campaign.

"Shane

Long's goal against Germany

gave us the opportunity to play Bosnia and we never gave up," he said.

For his part, Bosnia's coach, Mehmed Bazdarevic, was unhappy with the performance of referee Bjorn Kuipers and his awarding of the first-half penalty.

"I won't speak about (the referee) as it would have consequences, but I would like to say the referee did not do his job properly in this game, he said.

The last two berths at the 24-team event are to be determined this Tuesday in the second-leg playoff games in which Denmark face Sweden and Slovenia are up against Ukraine.

The group draw for next summer's tournament is to be held on December 12 in Paris.

pfd/ (AFP,dpa)

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