An Armenia dream at Dublin’s magnificent Aviva stadium lasted for just over half a period before an unfortunate mistake (some say of the goalkeeper, others believe of the referee) saw Roman Berezovsky leaving the pitch over a controversial handball outside the penalty area.
Ten-man Armenia still looked a better side and kept creating chances near Shay Given’s goal until another unfortunate mistake by defender Velery Alexanyan who scored an own goal in Minute 43 to give the Republic of Ireland a 1-0 lead at half time.
Desperate for a win to reach the playoff stage in the current qualifying tournament Vardan Minasyan’s charges made their best effort in the second half to equalize, but conceded another goal after young substitute goalkeeper Arsen Petrosyan’s mistake in Minute 59.
Three minutes later Henrikh Mkhitaryan managed to score with a shot from outside the penalty box, but Armenia still could not recover even after the Spanish referee showed a second yellow card to an Irish player and sent him off 10 minutes from time.
The result gives Armenia third place in Group B (5-2-3, 17 points in 10 matches) behind the six-nation standings direct qualifier Russia and runner-up Ireland. This is still the best result Armenia has managed to achieve since it joined international soccer as an independent nation in 1992.