They certainly didn't make it easy on themselves, but the Republic of Ireland are through to the playoffs in Euro 2012 qualifying, thanks to their 2-1 home win over Armenia. Had Armenia been able to secure a road win it would have been lights out for the Irish, but some good luck and timely goals have given them a chance at qualification.
Armenia goalkeeper Roman Berezovsky was sent off in the 25th minute, completely altering the match. Up until his intentional handball outside of the box and in the minutes immediately afterwards, Armenia were the much better side. However, everything changed in Ireland's favor in the 41st minute.
The home side was able to head into halftime with a lead they hardly deserved on an own goal. Valeri Aleksanyan was the man who gave Ireland the lead, inexplicably poking home a poor half-cross, half-shot by Kevin Doyle.
Ireland doubled their lead through a Richard Dunne header, assisted by Aiden McGeady in the 60th minute. At that point it appeared that it would be smooth sailing for Ireland, but they made things difficult on themselves by allowing Shakhtar Donetsk star Henrik Mkhitaryan to haul one back just a minute later.
Kevin Doyle would pick up a second yellow card and get himself sent off in the 81st minute, putting the game into some doubt, but Ireland were able to hold onto their 2-1 win to secure a spot in the playoffs.