Republic of Ireland captain Owen Garvan struck a stoppage-time equaliser to earn his side a draw against Switzerland in the UEFA Championship qualifier at the Waterford RSC. 382773
Don Givens side trailed to Fabien Freis 58th minute goal but a late rally, spearheaded by substitute Keith Treacy yielded a goal in the dying seconds to clinch Irelands third point of the campaign.
Three minutes into stoppage time, Treacy drilled a low cross from the right and, although it was half-cleared, the alert Garvan followed in to drive a shot into the bottom corner from 12 yards.
Ireland went at it from the off and had the Switzerland defence stretched after only two minutes.
Cillian Sheridan dispossessed his marker down the left channel and rifled a shot toward the far corner of the net which goalkeeper Yann Sommer stooped low to turn away. The onrushing Alan Judge attempted to cross the rebound back into the path of Sheridan but the effort was deflected out for a corner.
Sheridan, currently on loan at Plymouth Argyle from Celtic, continued to make his presence felt in attack and seized upon a sloppy back-pass on eleven minutes only to zip his low drive wide of the near post from 20 yards.
Irish goalkeeper Shane Redmond was called upon to make his first stop on 17 minutes after Daniel Pavlovics whipped in a cross to the back post. The unmarked Mario Gavranovic looked set to open the scoring when he connected but his header was turned around the post by a brilliant save.
Jay O Sheas angled shot tested Sommer at the other end three minutes later but the visitors felt hard done by midway through the half when Alessandro Ciarocchi had the ball in the net only to be adjudged to have handled as he broke free. So annoyed was Ciarocchi for the decision that he collected a booking for his protestations.
Seven minutes before the interval, Ireland launched a counter-attack off a Switzerland corner that almost resulted in the opener. Late call-up to the Irish squad Scott Davies brought the ball beyond the half-way line before switching the play into the path of Owen Garvan. The Irish captain spotted Alan Judge unmarked in the centre but saw his cross headed out of play by the retreating defender.
The introduction of Fabien Frei at half-time seemed to galvanise Switzerland and they began to show more of an attacking threat.
He sprinted down the right-wing on 55 minutes and his low cross gave Frank Feltscher an easy chance to convert but the midfielder blazed over from eight yards.
But there was no denying Frei on 58 minutes. Valentin Stocker rattled the inside of the post with a left-footed shot and when Ciarocchis follow-up effort was touched off the line by Seamus Conneely, Frei popped up to tap home.
Ireland manager Don Givens introduced Keith Treacy moments later and the Sheffield United winger was in the thick of the action as they went about finding a goal.
Treacy found Alan Judge on the right side of the penalty area and his half-volley forced a superb save from the goalkeeper.
Then, Treacys mazy dribble past three defenders on 70 minutes was halted when he was fouled on the edge of the penalty area. His resultant free-kick was blocked by the wall.
It looked like it was not going to be Irelands night when, four minutes from end, Sheridans close-range header was tipped over the bar by Sommer but, crucially, there would be one last chance.
REPUBLIC OF IRELAND: Shane Redmond (Burton Albion); Seamus Coleman (Everton), Seamus Conneely (Galway United), Callum Morris (Newcastle United), Cian Hughton (Lincoln City); Scott Davies (Reading), Owen Garvan (Ipswich Town), James McCarthy (Wigan Athletic); Alan Judge (Plymouth Argyle), Cillian Sheridan (Plymouth Argyle), Jay O Shea (Birmingham City).
Substitutions: Keith Treacy (Sheffield United) for O Shea, Conor Clifford (Chelsea) for Davies (both 60 mins), James Collins (Aston Villa) for Conneely (82 mins)
SWITZERLAND: Yann Sommer, Gaetano Beradi, Phillipe Koch, Francois Affolter, Daniel Pavlovic, Frank Feltscher, Xavier Hochstrasser, Alessandro Ciarocchi, Mario Gavranovic, Valentin Stocker.
Substitutions: Fabien Frei for Gavranovic (h/t), Adrian Nikci for Stocker (68 mins), Rolf Feltscher for Frank Feltscher (80 mins),
REFEREE: Alfonso Perez Burrull (Spain).