England's failure to beat Ireland since 1985 remained intact at Wembley last week when they had to rely on a Frank Lampard goal to cancel out Shane Long’s opener at the home of football.
The Irish fought hard for their share of the spoils in an incident free game, the first fixture between the countries since the 1995 riots at Lansdowne Road.
A delighted Irish boss Giovanni Trapattoni said afterwards, “I am proud of this team. Only against the strong teams can you evaluate how good you are.
“England are one of the five best teams in the world in my opinion, and yet we deserved this result. I told the players beforehand to have trust and confidence in themselves and to think that they could play against the great teams, and they did that.”
England dominated the second half -- and should have won -- but their manager Roy Hodgson still complimented Ireland’s efforts.
“It was anything but an end-of-season friendly. It was very competitive. Ireland worked unbelievably hard from front to back and made us work very hard for our goal chances,” Hodgson said.
“When we did create two or three chances, their goalkeeper David Forde made good saves. I’m disappointed with the result, I would have liked to leave with the victory. There were times when I thought the victory would come our way and we tried to win the game.”
Hodgson was also delighted with the friendly atmosphere inside the ground. “It was magnificent and I’m delighted. There is so much negativity. Every time I am involved in a fixture something is dragged up from the past which lends an aura of negativity to the fixture,” he said.
“Tonight there was nothing at all. Both sets of fans were vocal and both behaved in my opinion very well.”