After famously having its hopes of qualification for the 2010 World Cup dashed by a goal scored by way of a Thierry Henry handball, the Irish Men's National Soccer Team was the beneficiary of some poor officiating and a gift goal as they defeated Armenia to clinch a spot in playoffs for the European Championship. Not only did the referee miss a handball by Ireland's Simon Cox as he controlled a ball while bearing down on the Armenian goal, but he issued a red card to the Armenian goalkeeper for blocking Cox's shot with his arm after leaving his own penalty area -- the only space in the field that a goalie can use his hands -- to attempt to stop the attacking player.
Even without the assistance of the referee, Ireland was getting plenty of help from Armenia.
A few minutes before halftime of Tuesday's Euro 2012 qualifier, Ireland's Kevin Doyle received a pass right in front of the net and had a perfect opportunity to snap the 0-0 tie. But he whiffed on the backheel attempt and the ball rolled by him. Fortunately for Doyle, Armenia's Valeri Aleksanyan was right there and accidentally kicked it into his own net.
Gifted a goal by Armenia and a one-man advantage by the referee, Ireland would win 2-1.
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