Germany dominated the game in front of 50,000-plus fans at Aviva Stadium in Dublin, but reports said “heroic” Irish defending thwarted the attempts of their high-fancied opponents.
For manager Martin O’Neill it was a strong affirmation of his tactical play after receiving much criticism over being too negative in earlier rounds.
Group leaders Germany, who have 19 points and only needed a draw to qualify in Dublin, next host Georgia.
Germany’s most recent visit to Ireland was a 6-1 win.
The Southampton striker came off the bench to thump a 70th-minute thunderbolt past the helpless Manuel Neuer to hand the Republic their biggest competitive victory since they defeated Holland in a World Cup play-off in 2001.
“It’s been a long while since we made it”, said Gallacher, who was speaking at the filming of the Vauxhall Home Nations Football Show.
“It was an unexpected and completely unnecessary defeat”, said Germany coach Joachim Loew.
They will be hoping Ronaldo can work his magic a little quicker than when they last met in Copenhagen last October when he waited until five minutes into added time before scoring the winning goal.
The defeat means Germany still require a point to seal qualification heading into their final game of Group D against Georgia and Low was frustrated with his side’s performance.
With their 29 goals in 8 qualifying matches it seems unfathomable that Poland won’t score against Scotland tonight.
Captain Davis was just one year old the last time Northern Ireland competed at a major finals – at the 1986 World Cup in Mexico – when Billy Bingham’s side included Pat Jennings, Mal Donaghy and Norman Whiteside.
“We most likely have to win the game or draw 2-2, 3-3, 4-4… but let’s just try and win it”, said O’Neill.
“Genuinely, I am not wildly concerned about it. It would be really terrific if we could make it to France one way or the other”.
“If Poland go into that game needing a result then they could be very nervous and we have nothing to lose”.
So far, only four teams have secured their place at the tournament – Iceland and the Czech Republic have impressively sealed their passage, despite being pitted against Turkey and the Netherlands in Group A, while England and Austria have clambered out of Groups E and G respectively.