When Thierry Henry's double handball deprived Irish football officials of a jaunt to sunny South Africa last year, those mandarins whined and wheezed so hard that even folks who initially had a smidgin of sympathy for them wound up wanting to beat them to a mangled mess and dance on their gory carcasses while cackling like Halloween witches high on poitín and toffee apples. Having been left, by their decision to refrain from doing so, with the slight feeling of inadequacy that permanently stalks the domesticated, those folks weren't about to miss an opportunity to vent anew if the Irish were ever seen to profit from a miscarriage of justice.

And lo, vociferous and vengeful have been the accusations of Irish hypocrisy after Giovanni Trapattoni's chain gang were on Tuesday night allowed to totter through to a Euro 2012 play-off thanks in part to a questionable red card for Armenia's goalkeeper Roman Berezovsky, that, to boot, was preceded by an instance of brachial control by Simon Cox that elicited precisely no condemnation from the Irish players who – rather than stop play and give the ball to the nearest Armenian along with a penitential donation to Yerevan's second-largest hospital – indignantly lobbied the referee to dismiss poor old Berezovsky.

So far there has been little grousing from Armenia. Perhaps they will not make a complaint nor demand a replay or a free place in the finals until they have compiled a complete dossier or have managed to summon up Football Association of Ireland levels of convenient moral outrage. Perhaps, as we speak, janitors in state buildings all across Armenia are emulating their Irish counterparts who two years ago either vandalised, or refused to work with, vacuum cleaners called Henry. "Some have painted over the name on the cleaner and wiped the smile off its little red face," mourned an Irish official to the Sun back then, stoically repressing tears.

"It just shows how the frustration caused by that goal has got to everyone in Ireland." Now we can only wonder whether Armenians are engaged in a similar campaign of destruction, and what sort of domestic appliance might be called Cox.

It could be, of course, that the reason that moaning measuring 9.6 on the FAI Scale has not been heard, and that Armenians are not trying to figure out ways to burn pints of Guinness in the street or blast the planet's shamrock reserves with Agent Orange, is that they know there is not, in fact, that much to complain about.

Berezovsky deserved to be sent off, for being a sinister bungler if nothing else. If Cox's shot did not, in fact, strike his arms after he streaked absurdly out of his box, it was only because of the goalkeeper's incompetence: he certainly meant to handle it and that crazed and pernicious intent may well have appalled Cox so much that he was prevented from bettering the finest lob of his career so far. That, indeed, could be construed as the real pity of that play.

Intent matters. If you make to shoot someone, your panicked would-be victim is fully entitled to punch you in the face even if your trigger jams. Berezovsky had to go.

By contrast, it is the absence of intent that means Cox's alleged handball was incomparable to both, or at least the second, of Henry's.

Cox's heart and mind were in the right place. It was just his arm that may have been fractionally astray. In the maelstrom of action it is entirely plausible that Cox, like Rafael van der Vaart at White Hart Lane against Arsenal two weeks ago, was unaware that the ball may have grazed his upper arm as well as his chest. For that same reason none of the Armenians appealed, even the fiendish goalkeeper. Unless, come to think of it, that's why he was waving his hands above his head outside the box as Cox made to shoot?