Germans shut Trap on faint hopes of miracle at Aviva
ANNIHILATION has rarely felt so comprehensive. Nobody was expecting miracles but anything other than a complete and utter seismic wipe-out would have been good.
These were our German paymasters and a certain degree of face-saving was called for.
Defeat at their hands was always going to have a particularly bitter sting.
And with the end of one fairytale, perhaps comes another, with fans and pundits alike calling for an end to the Trap era.
Secretly, we were nursing hopes of a draw as Ireland took on Germany at the Aviva, in our first competitive home game since the Euros.
Things had begun well. The Boys in Green were nifty on their feet. They had good moves, spotted some opportunities.
But once Marco Reus delivered the second goal, the German fans were triumphant, exalting in certain victory. 'Alles in ordnung' (everything in order).
At the end of the first half, the faces of the Irish fans had assumed a familiar gloom.
"Humiliating," was one man's verdict. Gesturing towards his young son, he asked: "How can I bring him to watch this?"
When Shane Long was finally taken off the sub's bench in the second half, the Irish fans roared with fresh hope. Until the third German goal. And then the fourth.
By the fifth goal, a steady trickle of Irish fans began to leave, too disheartened to watch any more.
Once the sixth hit the back of the net, the trickle turned to a torrent. Trap, with his hand over his face, summed it all up.
Andy Keogh's goal in the dying moments was greeted with a gasp of faint relief -- but it was too little, too late.
On a large banner outside, a Tricolour cheekily proclaimed: "Germany proudly supporting Ireland since 2009."
The German fans were tactful enough not to hammer home that point with any similar messages of their own.
Earlier, Irish fan James Nolan, who tragically lost his life in Poland during the Euros, was remembered with a standing ovation and a banner reading: "Rest in peace James Nolan, imithe uainn ach fos linn" (gone but still with us).