Saturday 18 November 2017

Euro 2012: End of the dream as Ireland outclassed by world champions Spain

Dejected fans at the Ireland-Spain match in Gdansk last night
Dejected fans at the Ireland-Spain match in Gdansk last night

Fiach Kelly in Gdansk

IRELAND'S Euro 2012 adventure came shuddering to a halt last night as world champions Spain swatted them away with ease.

After 10 years in the international wilderness, the dream of an extended run in Poland and the Ukraine was ended during 90 painful minutes. We still have to face Italy on Monday, but Trapattoni's men only have their honour left to play for now.

Following the opening defeat to Croatia last Sunday, everyone knew it was going to be a huge task to overcome the reigning world and European champions. Yet we still believed, telling ourselves we could sneak something against the best team in the world.

But within four minutes, Fernando Torres had slammed home the first of Spain's four goals. And at times, it was cruel to watch.

But if there is one positive to take from last night's match in Gdansk, it is surely the performance of the incredible Irish support. Despite their heads telling them otherwise, the thousands of fans had been up for it beforehand.

The singalong to the 'Rocky Road to Poland' before the match was pumping. They sang the national anthem with the stirring gusto that only comes when everyone knows it is all on the line.

And they never stopped singing as the game drifted away. They even applauded Torres off the pitch -- and belted out an incredible version of 'Fields of Athenry' with the scoreline at 0-4.

Irish Independent

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