'He warned the Dutch 'keeper in two of his penalties' - Ireland U17 boss O'Brien reacts to harsh shootout decision
Ireland U17 manager Colin O'Brien hailed his players after they were controversially eliminated from the European championship quarter-finals tonight.
Ireland lost 5-4 on penalties to the Netherlands after drawing 1-1 in normal time, but many will point to a decision made by Czech official Zbynek Proske as the decisive moment during the shootout.
Goalkeeper Jimmy Corcoran was sent off the after believing he had made the save to send the quarter-final to sudden death penalties.
Instead, Proske gave the Cherry Orchard keeper a second yellow for encroaching from his line.
With substitutions during a shootout not permitted, centre half Oisin McEntee went into goals and was beaten by Chelsea's Daishawn Redan.
Speaking to RTÉ's Tony O'Donoghue after the game, O'Brien revealed that the referee had also warned the Dutch goalkeeper - but took no action.
"I think he said something that he might have come off his line earlier and he warned the Dutch goalkeeper in two of the penalties, we were told, as well," O'Brien said.
O'Brien also paid tribute to his side's fighting spirit, after battling back to take the game to penalties.
"These players did the country proud tonight," he said.
"They have great character, they have been like that all year. They are a super bunch of lads. Probably our quality on the ball could have been a little better at times, but we limited this talented Dutch team, got a great goal and went to penalties, very unfortunate what happened here tonight."