Thursday 12 December 2019

Trapattoni: I knew there was no way back

Ireland boss Giovanni Trapattoni gave up hope of his team shocking Brazil early in the second half of their London tussle.

Ireland, whose hopes of reaching the World Cup were ended last November when France controversially knocked them out at the play-off stage, suffered a 2-0 defeat in the friendly at the Emirates Stadium.

"We made two or three easy mistakes and gave them two great opportunities and they could have scored more," Trapattoni said. "After 50 minutes it was clear it was not possible for us because we lost strength. It was clear they weren't fit enough to last 90 minutes."

He added: "I wanted to rest the players who play in the Premier League, I'm thinking about my English colleagues as well. I knew we couldn't come back from the result."

Trapattoni was left to rue another poor decision from officials in his side's first match since Thierry Henry's infamous handball in Paris, as Robinho looked offside when he set up the opener - an own goal by Keith Andrews - just before the break.

Sean St Ledger and Paul McShane were both caught dwelling on the ball in the second half which could have led to Robinho or Dani Alves adding to the scoreline.

"We saw 45 minutes of a very, very beautiful game," Trapattoni said. "I think we played the same level as Brazil and thought we could have continued at that level and would have not lost.

"With their goal the referee has 'special eyes' in this friendly game. The first goal was offside.

"If we finished the first half 0-0, the Brazil approach for the second half would have been different because psychologically they would go to win."

© Press Association

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