||ESPNsoccernet: Euro 2012
Friday, October 8, 2010
Ireland fall into one-dimensional Trap
Outspoken criticism for the coach who has dragged the Republic of Ireland national team from oblivion to the brink of qualification for the 2010 World Cup finals has been reasonably muted to date, but the undercurrent of discontent that has been mounting against Giovanni Trapattoni may now explode.
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"We made too many mistakes, failed to appreciate the dangers they were giving us and this led to our problems," was Trapattoni's assessment.
"In the end, we nearly found a way to fight back, but 3-0 made it too difficult and we have to reflect on why we were in this position.
"The group is still there for us to attack and we go to Slovakia convinced we can find a way to succeed. This was not the performance I expect to see from an Ireland team and we have to rediscover our ambition in the next game."
Naturally, Russia boss Advocaat was in a better mood as he summed up his side's clinically efficient victory. "There was no reason at all for us to suffer the last 20 minutes of concern, but a cheap penalty brought them back into the game and they had us under real pressure ahead of the final whistle," said the ex-Rangers coach.
"Even though I feel so proud of the way we played against a difficult opponent, we have to learn from our mistake of letting Ireland back into this fixture when it was already won."
Ireland's failure to match the Russian's desire in this crucial qualifier will have been the most galling aspect of an evening that promised so much and delivered nothing but despair for Trapattoni. His relatively successful spell as Ireland boss has earned the right to engineer a fight back in the pivotal game against Slovakia next Tuesday, yet he will now come under increasing pressure to transform his side into more than a one trick pony.
This qualifying group may well be wide open after the results from the third round of ties, but Ireland are no longer looking to the future with optimism. That change of mindset is dangerous for their celebrated manager.
MAN OF THE MATCH: Alexandr Kerzhakov
The Russian forward was a threat all night and he could have had more goals against a troubled Ireland backline.
AVIVA COMES ALIVE: The new home of Irish soccer has taken its time to find its soul, but the redeveloped Lansdowne Road arena was rocking for this Euro 2012 clash. Ireland fans can make noise like few others on nights like this.
McGEADY FLOPS AGAIN: Six years have passed since Aiden McGeady made his international debut in Ireland colours and he has yet to produce a single goal or match winning display at this level. The ex-Celtic man is not living up to the hype that has long surrounded him.
LATE CONTROVERSY: Sean St Ledger was convinced he should have had a second penalty in the final act of this action packed qualifier, but the game was not to have a dramatic final twist.
IRELAND VERDICT: Trapattoni's men will struggle to recover from this thumping and yet they must bounce back quickly against Slovakia next Tuesday. Time will tell if their promising start to their Euro 2012 qualifiers took a terminal turn in this game.