Martin O’Neill praised a “fantastic” Republic of Ireland performance in their opening Euro 2016 game against Sweden, but admitted his frustration that it did not yield a win.
A Ciaran Clark own goal cancelled out Wes Hoolahan’s brilliant opener to in the Group E clash in Paris, but the 1-1 result belied Ireland’s dominance over the course of the 90 minutes.
“We were fantastic, really fantastic. I don’t know how we didn’t come in maybe three in front [at half-time],” O’Neill told RTÉ Sport.
“The play today was really great.
“Overall, there’s real disappointment in the dressing room that they haven’t taken all three points, they absolutely deserved them.
“Three [points] would have been better than one, but nevertheless, it was a performance to be delighted with.”
Ireland had the best of the chances, with Jeff Hendrick hitting the bar and John O’Shea failing to connect with a knockdown in the six yard box when the goal was gaping, while Sweden failed to muster a single shot on target throughout the entire game.
“It’s not as if we didn’t create chances,” added O’Neill, who admitted his bemusement at his side’s failure to open their campaign with a win.
“At half-time, the game should have been beyond Sweden, that’s the nature of football.”