Coleman rues Republic of Ireland’s missed opportunity

Date published: Sunday 26th June 2016 5:28

Seamus Coleman: Defender consoled by Martin O'Neill

Seamus Coleman admits the Republic of Ireland believed they were going to beat France in their round of 16 tie at Euro 2016.

Ireland took the lead within two minutes of kick-off through Robbie Brady’s penalty, and were on top for much of the first half.

However, France rallied after the break and two Antoine Griezmann goals in three minutes saw the hosts progress to the quarter-finals.

”We’re disappointed. We felt like it was there for us. We gave our all going into this tournament and we’re just so disappointed at the minute, but I suppose that shows how well we’ve done that we’re disappointed at losing,” Coleman told ITV Sport.

”Our fans were unbelievable and we’d have loved to go a bit further for them but we hope we made people proud because our fans are amazing and the support back home is amazing and, as I said, we’re just disappointed that we couldn’t see it out.

”We only had a little corner of the ground but the fans were so loud and so positive towards us at the end and it’s a special bond between the fans and the players.

”We took a lot of belief from the Italy game and I think the Belgium game did well for us in the fact that we realised how poor we were. But the second half was always going to be tough for us and we played well but we just couldn’t keep the door closed for long enough, which is disappointing.”

And Everton defender Coleman expressed his sympathy for Shane Duffy, who was sent off for a professional foul on Griezmann after the Atletico Madrid forward was through on goal on a hat-trick.

”The red card was one of those challenges where the lad was probably going to score if Shane didn’t try to make the challenge,” he added.

“But Shane, even though he got sent off today, has been unbelievable and with Shane, Jeff (Hendrick), Robbie (Brady) and James (McClean) there’s a bright future.”

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