Wicklow lads at the centre of penalty shoot-out debacle
TWO young men from Co. Wicklow were at the centre of the penalty shoot-out debacle that ended the Republic of Ireland U-17s European Championships hopes on Monday evening at Proact Stadium in Chesterfield, England.
Ireland took on Holland in the quarter-final and with the sides tied at 1-1 at the end of normal time, the match immediately went to penalties as per UEFA rules.
Ireland missed their first one but netted the next four to leave the pressure on Netherlands captain Daishawn Redan.
If he scored, his side advanced to the last four.
Should he fail, sudden death would be required.
He stepped up and Ireland goalkeeper Jimmy Corcoran kept it out.
But the referee then deemed that Corcoran had advanced off his line and - with Corcoran having been booked earlier - the referee dismissed the Ireland shot-stopper.
A defender then had to don the gloves for the retake and was beaten to end Ireland’s dreams in farcical fashion.
For Greystones’ Callum Thompson and Arklow’s Max Murphy, it was particularly hard to take as they had both converted their 12-yarders to ramp up the pressure on the Dutch.
Murphy succeeded with Ireland’s third spot kick so it was all eyes on Thompson for Ireland’s fifth penalty as a miss from him would have sealed Ireland’s faith there and then.
But the Wolves youngster kept his cool.
Congratulations to both Max and Callum for playing their part in their national side’s wonderful adventure. Hopefully both will have bright futures in the game.