Jun 052012

Teams for Ireland's Games in Euro 2012Ireland Euro 2012 Results

Results of Ireland’s matches in the 2012 European Championships against Croatia (June 10th, 7.45pm GMT), Spain (June 14th, 7.45pm GMT) and Italy (June 18th, 7.45pm GMT) as and when they happen.

June 18th 2012

Ireland 0  –  Italy 2 (Cassano, Balotelli)

Although Ireland had nothing to play for in this match, having lost the first two, it was a much improved performance. The old failings of the first two games, however, were to cause the two goals that ultimately saw Italy win the match. Under Giovanni Trappatoni this Irish team seems unable to keep the ball and giving it away in dangerous areas has proven to be their undoing in all the Euro 2012 tournament games.

It was, however, a performance from the Irish team with some character. The Italians were held to a single goal until the 90th minute when Balotelli scored with a spectacular overhead kick to seal the game and see the Italians through to the quarter finals along with Spain. You would have to feel for Croatia who gave this group all they had, only to fall short against a splendid Spanish team that topped the group with a final game 1 – 0 victory. The Spaniards, however, were held to 0 – 0 until very late in the game.

Ireland finish the tournament with the unenviable record of joint worst performance ever at the Euro finals. Three games played, three lost, 9 goals conceded and just 1 scored. We share the dubious honour with Yugoslavia in 1984, Denmark in 2000 and Bulgaria in 2004.

Here are full results and standings in Group C for the record:

Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts
 Spain 3 2 1 0 6 1 +5 7
 Italy 3 1 2 0 4 2 +2 5
 Croatia 3 1 1 1 4 3 +1 4
 Ireland 3 0 0 3 1 9 −8 0
10 June 2012
Spain  1–1  Italy
Ireland  1–3  Croatia
14 June 2012
Italy  1–1  Croatia
Spain  4–0  Ireland
18 June 2012
Croatia  0–1  Spain
Italy  2–0  Ireland

June 14th 2012

Ireland 0  –  Spain 4 (Torres x 2, Silva, Fabregas)

Oh, dear, oh, dear. Ireland got an awful spanking off of Spain, realising all our worst fears. At best a limited team, we were fearful that the world’s best team would tear us to shreds, and that’s exactly what they did. We were outclassed in every single part of the field, with the possible exception of goalkeeper where, despite the scoreline, Shay Given actually played very well. It was, however, difficult to rate Iker Casillas, as he had very little to do all night. Giovanni Trappatoni’s decision to play Simon Cox from the start seemed a bit bizzare, but in reality, if he changed the whole team they’d probably have gotten a worse beating.

The Irish crowd were absolutely wonderful all night. They spent the last five minutes of the match gustily singing the Fields of Athenry, totally out-singing their Spanish counterparts in the process.

Ireland are now the first team to travel home from the Euro 2012 championships, not a fitting reward for the guts and determination shown by all the Irish players involved in the tournament.

June 10th 2012

Ireland 1  (St. Ledger) Croatia 3 (Mandzukic x 2, Jelavic)

Our worst fears were realised as Ireland crashed to a 3 – 1 defeat to fellow Group C minnows Croatia on June 10th. It was a disappointing defeat as Ireland never looked like they could win the game and were outclassed in practically every part of the field. Despite a very poor display from the Dutch referee who allowed a patently offside goal to stand and denied Ireland a certain penalty, it is difficult to argue that, on this performance, Ireland deserve anything more than to prop up the table as we currently do.

This result means that a defeat to Spain will send us out of the competition and, realistically, even a draw is unlikely to be of much use. On Sunday night’s performance getting a result of any description against the current European and World Champions, who played out a high-calibre and entertaining draw with Italy, is certainly a bridge too far for this gallant, but limited, Irish side.

This is how the Group C table currently stands:

Group C

Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts
 Croatia 1 1 0 0 3 1 +2 3
 Italy 1 0 1 0 1 1 0 1
 Spain 1 0 1 0 1 1 0 1
 Ireland 1 0 0 1 1 3 −2 0
10 June 2012
Spain  1 – 1  Italy
Ireland  1 – 3  Croatia
14 June 2012
Italy  Match 13  Croatia
Spain  Match 14  Ireland
18 June 2012
Croatia  Match 21  Spain
Italy  Match 22  Ireland

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