Irish eyes ain’t smiling: A glum Robbie Keane ponders Ireland’s epic Euro 2012 failure and looks forward to returning to MLS (ahem) at the conclusion of today’s Spanish spanking (AP Photo).
Spain scored four goals, the Irish none.
Spain had 20 shots on target, Ireland had four.
Spain looks likely to advance to the quarterfinals, Ireland became the first nation eliminated from Euro 2012.
How dominant were Spain? This is from the Republic of Ireland official website:
Spain, the reigning European and World champions, showed their undoubted class by inflicting a heavy defeat on Ireland in the EURO 2012 tie in Gdansk.
Spain ensured that skill was the ultimate arbiter as they coped with ease with all of the energy, determination and spirit that Ireland could muster on a night when the world order as it affects Ireland was illustrated with stark reality.
Ireland surrendered a goal within four minutes of the start of the game to leave themselves at a huge disadvantage, just as they had done in their previous game against Croatia. And, in a remarkable re-run of that first match, Ireland lost a second goal just four minutes after the interval.
These goals effectively put the result beyond doubt but, in truth, this was never a contest. While Ireland showed all of their traditional qualities and were still running hard at the end of 90 minutes, they were always involved in a damage limitation exercise. Spain were just too good and worked so hard that Ireland were held as if in a vice.
Match report here.