Republic of Ireland midfielder Keith Andrews admitted “we shot ourselves in the foot” after their hopes of Euro 2012 progress ended with a 4-0 thrashing by Spain in Gdansk.
Giovanni Trapattoni’s men were once again guilty of conceding early goals at the start of each half, with Fernando Torres opening the scoring after just four minutes to give the reigning champions a perfect start.
Andrews said: “We tried to say before the game let’s learn our lessons, but we shot ourselves in the foot again.
“They were silly goals and we didn’t learn, but they’re such a top side any lapse in concentration is going to cost.
“For the majority of the game we were chasing shadows and we couldn’t get near them. They are a fantastic side.”
Andrews went on to pay tribute to the Irish fans who made up the majority of the crowd in the stadium, saying: “The fans were an absolute credit to their country and we have not been able to give them what they deserved.
“We’re playing against Italy purely for the fans and for our own pride. They’ve travelled in their thousands. With seven or eight minutes to go, all you can hear is the Irish fans and we’re losing 4-0.”
Spain led 2-0 early in the second half with a David Villa goal. And after Torres netted his second, substitute Cesc Fabregas ended the rout.
No killer instinct - Italy 1 Croatia 1
Italy coach Cesare Prandelli has questioned his players’ lack of a killer instinct and their fitness levels in the wake of another draw in Euro 2012.
The Azzurri dominated the first half of the Group C clash with Croatia in Poznan, creating a number of chances before taking a 39th-minute lead courtesy of Andrea Pirlo’s stunning free-kick.
But they lacked the same intensity after the interval, and conceded an equaliser 18 minutes from time as Mario Mandzukic made it three goals in two games with a poacher’s finish.