Football / World Cup USA '94: 'Everything went wrong in the first half'

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The Independent Online
JACK CHARLTON, the Republic of Ireland manager, said that blunders by Pat Bonner and Terry Phelan were responsible for his side's downfall against the Netherlands.

'We made basic mistakes which cost us the game,' he said. 'You can't do that against the Dutch and get away with it. Everything went wrong for us in the first half but we kept going and might have got a break.

'You are always in with a chance even at 2-0 and it nearly happened. But it didn't quite come off.

'The Dutch played very well and made us chase the ball. But we kept plugging away hoping maybe we'd get a break, but it never happened. I can't ask more than the lads have given us.

'We have some good players. We know we are a bit short in some departments but I can't ask for more in terms of effort. We made a couple of basic mistakes that cost us goals. Everything went the wrong way for us today.'

Charlton said Bonner had sat with his head in his hands at half-time in the dressing- room. 'There's nothing you can say to Packie,' he said. 'I just said: 'It's done. There's nothing you can do about it, just go out and play the second half.' '

Bonner said: 'I still don't know what happened. It has got to be me that takes the blame.'

Charlton said the Dutch had played an excellent match. 'I like the Dutch. We've had some great games. If anyone had to put us out, I'm glad it's the Dutch.'

Dick Advocaat, the Dutch coach, said: 'The quality of the Irish is they can put you under pressure,' he said. 'But in the first half we didn't give them an opportunity to play their type of game. The Irish really went for it in the second half. When you play them, you have to wait for the final whistle before you know you have won the game.'

Ronald Koeman, the Netherlands captain, said. 'We were lucky to get that second goal, but it's all part of football.'

The inquiry into Diego Maradona's failed dope test will be held next month, probably in Zurich, Fifa said yesterday.

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