Damien Duff deflated by Republic of Ireland defeat to Spain

 

Damien Duff was today reflecting on the end of a dream after the Republic of Ireland's bruising defeat by Spain.

Last night's 4-0 drubbing in Gdansk means Ireland's involvement at Euro 2012 will come to an end with the final whistle against Italy on Monday evening, a far cry from the hopes with which they arrived in Poland.

Duff said: "I dreamed, like everyone else, of going the whole way. It is obviously not going to pan out, but what can you say?"

The Republic went into the game knowing they were up against it after losing 3-1 to Croatia in their opening Group C fixture, and well aware that only a positive result at the PGE Arena in Gdansk would give them any chance of making the quarter-finals.

In the event, they were simply blown away by the reigning world and European champions on a night when they were once again made to pay for mistakes at the back.

Duff said: "We didn't help ourselves at times. Even at 1-0 at half-time, you come out and think, 'Right, let's keep it at that for 20, 25 minutes, maybe they will get a bit nervous'.

"But we didn't help ourselves. You are going to be pulled all over the place, really, with them.

"We did well at times and defended well at times, but we shot ourselves in the foot again."

Fernando Torres was the chief executioner as he helped himself to a double either side of David Silva's cheeky finish, and by the time substitute Cesc Fabregas completed the scoring seven minutes from time, Ireland were well beaten.

They now face the prospect of trying to stop Italy from sending them home pointless in a game which is far from a dead rubber for their opponents.

Last night's draw with Croatia means the Italians have only two points from their opening two games with Spain and Croatia both on four.

As a result, they have to win and even then, a 2-2 draw between Spain and Croatia would put them out, a similar fate to the one they suffered at Euro 2004 when Denmark and Sweden shared four goals and both progressed at their expense amid unseemly and unproven allegations.

However, none of that will matter to Duff and his team-mates as they attempt to extend their recent good record against Cesare Prandelli's side.

Ireland drew home and away with Italy in the last World Cup qualifying campaign - they were only denied victory in Dublin by a late Alberto Gilardino equaliser - and beat them 2-0 in a friendly in Liege last summer.

Duff said: "I hope we will be looking forward to it. We will get ourselves up for it.

"We are a proud set of lads and a proud nation, and we want to give people back home and the fans last night especially something to cheer about."

PA

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Stik on the crane as he completed the mural
art
News
Happy in his hat: Pharrell Williams
people
News
i100(More than you think)
News
Phyllis Dorothy James on stage during a reading of her book 'Death Comes to Pemberley' last year
peopleJohn Walsh pays tribute to PD James, who died today
News
peopleExclusive: Maryum and Hana Ali share their stories of the family man behind the boxing gloves
Arts and Entertainment
John Hurt will voice Prince Bolkonsky in Radio 4's War and Peace
radioRadio 4 to broadcast 10-hour adaptation of War and Peace on first day of 2015
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

It's in all our interests to look after servicemen and women who fall on hard times, say party leaders
Millionaire Sol Campbell wades into wealthy backlash against Labour's mansion tax

Sol Campbell cries foul at Labour's mansion tax

The former England defender joins Myleene Klass, Griff Rhys Jones and Melvyn Bragg in criticising proposals
Nicolas Sarkozy returns: The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?

Sarkozy returns

The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?
Is the criticism of Ed Miliband a coded form of anti-Semitism?

Is the criticism of Miliband anti-Semitic?

Attacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But is the criticism more sinister?
Ouija boards are the must-have gift this Christmas, fuelled by a schlock horror film

Ouija boards are the must-have festive gift

Simon Usborne explores the appeal - and mysteries - of a century-old parlour game
There's a Good Girl exhibition: How female creatives are changing the way women are portrayed in advertising

In pictures: There's a Good Girl exhibition

The new exhibition reveals how female creatives are changing the way women are portrayed in advertising
UK firm Biscuiteers is giving cookies a makeover - from advent calendars to doll's houses

UK firm Biscuiteers is giving cookies a makeover

It worked with cupcakes, doughnuts and macarons so no wonder someone decided to revamp the humble biscuit
Can SkySaga capture the Minecraft magic?

Can SkySaga capture the Minecraft magic?

It's no surprise that the building game born in Sweden in 2009 and now played by millions, has imitators keen to construct their own mega money-spinner
The King's School is way ahead of the pack when it comes to using the latest classroom technology

Staying connected: The King's School

The school in Cambridgeshire is ahead of the pack when it comes to using the latest classroom technology. Richard Garner discovers how teachers and pupils stay connected
Christmas 2014: 23 best women's perfumes

Festively fragrant: the best women's perfumes

Give a loved one a luxe fragrance this year or treat yourself to a sensual pick-me-up
Arsenal vs Borussia Dortmund: Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain celebrates century with trademark display of speed and intuition

Arsenal vs Borussia Dortmund

The Ox celebrates century with trademark display of speed and intuition
Billy Joe Saunders vs Chris Eubank Jnr: When two worlds collide

When two worlds collide

Traveller Billy Joe Saunders did not have a pampered public-school upbringing - unlike Saturday’s opponent Chris Eubank Jnr
Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Drifting and forgotten - turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Our partner charities help veterans on the brink – and get them back on their feet
Putin’s far-right ambition: Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU

Putin’s far-right ambition

Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU
Tove Jansson's Moominland: What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?

Escape to Moominland

What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?