Controversy marred Ireland’s dramatic penalties exit from the U17 European Championship in Monday’s quarter-final at Chesterfield’s Proact Stadium.
Ireland striker Troy Parrott had cancelled an opener from Netherlands centre-back Liam van Gelderen’s 62nd minute opener to force the shoot-out.
The drama continued and it seemed penalties had reached sudden death when Jimmy Corcoran saved the last Dutch penalty.
However, Czech Republic referee Zbynek Proske deemed the 16-year-old goalkeeper had stepped off his line in saving Daishawn Redan’s attempt and ordered a retake and a second yellow card to the stopper.
After the Chelsea striker secured their meeting with England by beating stand-in goalkeeper Oisin McEntee, Ireland’s senior manager Martin O’Neill came down from his seat to confront the referee.
“It was a frustrating end to the match, especially as the referee had warned the Dutch goalkeeper twice during the shoot-out,” said Ireland manager Colin O’Brien.
“We’ve had a really good four games, I’m proud of them putting the first goal of the tournament past the Dutch, and people at home should remember the football over the way it ended.”
“It was a cruel finish to the tournament but these boys have big careers ahead of theme.
“Martin had been with us all the way and he saw the effort the lads put in. To a man, they were brilliant and are, tonight, devastated to be out.
“However, they will come back strong from this. I know from working with these lads how determined they are and they have a lot of football ahead of them.”
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