Northern Ireland exit in Euro 2016 ‘devastating’, says O’Neill

Paris (AFP) – Northern Ireland manager Michael O’Neill described his team’s Euro 2016 elimination at Wales’ hands on Saturday as “devastating” and said his side had deserved to go through.

“It’s devastating. We were the better team on the day,” O’Neill said. “I couldn’t ask anything more of the players throughout the tournament.”

Northern Ireland, playing in their first major tournament since the 1986 World Cup, produced an excellent defensive display at Parc des Princes in Paris, only to lose to a 75th-minute Gareth McAuley own goal.

The 36-year-old West Bromwich Albion centre-back unwittingly turned the ball into his own net as he attempted to prevent a cross from Wales star Gareth Bale reaching Hal Robson-Kanu.

The defender faced a dilemma, O’Neill said.

“Gareth McAuley knows he has to make one of those decisions on the cross. He had to judge whether there was someone behind him or not,” said the coach.

Competition debutants, Northern Ireland had qualified as the third-best team in Group C, beating Ukraine 2-0 but losing 1-0 to Poland and world champions Germany.

25+ Channels With Sports & News
  • Starting price: $33/mo. for fubo Latino Package
  • Watch Premier League, Liga MX, MLS & World Cup
  • Includes ESPN, FOX, Univision, TUDN and more
Favorite Leagues At The Best Price
  • Starting price: $7.99/mo. for Live TV Package
  • Watch Argentine league, Brasileirāo and Copa Libertadores
  • Includes beIN SPORTS, GolTV, TyC Sports and more
Many Sports & ESPN Originals
  • Price: $6.99/mo. (or get ESPN+, Hulu & Disney+ for $13.99/mo.)
  • Features LaLiga, Bundesliga, MLS, Copa del Rey & more
  • Also includes daily ESPN FC news & highlights show
Live TV, Soccer & Originals
  • Starting price: $4.99/mo.
  • Features Champions League, Serie A, Europa League & more
  • Includes CBS, Star Trek & CBS Sports HQ
175 Premier League Games & PL TV
  • Starting price: $4.99/mo. for Peacock Premium
  • Watch 175 exclusive EPL games per season
  • Includes Premier League TV channel plus movies, TV shows & more
Get All 3 And Save 30%
  • $13.99/mo. for ESPN+, Disney+ & Hulu
  • Includes Bundesliga, LaLiga, NHL & the home to UFC
  • Features Marvel, Star Wars + shows & movies for your entire family

Leave a Reply

Translate »