Spain 4-0 Republic of Ireland
Spain completed the Santarem International Tournament with a 100% record after they ground out a 4-0 result against Vincent Butlers Irish side this afternoon (Tuesday). The Irish will consider themselves unlucky after dominating the game for large periods but the Spanish scored two goals in the final four minutes of the final game which may have took the gloss off a battling performance for the Irish.
In a tentative start to the game, the Irish had the first real scoring chance. With 18 minutes on the clock, Leicester City’s Ellis Tebbutt played a clever ball to Chris Lyons who did well to hold off the defender and his shot was pushed wide for a corner.
Spain took the lead in extra-time just before the half-time break. With defender, Conor Morrissey leaving the field of play due to injury, his absence led to a gap in the Irish defence which Spain fully exploited. Espanyol’s Joan Angel Roman Olle ran on to a through-ball from midfield and he blasted his effort past Irish goalkeeper, Sean McDermott as it cannoned off the post and into the back of the net.
Spain doubled their lead with 59 minutes on the clock, Juan Bernat Velasco crossed the ball into the Irish box and Real Madrid’s Enrique Cervera made no mistake with his header from close range. The Spanish extended their lead in the 76th minute when Jose Gomez Campana scored a sublime goal from his free-kick from 25 yards. His powerful effort gave McDermott no chance as the ball flew into the top left hand corner.
Real Zaragoza star, Jorge Orti Gracia wrapped up the scoring in the final minute of the game as he picked the ball up deep in Ireland’s half and his well placed shot nestled in the bottom right hand corner to ensure that Spain finish the Santarem International Tournament with a 100% record.
Despite the defeat, Republic of Ireland manager, Vincent Butler was happy with his sides performance, “I think the 4-0 scoreline really flatters the Spanish victory. We put in a tremendous fighting performance and we were unlucky to go in at half-time being 1-0 down. We started this tournament really poorly against Denmark when we lost 2-0 but the team responded well and despite losing all three games I was pleased with their response and their fighting spirit. You have to remember that most leagues in Ireland took a five week break for the Christmas period and with the freezing weather over the past number of weeks, a lot of the players may have only played two matches in over two months.”
“We face France in a double international friendly in Dublin from 10th/12th March and I think that the team will take many positives from the Santarem International Tournament. I have no doubt that we will be better equipped for these matches and in April we travel to Italy for the Gradisca Tournament.”
Republic of Ireland: Sean McDermott, Conor Morrissey, Sean McGinty, Daniel Devine, John O’Sullivan, Anthony Forde, Chris Lyons, Robert Moloney, Ellis Tebbutt, Carl McHugh, Adam Pigott
Substitutes: Craig Hanlon, Michael Barker, David Murphy (on for Pigott, 69 mins), Daniel McGuiness (on for Forde, 61 mins), Stephen Jewell, Daniel Purdy, John Mountney