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Irish Football > Euro 2012 Finals > Republic of Ireland V Croatia

Ireland v Croatia - Euro 2012

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Euro 2012

Ireland began the Euro 2012 campaign in the worst possible manner. With just over two minutes gone in their opening Group C tie against Croatia in Poznan, the Irish found themselves a goal behind.

A guided header from Mandžukic wrong-footed Irish goalkeeper Shay Given and despite a despairing dive by the Irish record cap holder, the ball crept just inside the post. This was a real shock to Giovanni Trapattoni's team not to mention the massed ranks of Irish fans in the stands of the Municipal Stadium.

The Irish worked hard to recover from this early set back and no-one worked harder than veteran Damien Duff. He tracked back tirelessly to help out the defence while also toiling out wide up front.

Irish efforts were rewarded after 19 minutes when Sean St Ledger held off a Croatian defender to get his head on the end of an Aiden McGeady free kick. His powerful header flew past Stipe Pletikosa in the Croatia goal to garner St Ledger's third goal of his international career.

Just as it appeared that the tie would end up all square at half time, Everton's Nikica Jelavic, although loitering in an offside position, latched on to a through pass to lift the ball over the advancing Given. It's never a good time to concede a goal however Jelavic's late first half goal was a particularly hard blow for the Irish.

This was compounded when the Croats increased their lead just four minutes into the second half. A long distance shot from Mandžukic crashed off the base of the Irish goal post and rebounded off the back of diving Given's head and into the goal.

Mandžukic's second goal gave Croatia a 3-1 which proved to be unassailable. Despite a clear foul by Gordon Schildenfeld on Robbie Keane inside the Croatian box, the well-placed Dutch referee turned down the Irish appeals.

The Irish cause was not helped by some strange substitutions by Trapattoni as Croatia effectively shut up shop to see the match out.
RESULT: Ireland 1 - 3 Croatia

Euro 2012 - Republic of Ireland V Croatia Statistics

 
Ireland
Croatia
Goals Scored
1
3
Possession (%)
45%
55%
Goal Attempts
13
15
Attempts on Target
5
9
Corners
1
7
Fouls committed
12
18
Caught Offside
2
1
Woodwork Rebounds
0
0
Yellow Cards
1
2
Red Cards
0
0

Irish & Croatian Teams

Republic of Ireland Team
Shay Given (Aston Villa); John O’Shea (Sunderland), Richard Dunne (Aston Villa), Sean St Ledger (Leicester City), Stephen Ward (Wolves); Damien Duff (Fulham), Keith Andrews (West Brom), Glenn Whelan (Stoke), Aiden McGeady (Spartak Moscow); Kevin Doyle (Wolves), Robbie Keane (LA Galaxy). Subs: Jon Walters for Doyle 53', Simon Cox for McGeady 54'; Shane Long for Keane 75'.

Coach
: Giovanni Trapattoni. Goal Scorer: Sean St Ledger 19'. Booked Keith Andrews 45'.

Croatia Team
Stipe Pletikosa; Darijo Srna, Vedran Corluka, Gordon Schildenfeld, Ivan Strinic; Ivan Rakitic (Tomislav Dujmovic, 92), Ognjen Vukojevic, Luka Modric, Ivan Perisic (Eduardo, 89); Nikica Jelavic (Niko Kranjcar, 72), Mario Mandzukic.
Coach: Slaven Bilic. Goal Scorers: Mandžukic 3', 49'; Jelavic 43'. Booked: Modric 53', Kranjcar 84'

Date: 10 June 2012. Venue: Municipal Stadium, Poznan, Poland. Attendance: 39,650. Referee: Bjorn Kuipers (Holland).

2012 Euro Group C Table After First Round of Matches

2012 Euro Finals - Group C After One Match
Nation
Played
Won
Drew
Lost
Goals F
Goals A
Points
Croatia
1
1
0
0
3
1
3
Spain
1
0
1
0
1
1
1
Republic of Ireland
1
0
1
0
1
1
1
Republic of Ireland
1
0
0
1
1
3
0



Ireland & 1990 World Cup Finals - Irish Squad World Cup 1990
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