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Chiedozie Ogbene Frustrated After 'Cruel' Armenia Defeat

Chiedozie Ogbene Frustrated After 'Cruel' Armenia Defeat
Eoin Harrington
By Eoin Harrington
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It was a tough evening for Ireland in Yerevan, as they fell to a 1-0 defeat to Armenia in their UEFA Nations League opener. Chiedozie Ogbene was named man of the match, though the Corkman had a tough time from a physical Armenian defence.

Ogbene was targeted by the Armenian physicality, and ultimately the Ireland attack struggled to convert their number of changes.

Speaking to RTÉ after the game, Chiedozie Ogbene spoke about the game, saying that it was an example of the cruelty of sport. Nonetheless, Ogbene was hopeful that Ireland could learn from the Nations League defeat.

Chiedozie Ogbene urges Ireland to learn from tight Armenia defeat

Ireland are still waiting for their first ever UEFA Nations League win, after a frustrating game in Yerevan against Armenia. Eduard Spertsyan struck from distance to seal a 1-0 win for the hosts.

The result was frustrating given the amount of chances Ireland created, and central to all of their attacking play was Rotherham United man Chiedozie Ogbene.

Ogbene was awarded the man of the match award by RTÉ, and spoke to Tony O'Donoghue after the game.


Ogbene said that the game had taught them a lesson about needing to be more clinical with their chances. Ogbene himself had Ireland's best chance to score when he just missed with a first-half header - and he understood that if he had scored that goal, things could have been different.


I think today football has taught us a big lesson. It can be a cruel game. I feel like we created a lot of chances but they had one good chance and they took their chance well. At this level, this is what it takes.

I feel like we weren't clinical enough with the chances that we got and unfortunately we were punished.

I was very disappointed with myself not to hit the target [with his first-half chance], especially that close. If you create those chances you have to put them away. If not, you feel like this after a difficult day. With the conditions, it was a difficult day.

I felt like we had enough chances to get something out of the game, but of course we'll learn something from this. We have to review it and see where we went wrong.

Scoring goals was the main issue that Ireland had in Saturday's game with Armenia but, after scoring 14 in their previous seven games, it's unlikely that alarm bells will be ringing just yet for Ireland.

Chiedozie Ogbene was one who found the Armenian defence particularly aggressive and hostile. Ogbene found little in the way of protection from the Romanian referee Radu Petrescu.



Rotherham United and Ireland man Chiedozie Ogbene being tackled by two Armenian players

4 June 2022; Chiedozie Ogbene of Republic of Ireland in action against Kamo Hovhannisyan, left, and Eduard Spertsyan of Armenia during the UEFA Nations League B group 1 match between Armenia and Republic of Ireland at Vazgen Sargsyan Republican Stadium in Yerevan, Armenia. Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

When the draw was made last year, Ireland manager Stephen Kenny said that his team were targeting first place in their Nations League group. There is a mega month of June still to come for Ireland, with two games against Ukraine and a home clash with Scotland to come.

Promotion from League B remains the goal for Chiedozie Ogbene and co., and the man of the match said as much to RTÉ at full time:

I wanna win the league, the players want to win the league, not just the manager. I'm sure the nation want to win the league. This is what football is - we have to pick ourselves up. Maybe it's a learning curve - sometimes you dominate possession and you don't get the result. Next time, we need to rectify and make sure we get the result.

Ireland's hopes of winning their group in the Nations League are in the balance after the result in Yerevan, but the maturity from the squad - particularly from those at the beginning of their Ireland international career like Chiedozie Ogbene - will be of comfort to Stephen Kenny.

Ireland's next UEFA Nations League game comes on Wednesday at home to Ukraine, before another game in Dublin against Scotland next Saturday.

SEE ALSO: Ireland Player Ratings As Kenny's Side Fail To Show Up In Poor Armenia Loss

ireland player ratings


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