The Ireland U17s are out of the European Championships. After a hard fought 1-1 draw with the Netherlands, Ireland were beaten in the cruelest of ways, going out 5-4 on penalties. Unfortunately, that only tells half the story.
As Ireland faced exit before the fifth Dutch penalty, goalkeeper Jimmy Corcoran made a magnificent save to keep the tie going. Or did he? The referee deemed that Corcoran had come off his line before the kick, and instead of simply ordering a retaking of the kick, he also produced a second yellow card for the goalkeeper, sending him off, and sending an outfield player into goal for the retaking of the final penalty.
Needless to say, the Dutch scored, and Ireland are out. While the referee's decision might have been correct by the letter of the law, Irish fans are finding it difficult to believe the cruel decision was necessary at such a crucial stage in an underage tournament.
I remember Dida once almost reached the six yard line he jumped out so early to save a shot in a Champions League final shootout. It's been unpunished for years and then suddenly a referee sends off a kid for putting his foot an inch forward in an underage tournament. Mental.
— Karl Reilly (@HistoryLOI) May 14, 2018
Can we be the fifth team in the semi-finals? Most ridiculous scenes I've ever seen in a football match. Ireland U-17 goalkeeper sent off during the shootout for coming off his line. Second yellow, ref orders a retake, Netherlands go through. Disgraceful refereeing. #COYBIG
— Ronan Murphy (@swearimnotpaul) May 14, 2018
Every Gk in the world takes some sort of step forward when a penalty is about to be hit.Retake perhaps, but nothing in the rules about a mandatory yellow.His eagerness to book him shows someone who wants to be part of the story,the best refs let it unfold without them.
— barry murphy (@bazlastmanback) May 14, 2018
A number of current and former Irish internationals were equally furious with what they saw.
— Declan Rice (@_DeclanRice) May 14, 2018
— Kevin Kilbane (@kdkilbane77) May 14, 2018
Heart breaking for the kid, Ref needs to have a hard look at himself, Yet again knocked out of another tournament over a terrible decision-making please tell me these refs get penalised for decisions like this? Simple, not good enough!! https://t.co/pxKZjqa48v
— Noel Hunt 🌐 (@Noelhunt20) May 14, 2018
Robbed they were and for martin to go down says it all #robbed
— stephen hunt (@stephenhunt1010) May 14, 2018