Italy 2 Ireland 0: We haven’t performed, admits Robbie Keane
Captain Robbie Keane refused to make excuses after the Republic of Ireland were beaten by Italy in Group C on Monday
Robbie Keane was in no mood to make excuses after the Republic of Ireland were condemned to their third straight Euro 2012 defeat by Italy on Monday.
Giovanni Trapattoni’s men were undone by goals from Antonio Cassano and substitute Mario Balotelli as the Republic were sent home from Poland and Ukraine without a point.
Keane, 31, reserved praise for the typically raucous Irish fans but conceded that the Men in Green were simply beaten by “better teams” during their Group C clashes.
“The last three games, they [the fans] have been fantastic,” said Keane. “It’s a shame we didn’t perform as well as we can and perform for them because if anyone deserves it, it’s them.
“I think we played well tonight without really creating too many chances. It’s one of those things.
“It’s certainly disappointing we didn’t get something out of the group. We’re all disappointed, but we’ve been beaten by better teams.”
And asked if Monday’s game was likely to have been the final appearance for several of Ireland’s veteran players – including Keane himself – he replied: “We’ll have to see.”
Trapattoni was pleased with his side’s commitment in their final Group C clash but admitted that his side’s failure to defend set pieces properly cost them dear – their two goals against Italy were conceded from corners.
“We have a dignity. We play also for our credibility and our honour,” he told RTÉ. “I asked the players for commitment and I think the players showed us their commitment. In the first 30 minutes, we had two or three shots on goal but Italy are strong also.
“The set pieces for us, it was a disaster. There is this little mistake, this little misunderstanding and then it’s possible to concede this goal in this situation.
“Technically, Italy is a little bit superior but we play a good game. Without these two set pieces, we could have got a draw.”