Ireland 1 Sweden 2: We have to stay positive, says Richard Dunne
Ireland 1 Sweden 2: Richard Dunne says Giovanni Trapattoni's men must remain positive despite a demoralising defeat
Richard Dunne urged the Republic of Ireland to stay positive after suffering a potentially decisive 2-1 loss to Sweden at The Aviva.
Ireland captain Robbie Keane had given the home side the lead in the 21st minute as the 33-year-old netted his 60th strike for the Boys in Green.
However, Giovanni Trapattoni’s men were unable to keep Sweden’s prolific strikers quiet as Johan Elmander levelled before half-time.
And Sweden sealed a crucial win which hands them a three-point cushion in second place in Group C when former Southampton midfielder Anders Svensson netted in 57th minute.
“We have to stay positive [about our World Cup prospects]. If we go to Austria and win then it will hopefully open up the group again,” Dunne told RTE Sport.
“It’s very disappointing tonight after taking the lead. The draw would have been harsh on us but the fact we lost. It was two sloppy goals.
“It’s disappointing tonight but we still have to keep our heads up while there’s still games to play.”
Ireland remain in fourth place following the loss and trail second-place Sweden by three points with three games left to play.
Trapattoni’s men travel to Austria, who are in third position, on Tuesday night, and Dunne refused to rule out Ireland’s chances of qualifying for next summer’s World Cup.
“It’s going to be hard. But we still have to believe otherwise there’s no point carrying on. If results go our way, we can get back into the group,” the Queens Park Rangers defender added.