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Saturday 24 September 2016

Red-faced Duffy still proud

Shane Duffy is shown a red card by referee Nicola Rizzoli. Photo: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile
Shane Duffy is shown a red card by referee Nicola Rizzoli. Photo: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

Roy Keane last week told his Ireland players to be more cynical in their defending and to 'take one for the team' in terms of a sanction from the referee if the side needed it.

Shane Duffy, it seems, took Keane's advice on board and on to the field when his challenge on Antoine Griezmann meant that, just like Ireland's final game at the last Euro finals, the Irish side finished the match with 10 men.

It means that Duffy wasn't there to see the emotional scenes after the game when the Ireland players stood to acclaim, and be acclaimed, by their supporters.

Duffy was, by this stage, exiled to the dressing room after his expulsion, where his company was some FAI staff.

"There was just security with me in the dressing room after I was sent off, I just watched the match on TV, I was praying," says the Derry man.

Duffy admits now that his decision to haul down the French No. 7 is something he will have to live with.

"There's a lot of things I can look at but I am obviously disappointed to get sent off," Duffy says.

"If I had left it any later, it would have been a penalty and possibly another goal so it was a decision I took. I don't know if it was the right one or the wrong one.

"I have let the team down a bit, left us with 10 men for a long period.

"But I gave my all out there, it might not be good enough but it's the best I can do.

"I would rather win the ball [than get a red card] and I had a chance of winning it," Duffy added, pointing to the lapse of concentration which left Griezmann clear on goal.

"The disappointing thing is that it shouldn't have got to that point, two-v-one, we could have dealt with it a lot better. These things happen in football and we try to take the positives out of it. That's what we will do, hold our heads up high. We still had a decent tournament."

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