herald

Saturday 16 December 2017

Arrivederci

Ireland bid 'arrivederci' to their Euro campaign with a disappointing 2-0 loss against Italy.

The curtain finally came down on the boys in greens' campaign in Poland, which ended in another defeat at the hands of the former World Cup champions.

Down at the Three on the Quay event in the IFSC, hundreds of soccer fans poured through the gates at the free screening, praying fervently for Trapattoni's team to go out on a high.

A massive screen stretching 40x60 metres was set up especially for the last of the soccer matches -- with the weather behaving itself this time.

And despite the team's poor performance throughout the campaign, there was still plenty of support for the home side from the fans in attendance.

Some of the younger supporters had draped themselves in the tricolour to watch the final match as they hoped for a better display from the lads.

Among them were teenagers Kayleigh Glynn, Jessica Hunt, Jade Nulty and Lauren Doyle, who were all in high spirits before the game.

"Of course we're hoping they're going to win but even if they don't, there's a good atmosphere here so it's a bit of craic," said Kayleigh.

We also had some imported supporters from Brazil and Georgia, as friends Adilson da Silva and Georgy Baramshuili decked themselves out in the Irish colours.

"I'm from Brazil but I've been living here for three years so I would support Ireland in all the games. It would be great to see them do well," said Adilson.

Long-term fan Stephen Dolan was less complimentary about their campaign, saying that the manager should have changed the team after the first match.

"It was clear that Shay Given wasn't 100pc fit and shouldn't have been playing," he said.

"Trap should have mixed it up more, given some of the younger lads a chance to play and get the experience of a major tournament."

At the VIP event in Ely wine bar, guests enjoyed a free bar and BBQ as they watched all the action on the big screen.

Attendees included Three Mobile's communications manager Sharon McHugh, who was just back from the matches in Poland.

She said that overall they were delighted with the response to the free quayside event -- but the weather had let them down last Thursday.

"The first event was so popular, there were over 4,000 fans here on the first day, that we had to make it ticket only. But the weather was terrible last Thursday so the figures were well down but it has picked up again for the last one," she said.

"It was all about giving something back to the fans and showing them that even if they couldn't make it to Poland, they could still enjoy the games in Dublin. They gave us great support."

By the end of the game, fans slowly started drifting home.

The mood visibly subdued, they still managed a final cheer as the lads left the pitch for the final time as their Euro dream was finally brought to a close.

mfinn@herald.ie

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