herald

Monday 11 December 2017

Still singing after 94 minutes

It says a lot about the atmosphere of the Submarine Bar that everyone stood up and launched into another rendition of Ole, Ole with 94 minutes on the clock.

It didn't matter that Ireland were about to lose, the fans, hoarse and red in the face from cheering and drinking, were ready to move on to the next match against Spain, still with the hope of victory.

The atmosphere had been building since 5pm with the pub near full with fans eager to nab a good spot to watch the big game.

As kick-off approached, vuvuzelas rang out around the bar and the noise grew even more deafening when a RTE poll said 86pc of people believed Ireland would beat Croatia.

Every small sign pointing towards victory was greeted with a massive cheer.

With less than 15 minutes to go until kick-off, the fans were almost sitting on top of each other on the ground floor.

It was more like St Patrick's Day, with almost every single fan dressed in some shade of green as overworked staff desperately searched for chairs.

When one fan, who had been sitting in a baby chair, finally got his hands on a more appropriate seat he quipped the last time this was seen was when Jack Charlton was manager.

The atmosphere was simply rocking by the time Trap's team were shown on the projector walking off the bus. The first chants of, "Come on you boys in green" began to ring out, followed by a loud chorus of "You'll never beat the Irish". However, the chanting came to an abrupt end when Croatia took the lead in the third minute of the game.

There was shocked silence that was only broken when one well-oiled fan roared for Shay Given to be substituted. It wasn't long before he was removed from the bar.

Then the equaliser arrived along with the return of hope. One camera-man had his equipment hurtled around his neck as the bar erupted in screams and people celebrated. On the top floor, bottles of alcopop were being sprayed around like champagne.

Fans began to believe that Ireland could hold their own despite, but then came the second Croatian goal with most fans reminiscing Thierry Henry's hand-ball and another controversial decision going against Ireland.

When Ireland conceded the

When Robbie Keane's penalty appeal was turned down fans shook their head in disbelief, knowing it wasn't their day.

hnews@herald.ie

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