IF anyone embodied the sense of frustration coursing through the veins of Irish fans last night it was a furious Keith Andrews barrelling down the tunnel after receiving his marching orders.
Far and way our best performer in a torrid Euro 2012 campaign, Andrews threw a strop when dismissed for an inocuous challenge on Italy's Andrea Pirlo.
It was the result of 270 minutes of mind-numbing frustration caused by misfortune, collectively poor displays and a pure and genuine urge to give the travelling hordes from the Green Army something to cheer about.
The Artane man has worn his emotions on his sleeve throughout this entire tournament and propelled himself to a positon where he may become our country's next captain should the exodus of our senior stars materialise.
The main drawback now is that Andrews could face a possible FIFA sanction and a two-match ban which could rule him out of the crucial world cup 2014 qualifiers against Kazakhstan and Germany in the autumn.
Andrews said he had no regrets as he left the field, some of his team-mates might feel differently.
- CORMAC BYRNE