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MICK McCarthy has agreed to remain as Republic of Ireland manager for two more years after his team’s impressive World Cup campaign. McCarthy will now lead their bid to qualify for the 2004 European Championship.
FOOTBALL is no different from any other phenomenon in that its beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Perception being a subjective thing - therefore governed, qualified and modified by biases rooted in allegiances and preconceptions - it is hardly surprising that so many disparate opinions should swirl around the melting-pot of debate.
MICK McCarthy saluted the bravery of his penalty takers - even the ones who missed - after Ireland’s World Cup shoot-out defeat to Spain, insisting he was proud of all of his players.
ONE man held his head in his hands, weeping. He could hardly bear to look any more. A woman had already covered her eyes and was shaking uncontrollably. Her friend was praying for divine intervention, desperately making the sign of the cross.
IT WAS the cruellest of exits, down to the last kick of the ball. That Mick McCarthy had ordered his team to practise penalties the night before counted for little - they were found wanting and are preparing to return home, their World Cup over.
STALWARTS Steve Staunton and Niall Quinn announced their retirement from international football last night, in the aftermath of the Irish Republic’s dramatic World Cup exit.
RARELY, if ever, can ten footballers have gathered together and failed so hopelessly to kick balls into a net. Yesterday’s penalty shoot-out between Spain and Ireland made one of the most harrowing experiences in sport seem less bearable than a month in Hades.
Republic of Ireland 1 Keane pen (90)
MICK McCARTHY was willing to reinforce the adage that no one man is bigger than the team when he sent petulant skipper Roy Keane home before a ball was kicked in this World Cup.
ROBBIE KEANE has hit out at World Cup organisers after their dope testing regime denied him the opportunity to join in the Republic of Ireland’s World Cup celebrations.
DID you hear the one about the Japanese football stadium that thought it was Lansdowne Road?
THE streets of Dublin were deserted yesterday from 12:30pm to 2:30pm as an estimated 2.5 million fans were glued to their television screens. You could hear a pin drop as the match opened, broken only by a resounding roar after six minutes as Robbie Keane scored.
GARY BREEN is to wait until the end of the Republic of Ireland’s Far East adventure before resolving his future.
JASON McAteer has admitted he was on the verge of walking out on the Republic of Ireland team after being dropped for the match against Germany.
JASON McATEER has revealed how he threw a Roy Keane-style tantrum last week by packing his bags and saying he was quitting the Republic of Ireland squad and going home after being dropped for the game against Germany.
WEDNESDAY afternoon in Kashima, heat lies heavy in the air and the weight of anticipation pulses through the roads that lead to Ibaraki Stadium.