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15th May 2018

Ireland u17 goalkeeper issues classy statement on controversial red card

Showed maturity beyond his years

Ben Kiely

All eyes were on James Corcoran on Monday night

This week, Republic of Ireland u17 goalkeeper James Corcoran has received more attention from mainstream media than ever before. The Boys In Green’s European Championship quarter-final was broadcast live on terrestrial television. With no other major sports on that night, it garnered a lot of attention.

Then, after the fact, it received even more attention. Unfortunately for Corcoran and his teammates, the added exposure was due to the game’s controversial conclusion.

After the game finished 1-1 in normal time, it went to penalties. After the eight spot kick was taken, the Netherlands had a chance to book their place in the semis. Corcoran pulled out a phenomenal save to keep Irish dreams alive, but the referee ordered it to be retaken. He adjudged Corcoran to have come off his line too early and handed him a second yellow card.

The red card meant that Corcoran’s involvement in the game was over. Centre-back Oisin McEntee took his place between the posts, but he was unable to stop the second attempt. Senior team manager Martin O’Neill, who was in attendance as a supporter, was so furious he confronted the referee on the pitch after the game.

AIt took a full 24 hours for Corcoran to issue his response to the incident. You can check out his classy offering below.

“As the dust settles on last night’s events, I would like to thank everyone for their support. My teammates, friends, family and so many in the sporting world have been unbelievable.

“Now it’s time to accept that although as cruel a blow as it was, the decision was correct and we will move on and learn from it to become stronger.

“‘Play the game, not the occasion.'”