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11th Jul 2018

Roy Keane gave England the kiss of death at half-time of semi-final defeat

He tempted fate in a big way

Patrick McCarry

Roy Keane is back with us to restore some calm.”

A rarely used sentence but ITV presenter Mark Pougatch went with it as Roy Keane resumed his seat on the panel.

The former Manchester United and Ireland captain joined host Pougatch and a panel completed by former England internationals Gary Neville, Lee Dixon and Ian Wright.

The quartet of former footballers were last together earlier in the tournament and viewers got a real kick out of Keane telling his colleagues to cool the jets after they beat Panama 6-1. With a well-timed hook of his thumb, the Irish native dead-panned:

“England have already won the tournament, according to these lads down here.”

Keane had missed the last few games of ITV’s coverage from Russia but he will be there for the final, on Sunday, and was in-situ for the semi-final clash between England and Croatia.

Ahead of the game, Keane was already drawing the ire of English supporters on the ‘It’s Coming Home’ bandwagon.

With England 1-0 up at half-time, courtesy of a Kieran Trippier cracker-jack free, some were not having Keane’s pragmatic half-time suggestion that England were not home and hosed.

Ivan Perisic equalised for Croatia with 20 minutes remaining before the Inter winger set up Mario Mandzukic for a dramatic winner in extra time.