ROI's Andrews feels his team were outclassed by Spain as they crash out of Euro 2012

 

 

By Adam Higgins
Chief Football Editor 

 

 

Andrews is now without a club after being released by Premier League club West Brom last month


 

Midfielder Keith Andrews admitted the Republic of Ireland were no match for world champions Spain in their Euro 2012 Group C clash in Gdansk, Poland.

The 30-year old, who spent last season at Ipswich and West Bromwich Albion, commented after the heavy 4-0 reverse: "They are the best side I have played against certainly in my career. We shot ourselves in the foot again by conceding silly goals especially so early on in each half just like against Croatia. Spain are such a quality side and punish mistakes easily and we made plenty of them. I am disappointed to be going home after the Italy game but the group was very difficult and we just haven't been good enough. We are playing for pride now and for the fans who have travelled in their thousands to support us- they have been magnificent all the way through."

Ireland, beaten 3-1 by Croatia in their Euro 2012 opener, knew they had to avoid defeat to stand any chance of advancing into the quarter-final stage of the tournament. However, they have tasted comprehensive defeat in both of the fixtures they have played in their first trip to a major international finals in a decade after crashing out of the World Cup in 2002 ironically to the Spanish at the last sixteen stage in Korea.

Their latest loss was the heaviest that manager Giovanni Trapattoni has suffered in his time in charge and meant they were the first nation who are definitely eliminated from Euro 2012.

Chelsea striker Fernando Torres, who scored twice for Spain on the night, said: "We knew we needed to win this game and the next one. With the early goal everything was easier and the performance of the team was really great. We are well on the way to getting through to the next round."  

 

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