Spain Beats Ireland on Shoot-out to Reach Quarters


Spain Beats Ireland on Shoot-out to Reach Quarters
Spain beat Ireland 3-2 on penalties to reach the World Cup quarter-finals on Sunday after the two sides fought to a 1-1 draw after 120 minutes.

Spain played the extra time one man short when substitute David Albelda was injured after Spain had sent in all three substitutes.

Spanish goalkeeper Iker Casillas saved two penalties by David Connolly and Kevin Kilbane after Matt Holland had slammed the ballto the cross bar to bound out. Gaizka Mendieta calmly hit home the winner to send the Spaniards through.

The Spanish hero Casillas said after the match he was lucky to block two spot kicks.

"To save penalties is all about luck," he said. "It would have been unfair for us to go out after they equalized with a penalty in the last minute.

"We deserved it because we had to play the whole of extra time with 10 men and we withstood the pressure very well. We are glad to be in the quarter-finals after that."

Ireland coach Mick McCarthy said his side bowed out in grace.

"I'm very proud - we didn't deserve to lose in the end, we deserved to win in normal time. Sickening," he said.

"They're a wonderful bunch of people these players and I'm gladI've had the chance to work with them.

"You saw us all together. I said to them before the shootout that whatever happens there will be no recriminations here, we've had a wonderful World Cup."

Irish star Robbie Keane had made it 1-1 in the 90th minute, taking the game into extra time.

The Leeds United striker converted Ireland's second penalty after Fernando Hierro pulled striker Niall Quinn's shirt in the box.

Spain coach Jose Antonio Camacho said the referee had made a mistake by giving Ireland this penalty.

"We suffered a lot, we had to play almost the whole of extra time with only 10 players. But the team had a lot of chances to decide the game earlier," said Camacho.

"It was not a penalty and we had three or four chances ruled out for offside."

Ireland had missed an earlier penalty in the 63rd minute after Spanish defender Juanfran brought down Damien Duff. Ian Harte's kick was saved by Iker Casillas and Kevin Kilbane hit the rebound wide.

Spanish striker Fernando Morientes opened the scoring in the eighth minute, his third goal of this tournament and 17th in 23 international caps.

Right back Carles Puyol sent a crisp cross from the right, which Morientes scored with a glancing header to the right of Ireland goalkeeper Shay Given after getting rid of his marker.

Spain, who last reached the World Cup last eight in 1994, will take on either Italy or South Korea for a semifinal berth.

Teams:

Spain (4-4-2): 1-Iker Casillas; 5-Carles Puyol, 6-Fernando Hierro, 4-Ivan Helguera, 3-Juanfran; 21-Luis Enrique, 8-Ruben Baraja, 17-Juan Carlos Valeron, 11-Javi de Pedro (16-Gaizka Mendieta 66); 7-Raul (12-Albert Luque 80), 9-Fernando Morientes(14-David Albelda 71)

Ireland (4-4-2): 1-Shay Given; 2-Steve Finnan, 14-Gary Breen,5-Steve Staunton (4-Kenny Cunningham 50), 3-Ian Harte (13-David Connolly 82); 18-Gary Kelly (17-Niall Quinn 55), 8-Matt Holland,12-Mark Kinsella, 11-Kevin Kilbane; 9-Damien Duff, 10-Robbie Keane







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