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Dublin: 12°C Wednesday 12 May 2021

Alan Browne admits he would 'rather not score and get a result' on bittersweet night

Alan Browne reflects on a night which began with his ending Ireland’s long goal drought, but ended in defeat.

Alan Browne.
Alan Browne.
Image: Nikola Krstic/INPHO

ALAN BROWNE ADMITTED he would “rather not score and get a result” as he digested the competing tastes of breaking Ireland’s goalless run in a 3-2 World Cup qualifier defeat to Serbia. 

Ahead of this game, Ireland had gone full 660 minutes without scoring, but Browne put a full stop to the counting at 678 minutes when he headed Callum Robinson’s cross beyond the Serbian goalkeeper. Ireland, however, lost the game: level at 1-1 at the break before an Aleksander Mitrovic brace secured Serbia an opening-night win. 

“We are obviously massively disappointed”, reflected Browne post-game. “The bottom line is we need results. I think the performance was alright, a bit of naivety cost us on the night. You need to hold out until half-time at one-up and it’s a different game.

“And the second goal comes from a goal kick which was really disappointing. They were ruthless on the night. They punished us. As the gaffer mentioned before, there was a stonewall penalty not given. That changes the outcome of the game no matter what way you look at it. We feel hard done by, but we won’t dwell on it. We have to get over it quickly. We have another big game coming up that we have to win.

 “They had a lot of the ball without creating opportunities. Then they had a chance out of nothing and they took it really well. For our part, it was about staying switched on. You have to be aware of where your man is at all times. We would be disappointed with that and the other goals as well, but they were taken really well and you can’t take anything away from their attackers. But from our point of view, we would be disappointed because we think we should be better than that.” 

That big game Browne mentions is Saturday’s home qualifier against Luxembourg, into which Ireland can take some positives. 

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“It might have been questioned outside of our dressing room but we always believed in ourselves”, said Browne. “We fought until the end and it wasn’t to be, but there are some positives to take from it. But we’ve got to look at the goals we conceded as well and try to rectify that. But the boys worked their socks off and that’s all you can ever ask for.”

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Gavin Cooney

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