Saturday 28 January 2023 Dublin: 6°C
Donall Farmer/INPHO Ireland's Kevin Doyle reacts after being elbowed.
# Interview
'The blood was coming out of me so he deserved to be sent off'
Kevin Doyle recalls being on the receiving end of a rather nasty elbow during the Ireland-Costa Rica game.

KEVIN DOYLE PRAISED the referee’s decision to send off Giancarlo Gonzalez, after the defender elbowed the Wolves striker during the Ireland-Costa Rica friendly encounter at the weekend.

The incident in question caused Doyle to draw blood and the Irish striker believed it was retribution for an earlier hefty challenge he had committed.

“I think he felt aggrieved from a challenge I had made a bit earlier on,” Doyle said. “He had a couple of goes at trying to get me back.

“And he made enough contact that time… Thankfully, the ref dealt with him. The blood was coming out of me so he deserved to be sent off.

“The doc stapled the wound on the sideline and I had stitches in it afterwards, so it will be fine.”

Doyle admitted to being somewhat taken aback by their opponents’ at times overly physical approach, while praising the referee for coping with the situation adequately.

“Usually it does not happen in these type of games, but I’m glad he did [issue a red card].

“The game was physical and competitive, definitely. It was also quite warm out there in the first half and there was an edge to it.”

The 30-year-old expressed disappointment with the result, though suggested it was probably a fair one, acknowledging that the Irish team were “a bit tired” in the second period.

“We played well in the first half but in the second half we were not as good and they played some good stuff.

“They played better then and are going to a World Cup, so they are in that mode and are a touch sharper than we are.

“There is an edge and you can understand why they are fighting for every ball.”

Exclusive Six
Nations Analysis

Get Murray Kinsella’s exclusive analysis of Ireland’s Six Nations campaign this spring

Become a Member

However, Doyle could at least be satisfied with his personal contribution — the striker’s fantastic header was the first international goal he has scored since September 2012.

“It was a great ball in by Marc Wilson, he looked up and saw me make a run and put a great ball in. I just tried to put as much power and contact on it as possible and it flew in.

“I have not really been involved or played that much since my goal against Oman, so it was nice to start on Friday night.”

5 talking points from last night’s Ireland-Costa Rica game>

The psychology of the shoot-out: how to never miss a penalty again>