Experience Heartbreak in Dublin: Republic of Ireland Fall to France in Euro 2024 Qualifier
In 2021, the Republic of Ireland was devastated by a 1-0 loss to Luxembourg in their World Cup qualifier. However, in 2023, they faced the World Cup finalists, France, in their Euro 2024 qualifier and managed to give them a run for their money. Despite putting up a valiant effort, the Republic fell 1-0 to a brilliant second-half strike from Benjamin Pavard. The Irish team poured everything they had into ensuring the French had an uncomfortable night inside a raucous Aviva Stadium, but an inspired Mike Maignan in the French goal thwarted their every effort.
21-year-old centre-half, Nathan Collins, was left in disbelief at full-time after he was denied what would have been a famous Irish goal. However, he was admirably unfazed and focused on the team’s wider performance, stating that “confidence-wise, we know we can go toe-to-toe with them now,” and that “in three months’ time we have to go again.” The Republic of Ireland hopes to qualify for their first tournament since Euro 2016 and have set a standard for themselves against both big and smaller nations.
Despite the loss, there were positives for the youthful Irish side, with seven players aged 25 or younger in the starting line-up. Collins believes in the team and their ability to create something special for themselves now, not just in the future.
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