IRELAND UNDER-17 goalkeeper Jimmy Corcoran has issued a statement backing the referee's decision to send him off during his side's penalty-shoot out defeat to the Netherlands.
Ireland were dumped out of the Under-17 European Championship at the quarter-final stage following a 5-4 penalty shoot-out defeat to their Dutch counterparts.
The match was mired in controversy, however, after Corcoran saved the Netherlands's decisive final spot kick, only for Czech Republic referee Zbynek Proske to rule he had moved off his line too early.
Corcoran was shown a second yellow card and sent off. The referee also ordered that the penalty be re-taken.
And, to add to the drama, under Uefa rules Ireland were unable to replace their goalkeeper because the match had gone to penalties, which forced defender Oisin McEntee to take Corcoran's place between the sticks.
Dutch captain Daishawn Redan duly slotted home the retaken spot kick, denying Ireland the opportunity to take on England in the semi-finals, which take place tomorrow (May 17).
The decision was greeted with anger in Ireland, but Corcoran has since taken to Twitter to thank fans for their support and also concede Proske was right to send him off.
— Jimmy Corcoran (@jimmycorcoran28) May 15, 2018
"As the dust settles on last night's events I would like to thank everyone for their support," he said.
"My team mates, friends, family and so many in the sporting world have been unbelievable.
"Now it's time to accept that although as cruel a blow as it was, the decision was correct, and we will move on and learn from it to become stronger."
It should be noted that the decision was correct within the rules of the game.
Law 10 on determining the outcome of a match, which covers the rules around penalty kicks, explicitly states: "If the goalkeeper commits an offence and, as a result, the kick is retaken, the goalkeeper must be cautioned."
There is a precedent too. In November 2017 Qatar U19 goalkeeper Shehab Mamdouh was dismissed in a shootout after receiving a yellow card, having made what he thought was a match-winning save.
Incredible scenes at Qatar U19s.
Keeper saves match-winning pen ✅
Ref orders retake ✅
Keeper protests and is sent off ✅
Captain goes in goal ✅
Saves it! ✅pic.twitter.com/NsLhv0QT7V
— Jamie Reid ⚽️ (@JamieRfootball) November 12, 2017
Corcoran currently plays his club football for Cherry Orchard Football Club in Ballyfermot, Dublin.
The club has produced 10 full Ireland internationals to date, with Corcoran looking to emulate the likes of Glenn Whelan and Andy Reid with a step up to the full national side on day.