Ireland Coach Says ‘Armenia Played Better than Us’

Ireland's Damien Duff, right, on the field with Armenia's Karlen Mkrtchyan (Photo by Julien Behal/PA Wire)

DUBLIN, YEREVAN (Combined Sources)–“I think Armenia is one of the best teams in the group and for us it’s a very great result,” Irish coach Giovanni Trapattoni said a press conference Tuesday night following the Armenia-Ireland Euro qualifier soccer match. He confessed that “Armenia played better football than us.”

Ireland beat Armenia 2-1 in the match, during which Armenia’s goal keeper Roman Berezovsky on the 26th minute of the match was benched, forcing the Armenia team to compete with 10 players. Many Armenian and non-Armenian press accounts characterized the benching as faulty.

“In the first half Armenia played very well and it was very difficult to control them,” he said.

“I repeat, Armenia played well but I don’t remember a very difficult situation for Shay Given. I don’t remember him making too many saves. Yes, we were lucky in Russia, I have admitted that, but even though Armenia played better football than us, I don’t remember us being in trouble,” he added.

“But I repeat, even with 10 men Armenia played well. I knew they would. They played well against Macedonia, Russia and Slovakia. I saw these games,” said Trapattoni.

“Congratulations to the Irish team. I wish you luck in the playoff. You are a very good team,” Armenian coach Vardan Minasyan said at a briefing.

“But I am very proud of my team and we have done a very good job. We can be very proud.”

President Serzh Sarkisian on Wednesday praised the resulting national unity.

“Yesterday the entire nation was following and cheering for the national soccer team. That national unity and revival was the sweetest achievement regardless of the outcome of the match,” said Sarkisian.

“Our guys played brilliantly,” added Sarkisian

The soccer match continued to remain a high on the agenda Wednesday as fans continued to blame the referee, Iturralde González for the wrong foul call, and praise the Armenian national team. Social networks were flooded with various comments.

Player of Ararat -73 and Chairman of the Football Veterans Union Sergey Poghosyn said the referee obviously made a number of mistakes, while sports commentator Karen Giloyan says that a re-match would be senseless.

González was not unbiased, although it’s hard to prove, Poghosyan told a press conference Wednesday. According to him, the most fatal mistake was the dismissal of Armenian goalkeeper Roman Berezovsky, taking into consideration that Ireland’s forward Simon Cox confessed it was not a handball by the keeper.

Giloyan said it would be a heroic deed for Cox to declare that during the game.

”It’s obvious that the referee made а number of grave mistakes, but it’s hard to prove now that they were intentional. Victory is so sweet, that the player would never say during the game that the ball had touched his hand before reaching Berezovsky. It was the feeling of remorse that made Cox confess after the game,” Giloyan said.

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6 Comments

  1. ZARMAIR said:

    My advice to our young glorious team and coach is this. Take a page from the legendary coach Don Shula who in 1971 went to the Super Bowl with the deciding 39 yard field goal of Garo Yepremyan. However, when the Dolphins were defeated in the Super Bowl, the great Shula used that loss to his advantage tp motivate his team, thus accomplish a feat never repeated in the NFL, the undefeated perfect season of 1972…Armenia will be in Brazil for the World Cup 2014

  2. Truth said:

    ‎ If he is so honest than he should admit the injustice and offer a rematch!‎
    Armenia soccer boss: Protest lodged against Spanish ref’s decisions in Dublin BUT this is not enough!!
    A stupid and (maybe even corrupt) referee did kill the hope of a ‎young and talented team! There should be an inquiry and Armenia HAS to demand a ‎rematch!. ‎Beside this: where were all these high ranking Armenian officials as our team did ‎arrive from ‎Dublin???? Else Armenian official are on side whenever there are festivals and so ‎on, in order to carry ‎out cheap PR campaign. Armenian President had to be at the airport this ‎was a critical the moment ‎which our national football team was most in need of official ‎support! And finally Armenian football ‎team should get the money promised to them alt leas a ‎part! Only with couple oligarch in the ‎Parliament ( fighting for taxi and mini van routs) there ‎would be no middle class and fight of poverty!‎

  3. viva Armenia said:

    Is this not strange: Not only the main referee but his two assistants too do make the same ‎mistake at once. First they overlook the real handball and second they agree to give (unjustly) ‎Armenian goalkeeper red card! Football Federation of Armenia (FFA) hast to fight hard to ‎correct this injustice, instead accepting that our country and team being pissed off by means ‎of cheating!

  4. Aram Balian said:

    Abrik d2ak lav xa28ak, ays ankam 7e2av pay8 ha7orte gella.

    9aroungek mi9d aysbes

  5. sam said:

    i congratulate the armenian players and the coach for their
    brilliant effort against ireland playing with 10 men and a goalie with no experience wasn’t easy on the opponent field. and they looked super .i’m 100% sure armenia could have won this game with no hesitation however i was surprised why armenia didn;t prepare an experience goalie all this time let say the veteran goalie got injured or sick or any thing that he can’t play what would the result be so i hope they could learn from their mistake and better prepare next time for the world cup gggggooooooooooooooooo armenia

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