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.