Proud of you

Sunday 16 June 2002

Fulham's Steve Finnan was one of only two Irish penalty scorers as his country lost their second-round clash against Spain earlier today.

The Fulham defender topped off a brilliant World Cup with yet another fine game and was described by Terry Venables as "Outstanding" and by David O'Leary as "A good a right back as you're likely to find."

Steve's Republic of Ireland lost 3-2 in the spot-kick drama after earning a 1-1 draw in normal time, with Fernando Morientes's early header cancelled out by a late Robbie Keane penalty.

Mick McCarthy's men went out of the cup though, as Finnan and Keane scored penalties in a poor shoot-out, but Matt Holland, Kevin Kilbane and David Connolly all missed with their attempts.

Finnan played the full 120 minutes of the game and was both bright going forward and tight at the back as the Irish came close to progress, but they instead now fly home with their performance scant consolation in defeat.

Finnan has already been told to take a rest and a holiday and does not appear to be part of Manager Jean Tigana's Intertoto Cup plans.